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Hong Kong Public Libraries to be reopened from 29 September resuming normal opening hours

The Hong Kong Central Library (HKCL), six major libraries and 31 district libraries have been reopened earlier (17 Sep).  From 29 September, all other 32 small libraries and mobile libraries will resume service. All reopened public libraries and their students’ study rooms will resume normal opening hours. To help ensure public safety, libraries will continue to implement precautionary measures, including arrangement of cleaning sessions. Please refer to the Details.

With the resumption of book drop service, self-service library stations and reopening of all libraries with normal opening hours, counting of overdue fines shall be resumed from 19 October 2020. Readers are advised to return the overdue items in order not to incur overdue fines.

Latest arrangements on services of Hong Kong Public Libraries


15.05.2020

The services of public libraries will resume gradually. From 21 May, following the earlier re-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 partially reopened with limited services, offering lending and returning of library materials, and picking up of library materials reserved.

Library facilities to be opened include adult library, young adult library (only applicable to Hong Kong Central Library and Ping Shan Tin Shui Wai Public Library), children's library, partial workstations of the Computer and Information Centres (not applicable to Lai Chi Kok and Yau Ma Tei Public Library) and Internet and Digital Services workstations, and Students’ Study Rooms (not applicable to Hong Kong Central Library and City Hall Public Library). Other facilities in the library, including newspapers and periodicals area, reference library and hiring facilities, etc. will remain closed.

In the interest of public health, to avoid people gathering and to foster social distancing, the LCSD will adopt special measures at the library facilities to be reopened. Measures include implementation of special opening hours, admission by sessions, and limiting 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. The library will strengthen the cleaning and disinfection of the facilities in the library, ensure the normal operation of the ventilation system, maintain indoor air circulation, and arrange cleaning sessions during the opening period. Members of the public are advised to be considerate by wearing their own masks in the library. The LCSD will continue to review the situation and adjust relevant preventive measures as and when necessary.

Details of the library opening are as follows*:

 
Service Hours Sessions (each lasting about one hour)
Monday to Saturday:
1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.
3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
6:15 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
7:15 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Cleaning:
4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday and Public Holidays:
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.
2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Cleaning:
11:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
2:15 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

* Distribution of admission slips on a first-come, first-served basis. Admission slip for the 1st session of the day will be distributed 30 minutes in advance. Slips for the next session will be distributed at start of the current session also on first-come, first-served basis. Each slip admits one person only. Please contact the staff of respective library for details: Locate Libraries

Computer facilities

Reopened workstations in Computer Information Centre and Internet & Digital Service of the above libraries will be reduced. Patrons may make reservation by phone for use of computer workstation (except Internet and Digital Service Workstations of Hong Kong Central Library) on the current or next service day, during the special opening hours of the respective library (i.e. Monday to Saturday: 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Sunday and Public Holiday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). The sessions for use will be the same as the library opening sessions. Patrons may reserve one session per day on a first come, first served basis. The opening sessions of computer facilities will be the same as the 19 libraries above. Please refer to the attached list for the telephone numbers for making reservation.

Students’ Study Room

The students’ study room of the above 17 libraries will also arrange admission by sessions available on a first-come, first-served basis. Number of seats will be reduced about half to allow distancing in the seating arrangement. Details are as follows#:

Service Hours Sessions (each lasting about three hours)
Monday to Saturday:
1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Cleaning:
4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Sunday and Public Holidays:
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

9:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
1:15 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Cleaning:
12:45 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.

# Seats are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, no admission slip will be distributed.

Book drops and Self-service Library Stations

Book drop service of 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 have been resumed.

Renewals

With the resumption of book drop service, self-service library stations and reopening of the aforesaid libraries, the maximum number of renewal is resumed, up to five consecutive times except the borrowed item is already reserved by another reader.

Other public libraries and their students’ study room, and mobile libraries will continue to be temporarily closed until further notice. During the period, library programmes held in all venues will be cancelled. Overdue fines will not be generated for late return of library materials, due date of reservation pick up will be extended accordingly. The following online services will continue to be provided: 

1. Library Catalogue
2. Borrowers' Record Enquiry
3. Reservation of Library Materials
4. Internet and Telephone Renewal
5. Library mobile app services (‘My Library')
6. Electronic Resources (including e-books and online databases)
     - Content Highlights
     - Good Reads@e-Reading
     - Special Arrangement : some e-Databases are available from library to remote access for a limited period
7. Take a Break - eReading Corner
8. 4·23 World Book Day Creative Competition in 2020 – Winning Entries of "Growing Up with Reading"

Will book drop service be resumed in all libraries?

The book drop service of all Hong Kong public libraries has been resumed on 6 May. During the period when public libraries are temporarily suspended, the book drop service is available 24 hours or during the opening hours of the premises where it is located. Please refer to the attached timetable. The concerned loan record will be updated within 48 hours. In addition, the book drop service at MTR Central, Kowloon Tong and Nam Cheong stations has also resumed on the same day.

What kind of services will be resumed at self-service library stations?

Self-service library stations will resume round-the-clock library services from 6 May to provide borrowing, return, payment and pickup of reserved library materials.

If the borrowed library materials were overdue and cannot be renewed, due to reservation made by other readers or the renewal limit being reached, while most of the public libraries have not yet resumed services, what should readers do? Can the overdue fines be waived?

From 6 May, readers may return library materials to library book drops, self-service library stations or the re-opened libraries. During the period of service suspension of public libraries, overdue fines will not be incurred.

Since overdue fines will not be incurred during the period of service suspension, why overdue notices were sent to remind readers of the overdue items and overdue fines?

Library notices were issued by the library system automatically according to the loan records of readers in the system. Nevertheless, no overdue fines will be incurred during the period of service suspension.

With the reopening of the Hong Kong Central Library, six major libraries and other 12 district libraries offering limited services, will pick-up service of reserved library materials be resumed at these libraries?

The Hong Kong Central Library and six major libraries have been reopened on 6 May and the other 12 district libraries will also be re-opened on 21 May to provide lending services to public. Readers may collect their reserved items in person at the aforesaid libraries that have been selected for pick-up. If the notification was sent to readers before service suspension of these libraries, the pick-up expiry date of reserved items at the Hong Kong Central Library and six major libraries has been further extended for fourteen days from 6 May and the pick-up expiry date for the other 12 district libraries will be further extended for fourteen days starting from 21 May. Readers can check the revised expiry date by login to their online patron accounts or through “My Library” mobile app.

What should readers do if their selected pick-up location of the reserved items continue to be temporarily closed?

The pick-up expiry date of reserved items will be extended through the library system during the period of service suspension of public libraries that are still under temporary closure. Readers can check the revised expiry date by login to their online patron accounts or through “My Library” mobile app. Readers can also contact the library selected as the pick-up location for enquiries.

Will all computer facilities in library be resumed?

In the interest of public health, to avoid people gathering and to foster social distancing, the number of the workstations in Computer Information Centers and Internet & Digital Service Workstations (except Kids’ Internet and Digital Service Workstations) provided in the 19 libraries will be reduced. Patrons can make reservations by telephone in advance to use the workstations (not applicable to Internet & Digital Service Workstations of Hong Kong Central Library) on the current or the next service day. The session for use will be the same as the library opening session (about one hour). Each patron may reserve one session per day, on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservation will be closed 15 minutes before each session. Please refer to the attached list for the telephone booking numbers.

Will patrons who have reserved for use of computer facilities be required to get the library admission slip for entry?

Patron who has reserved for use of the computer facilities are requested to arrive at the library entrance 10 minutes before the reserved session and produce registration details to the staff at library entrance for identification before entry to the library. Unclaimed booking will be cancelled after 10 minutes when the session starts. Patrons are subject to body temperature checks before admission. Children aged under 12 are allowed to enter the library only when accompanied by an adult.

Why reservation service is not available for Internet & Digital Service Workstations of Hong Kong Central Library?

There are relatively more Internet & Digital Service Workstations, available on almost all opened floors in the Hong Kong Central Library for use by patrons who have been admitted to the Library on a first come, first served basis.

Is the Application for Students’ Study Room Admission Card arrangement still valid?

Application for Students’ Study Room Admission Card during 6 January to 4 February applicable to 1 March to 7 May 2020 will be cancelled. Submitted applications will be destroyed.