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Special Notice

In view of the latest situation of COVID-19, library facilities including Hong Kong Central Library and the six major libraries (City Hall, Kowloon, Tsuen Wan, Sha Tin, Tuen Mun and Ping Shan Tin Shui Wai Public Library) reopened earlier this month will be temporarily closed starting from March 23 (Monday). Other public libraries and their Students’ Study Room, Mobile Libraries will continue to be temporarily closed until further notice. All book drop services of the Hong Kong Public Libraries and those located at three MTR stations as well as the self-service library stations at Island East Sports Centre Sitting-out Area, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and Tsuen Nam Road, Tai Wai will also suspend services. During the period, public libraries will continue to provide online services such as e-Books and e-Databases. Overdue fines will not be generated for late return of library materials, due date of reservation pick up will be extended and the maximum number of renewal will be increased accordingly. Please refer to the Details.


  1. Principles of Acquisition

    In respect of acquisition of library materials, the HKPL will no longer set a compulsory indicator for the quantity of library materials to be acquired each year. Instead, per capita collection will gradually increase to a quantity comparable to that as recommended by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), i.e. 2 to 3 items. The library materials acquired each year should comprise an appropriate mix of print, audiovisual and electronic resources in order to keep up with the emerging trends in information provision and usage patterns of library materials. In building and updating the library stock, the quantity of library materials to be acquired will be governed by the following principles:-

    • the number, types and stock requirements of the libraries (including the needs of new and reprovisioned libraries);
    • usage rates of library materials and changes in reading habits;
    • publication and supply of different library materials (including e-books);
    • financial resources of the Department, prices of library materials and exchange rate fluctuations;
    • capacity for processing and storing the library stock and other materials; and
    • demographic changes in Hong Kong (including population growth, age and district distribution, etc).

  2. Multiple copies
    • Multiple copies should be acquired for titles in high demand. However, careful assessment must be made when acquiring additional copies to satisfy only ephemeral needs or interests.
    • In the case of expensive titles or titles on similar subjects with relatively low usage, they should be considered for purchase only for reference libraries or the Hong Kong Central Library.
  3. Replacement policy
    • Replacement is not automatic. In the case of non-fiction, new editions or better alternative titles in print should be acquired.
  4. Subject
    • While coverage aims to be as comprehensive as possible, selection has to reflect the needs and interests of the community. Because of high replacement costs, popular works on general medicine and introductory law books are to be selected.
    • There are no hard and fast rules on the proportion of each subject to be acquired. It depends mainly on readers' demands and the number of new publications in the year that meet community needs. Reference is hence taken of current usage statistics and library staff's feedback based on their daily contact with library users and the public.
    • Attempts should always be made to acquire all available materials pertaining to local history, art, and literature. Materials on subject areas covered by the thematic special collections of the Hong Kong Central Library and Major Libraries are also acquired based on the development plan.