China Foreign Affairs University Library has developed along similar lines to the reference room in the Diplomacy Department of Renmin University of China. The library consists of two parts: the main library on the Shahe Campus, and a smaller library on the Zhanlan Road Campus.
The library has six divisions: the Administration Office, Acquisitions and Cataloguing Division, Circulation Division, Reading Division, Automation Division and Literature Service Division. The library is staffed by 19 librarians. It has seating for 559 persons, more than enough to meet the reading needs on campus and employs an open-shelf service that enables users to read and borrow books easily. The library has a number of collections, including books, journals, newspapers, CDs, microfilms, audio tapes, databases and digital materials. At the end of 2016, the library housed 578,214 books, 946 journals, 199,772 digital books, 5,413 digital journals and 31 databases.
Over the years, the library has gradually built up special collections on diplomacy and international relations to become the leading university resource in China. The collections comprise diplomatic documents, treaty series and academic works. Some of the material is exclusive, for example, the documents of the United Nations and European Union. The most valuable works in the collections include Shun Pao, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Relations of the United States, Treaty Series of the United Nations, and Collectanea of Materials on Modern Chinese History.
The library also has some affiliated and specialized research resources such as the United Nations Depository Library, the Reference Books Reading Room, and the Documentation Center of the European Union. These research resources not only meet the university’s teaching and research requirements university, but also offer a scientific research service to other academic institutions and guest users. The library provides researchers from various institutions with a literature service.
The library uses the MELINETS integrated electronic library system developed by BUPT Telecom Technologies Co.; a system that has functions of information inquiry, book reservation and renewal, overdue notice, new book notification, purchase recommendation, online announcement and messaging.
China Foreign Affairs University Library is undergoing a transformation to become a knowledge center, broadening its resources and networks, improving the quality of its services to face the challenges and opportunities of the digital era, and meet needs from both inside and outside the school.