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Central Reference Library

Located on the 8/F and 9/F of the Hong Kong Central Library, the Central Reference Library is the main information and self-learning centre of the Hong Kong Public Libraries System, providing a wide range of reference collections and information services with a view to satisfying the information and lifelong learning needs of the community of the Hong Kong SAR.

Whilst the Central Reference Library plays a central coordinating role in the reference services delivered by the Hong Kong Public Libraries, its service is further complemented by a range of special libraries, including the Arts Resource Centre, Hong Kong Literature Room, Map Library, Basic Law Library, Creativity and Innovation Resource Centre etc.

Collections And Services

Subject Departments

For the benefit of developing specialized collections and information services commensurate with the diversified and changing needs of the metropolis of Hong Kong, the Central Reference Library is divided into 6 subject departments of Hong Kong Studies (8/F), General Reference (8/F), Business & Finance (9/F), Social Sciences (9/F), Humanities (9/F) and Science & Technology (9/F). Together, the 6 subject departments offer an extensive array of print and non-print reference resources to satisfy your reference and learning needs. The collection now totals over 1 million items, one-third of which are displayed on open shelves. Materials held in closed stack are available on request at Reference and Information Service Counters.

Special Collections

The Central Reference Library hosts a number of special collections, including the Hong Kong Collection, the Hong Kong Oral History Collection, the Hong Kong Exchanges Collection, the Hong Kong Metropolitan University Course Materials Collection, the Hok Hoi Collection of Chinese Classics, the Kotewall Collection, the Royal Asiatic Society (Hong Kong Branch) Collection and 9 Depository Collections of International Organizations . These collections provide invaluable tools for research, many of which are not available for public access elsewhere in Hong Kong.


About 170 computer workstations provide free and one-stop access to the library catalogue, CD-ROMs, the Multimedia Information System and the Internet. Many e-databases, e-journals and about 180,000 e-books subscribed by the Library are available through the computer workstations and the cyberspace is virtually at your fingertips.

Reference and Information Enquiries Services

Providing assistance to individual users in their search for information is the primary function of the Central Reference Library. Professional librarians are on duty at service counters throughout library opening hours to assist in your information searches or to acquaint you with our library resources and develop your information and search skills.

Remote enquiry service is accessible via telephone, fax, mail, e-mail and Online Enquiry Form .

User Education Programmes

Professional librarians are also ready to help users acquire search skills and learn more about library resources. Weekly sessions are organized to introduce electronic information resources and search tips on a wide range of thematic topics. Please click here to view the User Education Programmes on Electronic Resources .

Online Catalogue

Members of public are welcome to search the Library Catalogue for any specific titles and relevant topics.

Location & Opening Hours

The Central Reference Library is located at:
8-9/F, Hong Kong Central Library
66 Causeway Road,
Causeway Bay,
Hong Kong.

For reference and information enquiries, please contact us at:
Tel: (852) 2921 0222
Fax: (852) 2881 5500

Online Enquiry Form

Opening Hours