Best libraries for expats in Shanghai

Cultural Venues

If you love reading and prefer to borrow books rather than to buy them, here are Shanghai’s best libraries that offer books in foreign languages.

Best libraries for expats in Shanghai

Shanghai Library

Located on Huaihai Road, the Shanghai Library is the second largest library in China spanning 24 floors and 83,000 square meters. On the fourth floor of the library is the foreign language section. Although the majority of books are in Chinese, thousands of English language volumes can be found on the ground and 4th floors. This is definitely the largest collection of foreign language books available to the public in Shanghai.

If you just want to hang out at the library and read books without borrowing them, all services are free. To borrow them, however, you must pay a 1000RMB deposit.

Address: 1555 Huaihai Middle Road, near Wuxing Road
Opening hours: Every day from 8:30am to 8:30pm

Changning Library

Located in Gubei area, the Changning Library features an international book center with renaissance-style decor on the 8th floor. The First Saturday of every month from 2pm, the 8th floor hosts a bookcrossing in which people come and share foreign books and DVDs. This is a great way to cheaply exchange your read books with new ones, meet new friends, and get recommendations for new reads. The books cannot be checked out, so reading them requires an extended stay - or likely a few of them - in the library.

Address: 356 Tianshan Road, near Weining Road
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 8pm

Pudong Library

This 60,000 square meter library boasts about 2 million books including 10,000 English language volumes. The place also contains digital books, exhibition, lecture and interchange sections, aiming to be a next-generation library in China. The membership to borrow books costs 80rmb.

Address: 324 Yingchun Road, near Century Avenue
Opening hours: Every day from 9am to 8pm

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