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Latest arrangement on services of Hong Kong Public Libraries

In view of the latest situation of COVID-19, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) will adopt further measures to maintain social distancing. From 2 December (Wednesday), the Hong Kong Central Library, six major libraries and 31 district libraries with their Students’ Study Room will implement special opening hours to provide limited services including lending and returning of library materials and picking up reserved library materials. 32 small libraries and mobile libraries will be temporarily closed until further notice. Book drop service of the 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 provide services. During the period, public libraries will maintain the precautionary measures which include limiting the number of people entering the library and arranging cleaning break between sessions. Other library facilities including newspapers and periodicals areas, Computer and Information Centres, computer facilities, as well as hiring facilities, will be closed. Please refer to the Details.

Overview

Want to find different types of reference materials for self-study or researches? The Hong Kong Public Libraries has a wide range of reference collections and established special collections in different themes. You may find what you need from the following reference collections and tools.

Depository Collections

Deposited collections of 9 international organizations including the United Nations.

Special Collections

Mainly Hong Kong related materials and of some other subjects. The materials include collections of the Hong Kong Public Libraries, collections deposited from the Hok Hoi Library, the Royal Asiatic Society (Hong Kong Branch) and donated by the family of Sir Robert Kotewall.

Resources Highlights

Highlights of selected library resources on specific topics.

Digital Collection

Collections of digitised images and audio-visual recordings provided in the HKPL Multimedia Information System (MMIS).

Old HK Newspapers

Digitised collection of selective major old Hong Kong Newspapers published from early Hong Kong to nowadays.

Please refer to the links of specific collections for details. You may also find the information you need in the Library Catalogue.

Lending of Reference Books under Special Circumstances

To facilitate users’ access to up-to-date information during library opening hours, reference collections are generally to be used in libraries only. However, users who are unable to visit libraries due to special reasons such as mobility difficulties, physical disabilities, chronic illnesses or prolonged hospitalisation may apply for borrowing some of the reference books(1) from the Hong Kong Central Library and six major libraries(2). Applications will be considered, taking into account applicants’ special circumstances. For details, please contact the Hong Kong Central Library and six major libraries. The application form can be downloaded here.

Notes:

(1) The lending of reference books under special circumstances does not apply to the following reference materials of the Hong Kong Central Library and six major libraries:
a) audio-visual materials; g) materials with a high usage;
b) collections with lending copies; h) the only copy in the library system;
c) depository and special collections; i) out-of-print materials;
d) donations; j) quick reference materials; and
e) flimsy/loose-leaf materials and other formats that are not suitable for loan; k) rare materials.
f) materials for in-house use only as stated by the author or publisher;    
(2) City Hall Public Library, Kowloon Public Library, Ping Shan Tin Shui Wai Public Library, Sha Tin Public Library, Tsuen Wan Public Library and Tuen Mun Public Library.

Reference Materials Inter-branch Transfer Service

Readers who are unable to visit the home library(1) of the reference materials they require may apply for Inter-branch Transfer Service, through which some reference materials(2) may be temporarily transferred from the home library to the library (Hong Kong Central Library, a major library or a district library) where the application is made. The duly completed application form should be returned to the handling library where the reference materials are to be consulted. All reference materials transferred through this service are for use in the library only. For details, please contact the handling library. The application form can be downloaded here.

Notes:

(1) Hong Kong Central Library, City Hall Public Library, Kowloon Public Library, Ping Shan Tin Shui Wai Public Library, Sha Tin Public Library, Tsuen Wan Public Library or Tuen Mun Public Library.
(2) Inter-branch Transfer Service does not apply to the following reference materials of the Hong Kong Central Library and six major libraries:
a) audio-visual materials; e) materials with a high usage;
b) collections with lending copies; f) microforms;
c) depository and special collections; g) quick reference materials; and
d) flimsy/loose-leaf materials and other formats that are not suitable for transfer, such as newspapers and periodicals; h) rare materials.