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Latest arrangements on services of Hong Kong Public Libraries


The services of public libraries will resume gradually. From 6 May, 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) will be partially reopened with limited services. 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) and children's library. Limited services including lending and returning of library materials, and picking up of library materials reserved will be provided. Other facilities in the library, including newspapers and periodicals area, reference library, computer and information centre and all computer facilities, students’ study room and hiring facilities 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 (each lasting about one hour), and limiting the number of people entering the library by distribution of admission slips on a first-come, first-served basis. 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
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.

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.

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

*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. First-come-first-served. Each slip admits one person only. Please contact the staff of respective library for details: Locate Libraries

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 will resume on the same day. With the resumption of book drop service, self-service library stations and reopening of the aforesaid libraries, the maximum number of renewal will resume for 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 [Life Moments in Times of Epidemic / The Cloud Era]
     - 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 will be 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 find 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 will also be 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 such as 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. However, no overdue fines will be incurred during the period of service suspension.

With the reopening of the Hong Kong Central Library and six major libraries from 6 May offering limited services, will pick-up service of reserved library materials be resumed at these libraries?

The seven libraries will reopen to provide lending services to public from 6 May. Readers may also 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 will be further extended for fourteen days. 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.