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Hong Kong Public Libraries has resumed normal opening hours with precautionary measures continued to avoid gathering and foster social distancing. Please refer to the Details.

Latest arrangements on services of Hong Kong Public Libraries


17.04.2021

In view of the latest situation of COVID-19, the Hong Kong Central Library (HKCL) and six major libraries have earlier resumed normal opening hours, the remaining public libraries will resume normal opening hours on 19 April (Monday), mobile libraries (except mobile library van or service points that are currently undergoing maintenance work) will also resume services on the same day.  Children’s facilities including the Kid’s Internet & Digital Service workstations, the Toy Library and Children’s Multimedia Room of the HKCL, and Coffee Corner will remain closed until further notice. For opening hours of individual public libraries and mobile stops, please refer to Locate Libraries

 

Special Measures

In the interest of public health, to avoid people gathering and to foster social distancing, the LCSD will continue to adopt special measures at the library facilities. Measures include 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 to use library facilities and services, and participate in extension activities, only when accompanied by an adult. The library will strengthen the cleaning and disinfection of the facilities in the library, in order to 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)

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 3 May, the calculation of overdue fines for library materials borrowed at mobile libraries will also be resumed. Except mobile libraries, overdue charges will also be levied on the closing days of any individual library.  Patrons are advised to renew their borrowed items on time or return the overdue items as soon as possible to avoid incurring overdue fines.

Computer facilities

About half of the workstations of Internet & Digital Service and Computer and Information Centre/Area, if any, of the libraries have been reopened earlier for booking. The booking arrangement for computer facilities will be resumed to normal. Patrons will be able to make reservation through the 24 hours online booking system (for Internet & Digital Services workstations only), by telephone or in person during library opening hours, for use of computer workstations 7 days in advance.  Each patron may reserve a maximum of two sessions per day during the library opening hours, on a first-come, first-served basis. 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

Following the resumption of normal opening hours of all public libraries from 19 April, book drop service of HKPL will resume to its normal operation and remain closed during library opening hours. MTR book drop service (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

Public libraries will also plan to resume library programmes with implementation of enhanced precautionary measures. 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
    7. LCSD Edutainment Channel
          - Appreciation of Literature 101 
          - Online Reading and Library Activities
          - Storytelling 101

 

With the resumption of normal opening hours of all public libraries, will book drop service be changed?
Subsequent to the resumption of normal opening hours of all public libraries from 19 April, all book drops will resume to the normal operation and remain closed during library opening hours. Loan records of items returned through book drops, including non-print material such as cassette or CD, will be updated on the next opening day.

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 to all re-opened public libraries, or through library book drops (including the book drops located at MTR Central, Kowloon Tong and Nam Cheong) and self-service library stations.  Following the resumption of services of mobile libraries, calculation of overdue fines will be resumed with effect from 3 May, for library materials borrowed at mobile libraries. Except mobile libraries, overdue charges will also be levied on the closing days of any individual library. Patrons are advised to renew their borrowed items on time or return the overdue items as soon as possible to avoid incurring overdue fines.

Will pick-up service of reserved library materials be resumed in all mobile libraries?
With the resumption of mobile library services (except service points that are currently undergoing maintenance work) on 19 April, reader may collect their reserved items in person at designated mobile library stops. The pick-up expiry date of reserved items to be collected at the reopened mobile libraries will be extended for 21 days, while for items to be collected at service points 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.

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 have been adjusted to about half for booking. The booking arrangement for computer facilities will be resumed to normal. Patrons will be able to make reservation through the 24 hours online booking system (for Internet & Digital Services workstations only), by telephone or in person during library opening hours, for use of computer workstations 7 days in advance. Each patron may reserve a maximum of two sessions per day during the library opening hours, on a first-come, first-served basis. The Kid’s Internet & Digital Service workstations will remain closed.

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.