In China, libraries can be grouped into three major categories: (1) the public libraries, headed by the National Library of China and including the provincial, municipal, prefectural, and county libraries; (2) the academic libraries under the control of the Ministry of Education, including the university and college libraries and middle and elementary school libraries; and (3) the libraries of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Academic Sinica), including the science and research libraries. Academic libraries play a very special role in the country among these groups of libraries and are becoming increasingly important, as they are at the centre of information and education on each campus (Ma 1989).
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