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Latest arrangements on services of Hong Kong Public Libraries

In view of the latest situation of COVID-19, the Hong Kong Public Libraries will adopt enhanced precautionary measures. While opening hours of the libraries have resumed normal and the current admission arrangement maintained, the cleaning sessions remain and seating will be reduced for social distancing. Please refer to the library notice on the special arrangements details.

As the book drop service, self-service library stations and all public libraries have resumed normal opening hours from 7 July, counting of overdue fines shall be resumed from 20 July 2020. Readers are advised to timely renew or return the library materials in order not to incur overdue fines.

Latest arrangements on services of Hong Kong Public Libraries


17.06.2020

The service of public libraries is resuming gradually. Except Lek Yuen Public Library, starting from 22 June 2020, following the earlier reopening of the Hong Kong Central Library (HKCL), six major libraries and 31 district libraries, 31 small libraries (namely Ap Lei Chau, Butterfly Estate, Electric Road, Fanling South, Fu Shan, Hung Hom, Kowloon City, Lei Yue Mun, Lok Fu, Lung Hing, Mui Wo, North Lamma, Peng Chau, Pok Fu Lam, Sau Mau Ping, Sha Tau Kok, Shek Kip Mei, Shek Wai Kok, Shun Lee Estate, Siu Sai Wan, Smithfield, Stanley, South Lamma, Tai Kok Tsui, Tai O, Tin Shui Wai North, Tsim Sha Tsui, Tsz Wan Shan, Un Chau Street, Wong Nai Chung and Yiu Tung Public Library) will be reopened, except for Fanling South, Peng Chau, South Lamma, Tai O and Tin Shui Wai North Public Libraries with closing day falling on Monday, they will be reopened on 23 June 2020. All mobile libraries will also resume service on 29 June 2020.

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 Toy Library and Children’s Multimedia Room of the HKCL, the Kid’s Internet & Digital Service workstations at other public libraries will remain closed.

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
Please refer to the attached list: All Libraries / Small Libraries. For enquiries, please contact the staff of respective library: 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 HKCL) on the current or next service day, during the special opening hours of the respective library. 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 Kid’s Internet & Digital Service workstations will remain closed. The opening sessions of computer facilities will be the same as the libraries. Please refer to the attached list for the telephone numbers for making reservation.

Students’ Study Room
All students’ study room of the reopened 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. Please refer to the attached list of the reopened students’ study room and sessional arrangement.

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) has been resumed for the return of library materials. 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 also been reopened.

Renewals and Return of Borrowed Library Materials
The maximum number of renewal is resumed, up to five consecutive times except the borrowed item is already reserved by another reader.

As all book drops, self-service library stations and most public libraries have resumed or reopened, counting of overdue fines shall be resumed from 20 July 2020. Readers can return the overdue items through the above channels.

Lek Yuen Public Library will continue to be temporarily closed until further notice. During the period, library programmes held in all venues will be cancelled.

 

Has book drop service been 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 the bookdrop 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 has been resumed at self-service library stations?
Self-service library stations will resume round-the-clock library services to provide borrowing, return, payment and pickup of reserved library materials.

If the borrowed library materials have been overdue and cannot be renewed, while 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. As all book drop service, self-service library stations and most public libraries have resumed or reopened, counting of overdue fines shall be resumed from 20 July 2020. Readers can return the overdue items through the above channels.

Since overdue fines will not be incurred during the period of service suspension, why overdue notices were still sent to remind readers of the overdue items and overdue fines?
Currently, library notices will only be sent to patrons who have registered for the Library Email Notification Service reminding them to return the overdue items so that other patrons could have an opportunity to borrow these items. No overdue fines will be incurred during the period of service suspension. As all book drop service, self-service library stations and most public libraries have resumed or reopened, counting of overdue fines shall be resumed from 20 July 2020. Readers can return the overdue items through the above channels.

Will pick-up service of reserved library materials be resumed in all libraries?
Except Lek Yuen Public Library, all public libraries are reopened to provide lending services to public. Readers may collect their reserved items in person at the aforesaid opened libraries that have been selected for pick-up. The pick-up expiry date for the small libraries is also further extended for fourteen days starting from 22 June accordingly. 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 continues to be temporarily closed?
In addition to the central library, 6 major libraries and 31 district libraries that have been reopened earlier, the remaining small libraries except Lek Yuen Public Library will reopen on 22 June. 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 provided in the reopened libraries will be reduced. Patrons can make reservations by telephone in advance to use the workstations (not applicable to Internet & Digital Service Workstations of HKCL) on the current or the next service day. The session for use will be the same as the library opening session. 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. The children's Internet and multimedia services will remain suspended.

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