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Partial reopening of Public Libraries from 19 February

From 19 February 2021, the Hong Kong Central Library, six major and 31 district libraries reopened their adult library, young adult library, children's library; and offer lending and returning of library materials and collection of reserved items. The libraries implement special opening hours, limit the number of people entering the library and adopt other precautionary measures (including users are required to scan the "LeaveHomeSafe" QR code or register their names, contact number and the date and time of the visit before admission). Please refer to the library notice on the Details.

Book drops of the Hong Kong Public Libraries and self-service library stations will continue to provide service.

Calculation of overdue fines will be resumed from 5 March for all library items borrowed before the reopening of public libraries and not returned or successfully renewed before 5 March, except those borrowed from the mobile libraries. Readers are advised to return the overdue items in order not to incur overdue fines.

Latest arrangements on services of Hong Kong Public Libraries


16.02.2021

In view of the latest situation of COVID-19, the services of public libraries will resume gradually. From February 19, the Hong Kong Central Library, six major libraries and 31 district libraries will be partially reopened to provide lending and returning of library materials and picking up of library materials reserved.

Libraries to be reopened

  • Hong Kong Central Library
  • Six major libraries (namely City Hall, Kowloon, Tsuen Wan, Sha Tin, Tuen Mun and Ping Shan Tin Shui Wai Public Library)
  • 31 district libraries (namely Aberdeen, Chai Wan, Cheung Chau, Fa Yuen Street, Fanling, Lai Chi Kok, Lam Tin, Lockhart Road, Ma On Shan, Ngau Chi Wan, Ngau Tau Kok, North Kwai Chung, North Point, Po On Road, Quarry Bay, San Po Kong, Sai Kung, Shek Tong Tsui, Sheung Shui, Shui Wo Street, South Kwai Chung, Tai Hing, Tai Po, Tiu Keng Leng, To Kwa Wan, Tseung Kwan O, Tsing Yi, Tung Chung, Yau Ma Tei, Yuen Chau Kok and Yuen Long Public Library)

Facilities to be opened

Adult library, young adult library (only applicable to Hong Kong Central Library and Ping Shan Tin Shui Wai Public Library) and children's library. Other facilities in the library, including newspapers and periodicals area, students’ study room, computer facilities and hiring facilities, etc. will remain closed. The Toy Library and Children’s Multimedia Room of the Hong Kong Central Library the Kid’s Internet & Digital Service workstations at other public libraries will remain closed.The Toy Library and Children’s Multimedia Room of the Hong Kong Central Library will remain closed.

Special Measures

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 implementing special opening hours, limiting the number of people entering the library. Members of the public need to use hand sanitiser and will be subject to body temperature checks before admission. They also need to wear their own masks in the library. Children aged under 12 are allowed to enter the library and use library facilities and services only when accompanied by an adult. Cleaning sessions will be arranged during the opening hours. 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.

"LeaveHomeSafe" QR codes are displayed at library entrance and inside library for patrons to scan and record their visit. Users of public libraries are required to scan the "LeaveHomeSafe" QR code or register their names, contact number and the date and time of the visit before being allowed to enter the libraries, for necessary contact tracing if a confirmed case is found. Appeals are made to members of the public to download and install the "LeaveHomeSafe" mobile app in advance and scan the QR code with the app before entering in order to keep a more precise record of their whereabouts, minimising the risk of further transmission of the virus. (Details)

Special opening hours

The above-mentioned libraries will implement special opening hours (see table below). Please contact the staff of respective library for details: Locate Libraries

Service Hours Sessions
Monday to Saturday:
1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
5:00 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 12:30 p.m.
1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Cleaning*:
12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

* Readers are required to leave the library during the cleaning session

The LCSD will pay close attention to the latest development of the pandemic and review or revise the above reopening arrangements in due course, and adjust relevant preventive measures as and when necessary.

Renewals and Overdue Fine

The maximum number of renewal maintains to be five consecutive times except for item which is reserved by another reader. With the reopening of the Hong Kong Central Library, six major libraries and 31 district libraries, the calculation of overdue fines will be resumed on 5 March 2021, except for mobile libraries. Overdue fines will be charged on library items borrowed before the reopening of public libraries and not returned or successfully renewed before 5 March, including those borrowed from the small libraries. Patrons are advised to return their overdue items as soon as possible to avoid incurring overdue fines.

Admission arrangements and applications for Students’ Study Room admission cards during examination season

The opening hours of the Hong Kong Public Libraries (HKPL) students' study rooms (SSR) will be extended during the examination period from March 1 to May 31.* The number of seats in SSR will be adjusted to about half to control the number of users. People who intend to use the SSR service during this examination period can apply for admission cards by post from February 10. The deadline for application is February 27, with the postmark date on the envelope taken as the application date. Please refer to Notes on Application for Students’ Study Room Admission Card or contact individual libraries for the SSR service for details. List of the reopened SSR is attached here.

From February 19, application forms and notes on applications will be available at the reopen public libraries provided with SSR. Applicants can submit the completed application forms in person to the reopened library where the selected SSR is located on or before the application deadline. 

* The HKPL may change and alter the opening hours or admission arrangement of SSR in response to public health concerns or other special circumstances when necessary. Please note the latest announcements of the HKPL.

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 will continue to maintain service.

Other Services

Other public libraries and mobile libraries will continue to be temporarily closed until further notice. 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 Highlight
        - Good Reads@e-Reading
        - Special Arrangement : some e-Databases are available from library to remote access for a limited period
  7. LCSD Edutainment Channel
        - Online Reading and Library Activities
        - Storytelling 101

 

With the reopening of some libraries, will book drop service be changed?
During the period when the public library services are not fully resumed, 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. Readers can return all borrowed library materials, including non-print materials such as cassette or CD, through the book drop. The concerned loan record will be updated within 48 hours.

What kind of services will be provided at self-service library stations?
Self-service library stations have resumed round-the-clock library services from 2 September to provide borrowing, return, payment and pickup of reserved library materials.

How to return borrowed library materials which cannot be renewed? Will overdue fines be incurred for overdue items?
Readers can return borrowed items through library book drops (including the book drops located at MTR Central, Kowloon Tong and Nam Cheong) and self-service library stations. With the reopening of the Hong Kong Central Library, six major libraries and 31 district libraries, the calculation of overdue fines will be resumed on 5 March 2021, except for mobile libraries. Overdue fines will be charged on library items borrowed before the reopening of public libraries and not returned or successfully renewed before 5 March, including those borrowed from the small libraries. Patrons are advised to return their overdue items as soon as possible to avoid incurring overdue fines.

Why overdue notices were still sent to remind readers of the overdue items and overdue fines if overdue fines will not be incurred during the period of service suspension?
During the temporary closure of all libraries earlier, library notices will only be sent to patrons who have registered for the Library Email Notification Service reminding them to return the overdue items.  With the reopening of the Hong Kong Central Library, six major libraries and 31 district libraries from 19 February, the calculation of overdue fines will be resumed on 5 March 2021, except for mobile libraries. Patrons with overdue library materials in hand will be receiving library notice. Overdue fines will be charged on library items borrowed before the reopening of public libraries and not returned or successfully renewed before 5 March, including those borrowed from the small libraries. Patrons are advised to return their overdue items as soon as possible to avoid incurring overdue fines.

With the reopening of the Hong Kong Central Library, six major libraries and 31 district libraries offering limited services, will pick-up service of reserved library materials be resumed at these libraries?
The Hong Kong Central Library, six major libraries and 31 district libraries will be reopened on February 19 to provide lending and returning of library materials and picking up of library materials reserved. Readers may collect their reserved items in person at the aforesaid libraries. The pick-up expiry date will be extended for 14 days from the date of reopening. 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?
The pick-up expiry date of reserved items at public libraries that are still under temporary closure will be extended until further notice. 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.

Why computer facilities and newspaper and periodicals reading service are not resumed?
In the interest of public health, to avoid people gathering and to foster social distancing, the reopened libraries will only be partially reopened with limited services, including 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) and children's library. Other facilities in the library, including newspapers and periodicals area, computer facilities and hiring facilities, etc. will remain closed. The LCSD will pay close attention to the latest development of the pandemic, and review or revise the above reopening arrangements in due course.

Why patrons are required to use "LeaveHomeSafe" app for admission to public libraries? Are patrons without smart phones not allowed to use the public libraries?
Users of public libraries are required to scan the "LeaveHomeSafe" QR code or register their names, contact number and the date and time of the visit for necessary contact tracing if a confirmed case is found. 

Will the "LeaveHomeSafe" mobile app position its users and collect personal data in users’ mobile phone?
The "LeaveHomeSafe" mobile app will not use positioning services or any other data of the users' mobile phones. Venue check-in data will be encrypted and saved on users' devices only. Such data will not be uploaded to the Government or any other systems. Please call 1823 for any enquiry.

During the period when some libraries are closed, how to contact library staff for enquiries about library services?

Readers can forward enquiries, comments, suggestions or complaints by:

  • Calling the HKPL Customer Hotline: 2921 0208 *#
  • Email: enquiries@lcsd.gov.hk *
  • Calling "1823": 1823 #

* Customer Hotline and email are handled by the "1823" of the Government. Agents of the "1823" will handle your enquiries or complaints as soon as possible or forward the case to concerned library staff to follow up.

# When calling the HKPL Customer Hotline or “1823”, you can choose to use Cantonese, Putonghua or English to make your enquiries or complaints. If the line is busy, you may leave your message with the phone recorder and agents of "1823" will call back as soon as possible.

Readers may also call the library staff for enquiries, please click here for contact information of branch libraries or download it here (PDF or Word ). The arrangement will be reviewed in a timely manner subject to the latest situation.