Beijing self-service libraries 24/24


You have probably noticed one of the 125 self-service libraries available in Chaoyang district, near subway stations or at central locations ( CBD, schools, cultural centers and other public places), and you may wonder how it works… and basically if they are actually in use. One self-service library can carry about 400 books ; this is a service sponsored by the government to provide people with a good reading service.

Currently this service “首都图书馆城市街区自助图书馆” is only opened to Chinese citizens as you need a valid Chinese ID for borrowing books. There is a deposit to pay: 50 RMB for 2 weeks loan and 100 RMB for 4 weeks loan. Fines will be applied in case of late return.

Since 2014, users can search for available books using the Wechat platform.

What kind of book can you borrow from these self-service libraries? Propaganda books, Chinese fiction, biography, cookery and horticulture but you will not be able to find any  English novel or fiction.

However, it seems that those self-service libraries are not taking up, due to the limited number of available books, as well as machine failures. 京莱柏锐科技有限公司 is the provider of the system.


Next time you meet a Chinese colleague or friend reading a book in the office, ask him / her if she borrowed the book from a self-service library!


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I am living in China since 2007. I am sharing my experiences for other expatriates to make their stay in Beijing more enjoyable. As I am writing this blog for SCOUT Real Estate agency, I am also computing updates about the Real Estate market in Beijing, not only on residential properties, but as well on commercial locals and offices. Hope you enjoy your reading!