Library Services

Hong Kong has an extensive network of public libraries, offering a wide variety of services. Please browse through this article for information on all libraries including their locations, online services, resources for kids and teens, and lending services.

Library Locations and Opening Hours

Public libraries are located over the territory for easy access and within your reach. The following link will lead you to further information on the Hong Kong Central Library and other public libraries in each district of the city.

Library locations

Information on the opening hours of all libraries is available through the following link.

Library opening hours

Hong Kong Central Library

Hong Kong Central Library

As our largest public library, the Hong Kong Central Library spans over a floor space of 33,800 square metres and provides a full range of facilities and services of a larger scale and to a fuller extent.  To name a few, there are resource centres, multi-purpose activity rooms, and comprehensive reference and information services. More information is available through the following links.

User Education HallAdult Lending LibraryAudio-visual LibraryCentral Reference LibraryChildren’s LibraryMap LibraryNewspaper and Periodicals LibraryToy LibraryYoung Adult LibraryArts Resource CentreComputer and Information CentreReference and Information Enquiry CentreLanguage Learning CentreArt Document Reading RoomHong Kong Literature Room and Rare Book Reading RoomChildren’s Multimedia RoomMicroform Reading AreaCirculation Service

Online Services

Our public libraries also offer a range of online services. You can access the main catalogue and the Multimedia Information System via the Internet at home or at any library. If you are a library card holder, you can also enjoy the library e-services by logging into MyGovHK and linking up the two accounts. You can then access the e-book collections and other e-resources, do catalogue search, reserve and renew library materials, as well as view the borrower’s records.

Online Catalogue
The online catalogue enables search, reservation and renewal of library materials, as well as enquiries on borrower’s record. You can access both the full and text-only version of the catalogue through the following link. 

Online catalogue versions

Multimedia Information System
The Multimedia Information System provides one-stop service for search of online e-resources, access to our digitised collections, and booking of workstations in applicable libraries. Further information is available on the System’s website.

Multimedia Information System

e-Books
The public libraries offer access to a number of e-book services in both Chinese and English , as well as audiobooks. If you are a library card holder, you can access over 200, 000 titles covering academic texts, business, technology and social science books. The following link will take you to further information on the e-book collections.

e-Book collections

e-Resources
Other e-resources of our public libraries includes various e-Databases covering a collection of Chinese classics (in Chinese), encyclopedias, journals,  music & video materials and many others. Further information is available through the following link.

e-Resources

Library Activities

The public libraries offer a wide spectrum of regular extension activities. They include exhibitions on special collections, thematic exhibitions, talks and seminars, and public lectures. An activity calendar is available through the following link.

Extension activity calendar

Resources for Kids and Teens

Interests and requirements of children and teenagers are also catered for at the public libraries. Apart from the kids’ and teens’ collections, there are kids’ activities, kids’ and teens’ reading programmes, recommended reading lists, electronic resources for both groups and other targeted services. The following link will take you to further information.

Resources for kids and teens

Using Library Lending Services

All Hong Kong identity card holders, and children eligible for identity cards, can apply to use the lending services of the public libraries. Upon the provision of a library card, or permission to use your smart Hong Kong identify card for library purpose, you will be able to borrow or reserve materials for loan. Borrowers will be subject to overdue fines for all materials returned late. Further information on the scope of the lending services is available through the following link.

About library lending services

Applying for a Library Card

Application for a library card is free of charge. Applicants are required to complete application form LCS4.  For applicant who is under the age of 18, the guarantee section of the form should be signed by his/her parent or guardian as the guarantor.

Application Form (Form No. LCS 4)

Application can be submitted to any public library, together with the presentation of the following documents for verification:

Aged over 18

  • The original of your Hong Kong identity card; and
  • Proof of address, such as a bank statement or electricity bill. 

Aged under 18

  • The original of your Hong Kong identity card (children who do not have identity cards may produce a photocopy of their birth certificates);
  • The original or a copy of your guarantor’s Hong Kong identity card; and
  • Proof of your guarantor’s address

Applying for the Library Card for Guarantor’s Use

The guarantor must be a resident of Hong Kong aged 18 or above. The guarantor shall complete the application form LCS876 with the signature of the library card holder under guarantee:

Application Form (Form No. LCS876)

Application can be submitted to any public library, together with the presentation of the following documents for verification:

  • the original of the Hong Kong Identity Card and the proof of residential address issued within the last 3 months (e.g. water/electricity/gas/telephone bill, etc.). If the guarantor holds a library card issued by the Hong Kong Public Libraries, ex-Urban Council Public Libraries or ex-Regional Council Public Libraries, or he/she is already a registered guarantor of the guarantee, proof of residential address is not required ;
  • the original or photocopy (front side) of the library card and the Hong Kong Identity Card or the Birth Certificate of the guarantee for verification; and
  • if the guarantee is aged 18 or above, the original or photocopy of other supporting document(s) (e.g. Registration Card for People with Disabilities, medical certificate in proof of chronic illness) is required.

Applying for the Library Card for Guarantor’s Use (Secondary Guarantor)

The guarantor must be a resident of Hong Kong aged 18 or above. The guarantor shall complete the application form LCS876a with the signature of the primary guarantor and the library card holder under guarantee:

Application Form (Form No. LCS876a)

Application can be submitted to any public library, together with the presentation of the following documents for verification:

  • the original of the Hong Kong Identity Card and the proof of residential address issued within the last 3 months (e.g. water/electricity/gas/telephone bill, etc.). If the guarantor holds a library card issued by the Hong Kong Public Libraries, ex-Urban Council Public Libraries or ex-Regional Council Public Libraries, or he/she is already a registered guarantor of the guarantee, proof of residential address is not required ;
  • the original or photocopy (front side) of the library card and the Hong Kong Identity Card or the Birth Certificate of the guarantee for verification; and
  • if the guarantee is aged 18 or above, the original or photocopy of other supporting document(s) (e.g. Registration Card for People with Disabilities, medical certificate in proof of chronic illness) is required.

Reporting the Loss of/Replacing a Library Card

If you lose your library card, you should report the loss to any public library. The report may first be made by phone. You can access the telephone numbers through the following link.

List of public libraries

You should then submit in person a completed loss reporting form LCS111 in person to any public library.  When submitting the form, you will need to show your Hong Kong identity card or a photocopy of birth certificate for your child who does not have an identity card.

Reporting Loss/Replacement of Library Card or Change of Personal Particulars Form (Form No. LCS 111)

You may also apply for a replacement of library card on the same form (LCS111) at a cost of:

  • HK$25 if you are aged 18 or above; or 
 
  • HK$13 if you are under 18 years old.

Applying for the Use of Smart ID Card for Library Services

You can also choose to use your smart Hong Kong identity card as a library card. To do so, you will need to complete the application form LCS 694. For applicant who is under the age of 18, the guarantee section of the form should be signed by his/her parent or guardian as the guarantor.

Application for Using Identity Card as Identity Card Allowed for Library Purposes (Form No. LCS 694)

Application can be submitted to any public library, together with the presentation of the following documents for verification: 

Aged over 18
The original of your Hong Kong identity card; and
Proof of address such as a bank statement or electricity bill.

Aged under 18
The original of your Hong Kong identity card;
The original or a copy of your guarantor’s Hong Kong identity card; and
Proof of your guarantor’s address.

Successful applicant will be issued with a Library Card Number.

 

Reporting Loss of Smart ID Card Allowed for Library Purpose

If you lose your Smart ID Card allowed for library purpose, in addition to reporting the loss at any Registration of Persons Offices of the Immigration Department, you will also need to report the loss to any public library. The report may first be made by phone. You may access the telephone numbers through the following link.

List of public librariesMore information on reporting lost smart identity cards

You should then complete and submit report form LCS 696a, and indicate on the form whether you would like to apply to use your replacement Smart ID Card as a library card.

Reporting Loss of Identity Card Allowed for Library Purposes (Form No. 696a)

The form can be submitted to any public library.

Last review date: November 2016