Latest arrangements on services of Hong Kong Public Libraries
In view of the latest situation of COVID-19, the service of public libraries is resuming gradually. From 3 April, following the early partial reopening of the Hong Kong Central Library (HKCL), six major libraries and 31 district libraries, 32 small public libraries will be reopened. Reference library, partial computer facilities and newspapers and periodicals services of the above libraries will also be resumed.
Adult library, young adult library (only applicable to HKCL and Ping Shan Tin Shui Wai Public Library), children's library, newspapers and periodicals area, reference library (only applicable to the HKCL and six major libraries), students’ study room, discussion room and music practice room, as well as partial computer facilities such as workstations of Internet & Digital Service and Computer and Information Centre/Area, if any, of the above libraries would be reopened. The Toy Library and Children’s Multimedia Room of the HKCL, and the Kid’s Internet & Digital Service workstations at public libraries 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 (including students’ study room) when reopen. 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, and maintain indoor air circulation.
"LeaveHomeSafe" QR codes are displayed at entrance of library and students’ study room for patrons to scan and record their visit. Users 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 and students’ study rooms, with the aim to tie in the Government's anti-epidemic efforts to facilitate necessary contact tracing if a confirmed case is found. For user who opts for registering his / her personal information for entering the venue, the venue staff will immediately call the contact number provided to verify the authenticity of information. 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)
All libraries will implement special opening hours. From 7 April, the HKCL and six major libraries will resume normal opening hours with arrangement of cleaning session. Please refer to the attached list, or contact the staff of respective library for details: Locate Libraries
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. Starting from 5 March 2021, the calculation of overdue fines has been resumed for all libraries, except mobile libraries; and overdue charges will also be levied on the closing days of any individual library. Patrons are advised to renew or return their borrowed items on time to avoid incurring overdue fines.
Reopened workstations of Internet & Digital Service and Computer and Information Centre/Area, if any, 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. Patrons may reserve a maximum of two sessions per day during the library opening hours, on a first-come, first-served basis. The duration of each session is one hour. The Kid’s Internet & Digital Service workstations will remain closed. Please refer to the attached list for the telephone numbers for making reservation.
Students’ Study Room
The Hong Kong Public Libraries (HKPL) students' study rooms (SSR) would extend opening hours during the examination period from 1 March to 31 May. The number of seats in SSR would be adjusted to about half to control the number of users. Seat priority would be given to users with admission card from 15 March to 20 May (Details). List of the reopened SSR is attached here.
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 HKPL (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.
Mobile libraries will continue to be temporarily closed until further notice. Public libraries will also plan to resume some library programmes with implementation of enhanced precautionary measures. The following online services will continue to be provided:
- Library Catalogue
- Borrowers' Record Enquiry
- Reservation of Library Materials
- Internet and Telephone Renewal
- Library mobile app services (‘My Library’)
- 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
- LCSD Edutainment Channel
- Online Reading and Library Activities
- Storytelling 101
With the reopening of all static libraries, will book drop service be changed?
The book drop service remains 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 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 and to all reopened libraries. The calculation of overdue fines has been resumed for all libraries from 5 March 2021, except mobile libraries; and overdue charges will also be levied on the closing days of any individual library. Patrons are advised to renewal or return their borrowed items on time to avoid incurring overdue fines.
With the reopening of the Hong Kong Central Library (HKCL), six major libraries, 31 district libraries and 32 small libraries offering limited services, will pick-up service of reserved library materials be resumed at these libraries?
The HKCL, six major libraries and 31 district libraries have been partially reopened earlier, the remaining 32 small libraries will resume service from 3 April to provide picking up of library materials reserved. Readers may collect their reserved items in person at the aforesaid libraries. The pick-up expiry date of reserved items to be collected at the reopened small libraries 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 is a mobile library stop which continues to be temporarily closed?
The pick-up expiry date of reserved items to be collected at mobile library stops 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.
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 and Information Centre/Area and Internet & Digital Service Workstations reopened 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. Each patron may reserve a maximum of two sessions per day during the library opening hours, on a first-come, first-served basis. The duration of each session is one hour. The Kid’s Internet & Digital Service workstations will remain closed.
Why reservation service is not available for Internet & Digital Service Workstations of HKCL?
There are relatively more Internet & Digital Service Workstations, available on almost all opened floors in the HKCL for use by patrons who have been admitted to the Library on a first come, first served basis.
Why patrons are required to use "LeaveHomeSafe" app for admission to public libraries and students’ study room? Are patrons without smart phones not allowed to use the library services?
To tie in the government's epidemic preventive measures, users of public libraries and students’ study room 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. For user who opts for registering his / her personal information for entering the venue, the venue staff will immediately call the contact number provided to verify the authenticity of information.
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: email@example.com *
- 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.