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Maintenance of Library System

All Hong Kong Public Libraries will close at 5 p.m. on 24 January 2020 (Chinese New Year's Eve) and will close whole day from 25 to 27 January 2020, while all online services and Self-service Library Station services will also be suspended from 6:00 p.m. on 24 January 2020 to 11:59 p.m. on 27 January 2020 for maintenance work of the library system . 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.