The library of South China University of Technology was established in 1952, with the Foreign Textbooks Center directly under the State Ministry of Education and the Novelty Search Workstation at the ministerial level authorized by the State Ministry of Education, is among one of the largest libraries of the key polytechnic universities. The library of SCUT currently consists of the North Campus Library, the Branch Library of Chemical Machinery on the north campus and the South Campus Library, with a total floor space of 67,169 m2. The North Campus Library is situated on the left side of the main gate of the campus, with a total floor space of 24,269 m2, with 13 administrating departments including Curator's Office, Administrative Office, Acquisition Department, Cataloguing Department, Circulation Department, Reading Department, Periodical Department, Information Consultation Department, Electronic Document Department, Systems and Technology Department, North Campus Branch Library, Foreign Textbooks Center, Chinese Graphic Information Center, etc. The Branch Library of Chemical Machinery is located in the teaching building of the School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering on the north campus with a total floor space of 600 m2 and two service departments, namely, Circulation Department and Reading Department. The South Campus Library, lying in the Guangzhou University Town, has a total floor space of 42,300 m2 and 5 departments including Administrative Office, Document Resources Development Department, Document Resources Service Department, Consultation Department and Information and Technology Service Department. There are also 35 reference rooms under the school management in the university.
In recent years, the library has been attaching great importance to the development of electronic document resources. To help build a high-level university under the '211 project' and '985 project', and to meet the needs of the teachers and students for diversified information, the library is gradually and in a planned way installing various kinds of foreign and domestic databases, such as abstracting and indexing type, the fact databases, the full-text and CD-ROM databases, etc. The library has already owned the entries of important foreign and domestic networks and 179 electronic databases, with the world-renowned technological documents search tools and electronic periodicals full-text databases of great reputation in the world, the database for the dissertations of graduate students and electronic books. At present, teachers and students of the university are able to search and utilize over 2,040,000 volumes of foreign and domestic electronic books, electronic periodicals and the electronic versions of graduate students' dissertations via the campus network. Moreover, the 'Dialog' International Online Searching System enables the usage of more than 600 professional databases. The contents of the databases mentioned above cover a wide range of subjects and fields, providing the teachers and students with the up-to-date and high quality information for scientific research and enabling them to catch up with the trend and hot issues of the world scientific development, thus promoting the acquisition of new knowledge and innovation of science and technology.