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FAQs

Q.1: What is the “Self-service Library Station” project?

A.1: The HKPL of the LCSD plans to set up on a trial basis in 2017-18 three Self-service Library Stations, one each on Hong Kong Island, in Kowloon and the New Territories in phases. These stations, which are situated at convenient locations with heavier pedestrian flow but away from existing libraries, will provide round-the-clock library services such as borrowing, return, payment and pickup of reserved library materials.

Q.2: What services are available at Self-service Library Stations?

A.2: Self-service Library Stations provide round-the-clock library services including:

  • Keeping more than 300 library material items in stock for borrowing by library card holders;
  • Return of library materials checked out from any public library, with instant updating of loan records;
  • Pickup of reserved library materials; and
  • Payment of library fees and charges such as reservation fees and overdue fines with Octopus cards, with instant updating of payment records.

Q.3: Where are the three Self-service Library Stations located?

A.3: The three Self-service Library Stations are located at the sitting-out area of the Island East Sports Centre in the Eastern District, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in the Yau Tsim Mong District, and an outdoor area near Tai Wai MTR Station in the Sha Tin District respectively.

Q.4: Why are there only three Self-service Library Stations?

A.4: The Self-service Library Stations are operating on a trial basis at this stage. Three trial points were selected to collect data for analysis of public demand for the service and evaluation of the cost-effectiveness.

Q.5: Are services provided by Self-service Library Stations available to memebrs of the public who do not have a library card?

A.5: To borrow library materials, including those of the Self-service Library Stations, a library card issued by the HKPL is required. Members of the public who wish to apply for a library card may submit a completed application form at any branch of the HKPL with supporting documents. They may also apply for the use of their smart ID cards for library services. For details of the application for a library card and the use of smart ID cards for library services, please visit the HKPL website at www.hkpl.gov.hk.

Q.6: What is the status of the backup stocks that are not on display at Self-service Library Stations?

A.6: The status of the backup stocks that are not on display at Self-service Library Stations is “Closed Stack”.

Q.7: Why are patrons not allowed to reserve library materials of Self-service Library Stations or make requests for library materials that are not on display at the stations?

A.7: Self-service Library Stations mainly serve the purpose of on-the-spot borrowing. Since the operational mode of Self-service Library Stations is different from that of static and mobile libraries, not all library materials can be displayed due to the limited number of book slots. To ensure that all library material items are available for borrowing on the spot, the LCSD will adopt a flexible mechanism to rotate the library materials regularly, in the hope of providing diversified genres of books and maintaining a sense of novelty to attract patrons.

Q.8: What is a “station catalogue”? How is it different from the current library catalogue?

A.8: The “station catalogue” is a dedicated catalogue designed for Self-service Library Stations. Like the current library catalogue, the “station catalogue” allows patrons to conduct real-time search and browse library materials. On top of that, it provides more thorough information about the library materials, such as the shelving station, shelving tier, book slot number and status, as well as whether the return facilities are full, allowing patrons to learn about the latest status of the stations beforehand.

Q.9: How can the station catalogue be accessed?

A.9: Patrons may use the station catalogue at Self-service Library Stations. They may also visit the HKPL website or download the “My Library” app with their mobile devices for access to the catalogue.

Q.10: Please briefly describe the steps of borrowing library materials from Self-service Library Stations.

A.10: To borrow library materials from Self-service Library Stations, simply follow four steps: (1) select library materials from the book slots or the station catalogue; (2) log in the library account by using a library card or a Hong Kong ID Card registered for library services, and then enter the corresponding book slot number; (3) collect library materials from the check-out/return slot; (4) log out (if no other service(s) is/are required for use).

Q.11: What is the loan period of library materials borrowed from Self-service Library Stations?

A.11: Library materials of Self-service Library Stations can be borrowed for a period of 14 days, the same as all static libraries under the HKPL. Unless reservation has been made by another patron, each item can be renewed for up to five consecutive times.

Q.12: Can patrons select a Self-service Library Station as the pick-up location for reserved library materials?

A.12: Patrons may select a Self-service Library Station as the pick-up location for reserved library materials. Simply use a library card or a Hong Kong ID Card registered for library services to log in the account, then select ”pick up” service and collect reserved library materials at the check-out/return slot. Patrons may also pay reservation fees with their Octopus cards, and payment records will be updated instantly.

Q.13: If patrons select a Self-service Library Station as the pick-up location for reserved library materials, how long is the collection period?

A.13: The reservation service of Self-service Library Stations is the same as that of the HKPL. The collection period is 14 days at the stations.

Q.14: Can patrons pick up reserved library materials of any size or format, such as compact discs, at Self-service Library Stations?

A.14: Generally speaking, patrons may choose to pick up all types of reserved library materials at Self-service Library Stations. However, in view of limited slots and the limitation of the library system, if the library materials are too small, too large, too thick or come with two or more accompanying materials, arrangements will be made for patrons to pick up the library materials at an alternative location of their own choice.

Q.15: Please briefly describe the steps of returning library materials to Self-service Library Stations.

A.15: To return library materials to Self-service Library Stations, simply follow three steps: (1) select the “Return” function from the screen (2) follow instruction to return your book (3) continue for the next item or exit.

Q.16: Can patrons return library materials of any size or format, such as compact discs, to Self-service Library Stations?

A.16: Owing to restrictions imposed by the system design, patrons cannot return audio-visual library materials like audio cassettes and compact discs or oversize items which cannot be deposited into the checkout/return slot of Self-service Library Stations.

Q.17: How to know whether a library material is returned successfully?

A.17: After a library material is deposited into the check-out/return slot, details of that library material will be shown on the screen. If patrons return more than one item including accompanying materials, they have to deposit the items into the check-out/return slot one by one. The screen will show the updated information after each item is returned successfully. Upon completion, patrons may choose to print a receipt.

Q.18: I have tried to deposit the library materials into the check-out/return slot. Why is the return unsuccessful?

A.18: Self-service Library Stations can only accept the return of a single item including an accompanying material at a time. Patrons have to deposit the items one by one into the check-out/return slot when returning more than one library material. Besides, the items must be placed in the direction as instructed. If the instructions are not followed, Self-service Library Stations may not be able to read the barcode on the item.

Q.19: Can patrons return overdue library materials to Self-service Library Stations?

A.19: Patrons may return overdue library materials to Self-service Library Stations and pay overdue fines with their Octopus cards. Payment records will be updated instantly.

Q.20: If any library material borrowed from Self-service Library Stations is returned late, how is an overdue fine calculated?

A.20: Self-service Library Stations are open seven days a week including public holidays. If a borrower fails to return any loan item within 14 days upon which it was borrowed, an overdue fine will be incurred on all service days of the station, including public holidays.

Q.21: How much should a borrower pay per day for overdue library materials borrowed from Self-service Library Stations?

A.21: Lending services of Self-service Library Stations stay in line with those of the HKPL. An overdue fine is imposed on each loan item and accompanying library material returned late. The charge is $1.5 per item per day or part of a day for library materials/accompanying library materials of the adult library and $0.5 per item per day for library materials/accompanying library materials of the young adult library or children’s library.

Q.22: How to settle library fees and charges at Self-service Library Stations?

A.22: Patrons may settle library fees and charges at Self-service Library Stations. First, select “payment” on the screen and log in the library account. Then, the screen will show the item(s) and amount for payment. Patrons can select the item(s) to be paid and tap an Octopus card on the reader. When the transaction is completed, the amount paid and the Octopus balance will be shown on the screen and the receipt. Patron shall log out if other service(s) is/are not required.

Q.23: What can patrons do if their Octopus cards are wrongly charged?

A.23: Patrons may contact office of Self-service Library Stations for follow-up actions or visit any branch of the HKPL for refund.

Telephone No.: 2891 9355
Office Hours:
Monday to Saturday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed on Sunday and public holidays

Q.24: What are the opening hours of Self-service Library Stations?

A.24: Apart from a short suspension of services per day for the loading and unloading of library materials, all the Self-service Library Stations remain open to the public for the whole day.

Q.25: Are Self-service Library Stations open on public holidays?

A.25: Self-service Library Stations stay open on public holidays. Same as the opening hours of normal service days, all the stations remain open to the public for the whole day on public holidays, apart from a short suspension of services per day for the loading and unloading of library materials.

Q.26: Why is there a suspension period for each Self-service Library Station every day?

A.26: The daily operation and maintenance of Self-service Library Stations are handled by outsourced contractors. Contractors are arranged to load new library materials and collect returned library materials at the stations on a daily basis. Besides, less popular library materials will also be replaced regularly in order to offer more choices to the public. To handle such work, each Self-service Library Station has to suspend service for a short period of time.

Q.27: How can members of the public find out the suspension period of Self-service Library Stations?

A.27: Members of the public may read the notice posted at Self-service Library Stations. They may also visit the HKPL website or download the “My Library” mobile app with their mobile devices for details.

Q.28: Will Self-service Library Stations remain open when tropical cyclone warning signal no. 8 or above is in force?

A.28: Self-service Library Stations will suspend service when tropical cyclone warning signal no. 8 or above is in force.

Q.29: Will Self-service Library Stations resume service immediately after tropical cyclone warning signal no. 8 or above is cancelled or replaced by a lower signal?

A.29: If situation allows, Self-service Library Stations will resume service within two hours after tropical cyclone warning signal no. 8 or above is cancelled or replaced by a lower signal.

Q.30: Will Self-service Library Stations remain open when a rainstorm warning signal is in effect?

A.30: Self-service Library Stations will remain open when a rainstorm warning signal is in effect.

Q.31: Why are closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems installed at Self-service Library Stations?

A.31: For the sake of management and safety, the LCSD has installed/will install a closed-circuit television system with surveillance and recording functions at the Self-Service Library Stations, in accordance with the regulations drawn up by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data.

Q.32: What can members of the public do if they have difficulty in using Self-service Library Stations?

A.32: Members of the public may contact office of Self-service Library Stations during office hours or call “1823” during non-office hours for enquiries.

Contact details are as follows:
Telephone: 2891 9355 (office hours) or 1823 (non-office hours)
Fax: 2891 9566
Email: libstation@lcsd.gov.hk

(Office Hours:
Monday to Saturday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed on Sunday and public holidays)