Soochow University is located in the ancient city of Suzhou that is famous for its classical gardens and known as " Paradise on Earth". The Soochow University Library (SUL) is situated in the centre of the main campus with a beautiful environment and long history. It contains plentiful collections and provides a high-quality service.
The SUL, formerly known as the Storage Building of Soochow University Hall¡±, was established in 1905. It held 40,000 items at that time. It merged the Soochow University Library, the Library of Jiangsu Cultural and Educational College , and the Southern Jiangsu University Library in 1952 and became the Library of Jiangsu Normal College. It held 230,000 items and had 7 staff at that time. It was renamed as Soochow University Library in 1982. Then, Suzhou Technological Academy of Sericulture, Suzhou Institute of Silk Textile Technology and Suzhou Medical College merged into the University successively in 1995, 1997 and 2000, along with the expanding enrollment, the scale was increased gradually. Now the Soochow University Library consists of four libraries: the science library on the main campus, the social science and humanity library on the eastern campus (which called Jingwen Library), the medical information resource on the new campus (which called Binglin Library), and the engineering library on the northern campus. The total libraries building area amounts to 62,000 square meters. The collection capacity has reached 3,440,000 pieces by the end of 2003. The Library collection has several features. (1) It holds a complete range of literatures which cover all the university's specialties. Some journals have been subscribed continuously since the time of old Soochow University such as CA, ACS, Philosophical Transactions, etc. (2) The library holds 140,000 volumes of ancient stitched-bound books, 820 kinds, comprising 6,953 copies, including some southern Jiangsu featured block-printed books and local collections; (3) There are 2,943 pre-1949 newspaper titles, including over 20 rare editions such as ¡®Trivialities of the Whole World', ¡®Mini Daily', ¡®Young China', etc £» (4) Chronology and local topography, art pictorials, series of literary history books from Hong Kong and Taiwan have also come into a large scale; (5) Over 30 subscription databases. The Library provides service for more than 28,000 graduates/undergraduates and over 4,000 teaching faculty and staff. Weekly opening time exceeds 90 hours. All the operation in the libraries is computer managed. The digital library services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The departments or divisions are as follows, Library Office, Collection Development Division, Technology Services Division, Information Reference Division, Digitalization Division, Electronic Reading Room and every campus has a Reader's Services Division.