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Borrow and return services of public libraries gradually resumed

From 21 May, following the earlier opening of the Hong Kong Central Library and the six major libraries (namely City Hall, Kowloon, Tsuen Wan, Sha Tin, Tuen Mun and Ping Shan Tin Shui Wai Public Library), other 12 district libraries (namely Aberdeen, Chai Wan, Lockhart Road, Lai Chi Kok, Lam Tin, Ngau Chi Wan, Yau Ma Tei, Fanling, Tai Po, Tiu Keng Leng, Tsing Yi and Tung Chung Public Library) will be reopened with limited services, including lending and returning of library materials, and picking up of library materials reserved. All reopening libraries will implement special opening hours, arrange admission by sessions and limit the number of people entering the library. Members of the public will be subject to body temperature checks before admission. Children aged under 12 are allowed to enter the library only when accompanied by an adult. Library facilities to be reopened include adult library, young adult library, children's library, partial computer facilities and Students’ Study Room. Other facilities including newspapers and periodicals area, reference library, etc., will remain closed. Please refer to the Details.

Other facilities resumed earlier include the book drop service of the Hong Kong Public Libraries (including service at MTR Central, Kowloon Tong and Nam Cheong stations) and the self-service library stations located at Island East Sports Centre Sitting-out Area, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and Tsuen Nam Road, Tai Wai.

Other public libraries and their students’ study room, and mobile libraries will continue to be temporarily closed until further notice. Overdue fines will not be generated for late return of library materials, and due date of reservation pick up will be extended accordingly.

Introduction to Library Materials Lending Services

Library Card

  • Holders of valid library cards issued by the Hong Kong Public Libraries, identity cards allowed for library purposes, or library cards/borrower's cards issued by the two former Municipal Council Public Libraries may borrow and return library materials at any public libraries in urban areas and the New Territories. A library card is not to be lent or transferred.

Borrowing Limit for Library Materials

  • Each registered reader may borrow a maximum of EIGHT items of library materials together with accompanying library materials, or a maximum of SIXTEEN items of back issues of periodicals.

Time Limit for Borrowing Library Materials

  • Library materials for lending may be borrowed for a period of 14 days.

Overdue Fine

  • An overdue fine is imposed on each and every loan item and accompanying library material returned late.  The charge is $1.5 per day or part of a day for each loan item or accompanying library material borrowed from an adult library and $0.5 for that borrowed from a young adult or children's library.

Replacement Cost for Lost or Damaged Library Materials

  • If any library material borrowed is lost or damaged, the borrower shall be liable to pay to the Government such sum of money as the librarian considers necessary to replace such library material or the whole set of library material of which such library material forms a part. In addition, the borrower may be required to pay a surcharge amounting to 20 per cent of such sum.

Renewal of Library Materials (Notes for the Renewal Service)

  • Unless already reserved by another reader, each loan item may be renewed for up to five consecutive times with a period of 14 days for each renewal.

  • Library materials can be renewed in person, by telephone, or through the Internet.  Since the loan item may have been reserved by another reader or cannot be renewed for other reasons, it is recommended that renewal by telephone or through the Internet be made at least one working day before the due date to allow time for the prompt return of the loan item in case renewal is unsuccessful.
    (A 24-hour renewal service is available by telephone on 2698 0002 / 2827 2833 or through the Internet at
    https://webcat.hkpl.gov.hk/auth/login?theme=WEB&locale=en )

  • The new due date is calculated from the day the item is renewed irrespective of the original due date. A new loan period of 14 days applies and will not be extended even if the item is renewed earlier.

  • All loan items which cannot be renewed should be returned to the Hong Kong Public Libraries by the due date. Borrowers must pay the fine for all overdue loan items.

Reservation Service (Notes for the Reservation Service)

  • Each registered reader may reserve a maximum of eight items of library materials. A reservation fee of $3.3 will be charged for each item (or the prevailing valid reservation fee at the time of collection). Once an item is successfully reserved, the reader making the reservation is required to pay the reservation fee no matter he collects the item or not.
  • Download the form for Reservation of Library Materials

Issue of Receipts

  • Readers are welcome to use Octopus cards to settle the Replacement Cost of Lost Library Card, Overdue Fine, and Reservation Fee of Library Materials.  Receipts will be automatically issued by the Octopus payment system.  For readers who choose to settle the Replacement Cost by cash, receipts will be issued upon payment by the library staff.  For readers who choose to settle the Overdue Fine and Reservation Fee by depositing the exact amount of money into the coin box at the circulation counter, receipts will be issued only upon prior request .

  • For readers who use the self-help photocopying service and require a receipt, please inform the library staff before using the service .

* Please refer to the 'Libraries Regulation' for the regulations of using various library services.