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Hong Kong Central Library Information Facilities

1) Library Catalogue

The Library Catalogue enables you to search the entire Chinese and English collections of the Hong Kong Public Libraries. In addition to a wide range of search options, such as author, title, subject etc.,

you have the choice at the start to narrow your search to books only, to audio-visual materials only or to some other categories or materials.

From any Library Catalogue terminal you will know instantly whether the item you need is available on the shelf or on loan, or being reserved, and if it is on loan, you will also know the date the item is due for return.

In case you wish to know library related activities that are being held or forthcoming; or wish to check your own borrowing record, like how many books you have borrowed, which item is overdue etc., simply follow the menu options and you will find them all. You may also perform renewal and reservation at any Library Catalogue terminal.

2) Multimedia Information System

Multimedia Information System (MMIS) is an example of extensive use of information technology and computer application of the Hong Kong Public Libraries (HKPL). It provides audio-on-demand (AOD) and video-on-demand (VOD) services which can be conveniently accessed at Hong Kong Central Library(HKCL) and all static  libraries located at Hong Kong, Kowloon and the New Territories. Instant access to digitized audio-visual materials, images and publications with copyright clearance is also available through the Internet.

The AOD and VOD system at MMIS consists of the following three-level structure:

1st level: built upon the high quality AV streaming servers. Users can access the system concurrently for listening or viewing digitized audio-visual materials of the HKPL.

2nd level: consists of servers and jukeboxes. It is a more economical channel for the public to search for audio-visual materials in the jukeboxes.

3rd level: a conventional video/audio distribution network which is used at HKCL only. Users can enjoy the audio-visual materials in stock of the Library in various formats, like LD, VCD, DVD, CD and cassette, through the system.

Conventional Players at HKCL  Jukeboxes and Servers at HKCL
Conventional Players at HKCL
Jukeboxes and Servers at HKCL

About 80 Internet & Digital Service (IDS) workstations connected to conventional video/audio distribution network are installed in HKCL in order to enable more public to have quality access to both video and audio materials of the AOD/VOD system in all 3 levels. 10 of which are capable for viewing high definition video materials. Meanwhile, the public can also access audios and videos stored in the first and second levels of the AOD and VOD services through over 700 IDS workstations located at HKCL and all static libraries. Owing to copyright restriction, some videos at Level 2 can only be used at HKCL, Users at branch libraries may enquire about the copy status of related materials at the library.

In addition, digital library service is provided through MMIS for instant access to digitized materials, such as old photos, maps, old HK newspaper, artist clippings, manuscripts etc. After clearance of the relevant copyright/licensing terms, the materials are digitized and stored in the multimedia databases for instant access of users through the Internet or inside public libraries.

There are also a number of new features for content promotion, including Most Popular, Content Highlight, News in History and Pick of the Day.  Readers can share link to item found in the system with popular social networking tools.