With over/nearly one hundred years of library history, the Hohai University Library stemmed from the Hohai Civil Engineering School founded in 1915 by Zhang Jian, famous modern educationist and industrialist. The library, as one of six departments created since its establishment, is the first professional library of water conservancy in China with a collection of more than 2,000 books. Over one hundred years, with the changing and development of the School, the library has continued to be an integral part of the school’s spirit through the decades. The library and the Southeast University Civil Engineering Department were merged into the Hohai Engineering University Library in 1924. It was incorporated into the 4th Sun Yat-sen University (now Nanjing University) in 1927 and renamed as the reference room for the Civil Engineering Department of the National Central University in 1928. At the end of 1937, the water conservancy and structure group of the National Central University were merged into the Water Conservancy Department, and its reference room was set up as well. In 1952, the Water Conservancy Departments from Nanjing University, Jiaotong University, Tongji University, Zhejiang University and the East China Water Resources Professional College were merged into the East China Technical University of Water Resources. Collections from these reference rooms were pooled together. From 1952 to 1954, the library was affiliated to the Academic Affairs Office, and then became a university line-managed department in 1955. In 1985, the college resumed its traditional school name “Hohai University”, and the library was accordingly renamed the “Hohai University Library”. In 1986, the Machinery Institute from Hohai University was established in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, and therefore HHU Changzhou Machinery Institute Library was established. In 2000, Hohai University continued to grow with the establishment of another campus in the Jiangning district of Nanjing. The Hohai University Library eventually formed the pattern of unified planning and collaborative service, namely, three campuses and four library buildings, which has built a solid foundation for university development.

After many years of accumulation, the library has developed characteristic collections. Closely centering on the overall goal of school administration, strengthening the construction of literary resources concerning predominant disciplines, advanced disciplines and characteristic disciplines as well as fundamental disciplines, the humanities and social sciences as well as emerging disciplines supported by the University, the library has met the needs of University administration, discipline development and talent cultivation. The library has formed the comprehensive literature guarantee system, characterized by the exploration, utilization, protection and development of integrated water resources, covering science, engineering, liberal arts, management, economics and laws, with certain advantages of digital resources. It focuses on the collection of books and periodicals either in electronic or paper form concerning water resources and hydropower engineering, geotechnical engineering, marine engineering, port and waterway engineering, coastal engineering, hydrology, water resources and environmental engineering, engineering mechanics, etc. At present, the library has a collection of more than 3 million books in total and 85 database resources of all kinds. In addition, the library has signed an agreement of co-construction and sharing with colleges and universities in Jiangsu Province as well as several research units nationwide such as Nanjing Hydraulic Research Institute, to further enrich available resources for students and teachers.
The library is open more than 100 hours each week and annually welcomes more than 2 million readers. The Huiwen library management system was used to set up a local area network (LAN) in 2000, interconnecting with the campus network, with access to CERNET and the Internet, allowing the campus network 24-hour service, including books, periodicals and reader information queries, reading and utilization of electronic resources, access to postgraduate dissertation at the campus, access to information, retrieval, as well as link services such as commonly-used software downloads. In recent years, the Library has launched the new service modes such as the mobile library and official WeChat platform, and adopted self-services such as the self-help seat selection system, the self-help printing system, the self-help book circulation system as well as the self-help music appreciation program, providing readers with convenient and fast high-quality services.  

On one hand, the library provides information resource services; on the other hand, it constantly expands the service scope and connotation, improves service ability and level and has created a series of cultural service activities on the basis of reading, with the guidance of culture, regarding the method of endowing pleasure to teaching as the carrier. Since 2007, the library has established the library cultural education service system with varied programs such as the “Hohai University Information Service Month”, “Hohai University Graduation Season”, “Hohai University Sailing Service month”, “Hohai University Reading Month” and "4.23 World Reading Day” as the platforms, and has become the backbone of campus cultural development in Hohai University.

With the tenet of “Reader First, Service First”, all librarians create a civilized, orderly, comfortable and open environment of learning and resource utilization, and spare no efforts to build the library into the literary resource center, the information service center and the center of campus culture to boost the development of various undertakings.  

HHU Xikang Library

The Library dates back to the library of the East China Technical University of Water Resources set up in 1952. The Hohai University Library was built in 1958, with the first independent library buildings in its history, covering an area of 4,660 square meters, accommodating 300,000 books, becoming one of the largest independent college libraries in Nanjing. In 2015, it was changed to a school history museum. The main building of the library was built at the Xikang campus in 1987, and the well-known bridge expert Mao Yisheng, pioneer of Hohai, inscribed its name. The main building, covering a construction area of 10,700 square meters, with more than 700 reading seats, provides such services as borrowing books and periodicals, information queries, discipline service and technical support, as well as being the library resources procurement center, information service center and administrative office center.
HHU Jiangning Library

The library building, covering an area of 41,000 square meters, consists of original and modern buildings, which are naturally integrated. The original building was built in May 2005. The new building is the extension in the periphery of the old one, and was officially put into use in October 2017, with reading seats numbering more than 4,200, adopting the three-in-one opening mode, namely “Borrowing, Reading and Seminar”, opens for 108.5 hours each week, with an annual reception of more than one million readers. Library resources in the paper form exceed more than 1.5 million books, and more than 40,000 books are added each year. The library has designed a second-line library collection system able to collect more than 2 million paper books and the second-line library collection function supporting three campuses; completed a full coverage of wireless network and provides 7*24 hours e-resources and information service. Furthermore, it also has set up self-service areas including self-help seat selection system, self-help printing system, self-help book circulation system, self-help music appreciation as well as an autonomous learning area and culture exhibition areas integrating the “Celebrity gallery”, “Hohai Library”, “One-Hundred-Year History of the Hohai University Library”, and included readers innovation centers such as creative spaces, seminar areas, academic exchange centers and so on. 

HHU Changzhou Library

The library was founded September 1986, and the current library building was put into use on May 1996, covering an area of 9,300 square meters, with seven functioning reading rooms (more than 900 reading seats in total) and 7-layer full open-shelf fixed stacks, as well as modern special facilities such as e-reading-rooms, a printing center and a lecture hall with remote network broadcasting function. The library has set up four operating departments, namely, the Resource Construction Department, the Resource Service Department, the Digital Technology Department, and the Information Service Department. To closely cooperate with campus teaching, scientific research and discipline construction, the library carries out the development of literature resources, and has gradually formed the integrated library collection system for multiple types of documents in various forms, focusing on machinery, electronics and communications, as well as combining other disciplines such as humanities and economic management. The library is open for 98 hours each week, provides a full open-shelf borrowing service in terms of circulation and reading, being the first library in Changzhou to implement such services as information queries, database retrieval and data processing with an annual reception of more than 200,000 readers.