Services of the Hong Kong Libraries
After the launch of the smart ID card on 23 June 2003, Hong Kong citizens will have the option to use their smart ID cards for library services. This will obliterate the need to carry a separate library card. Or, if they prefer, they may continue using their existing library card.
The Hong Kong Public Libraries provides a network of 66 static libraries and 10 mobile libraries. They are evenly spread over the territory of Hong Kong and interconnected by an integrated automated library system to provide convenient access to a wide range of library services for people of all age groups and walks of life. The library collection has 11.5 million items, including books, audio-visual materials, newspapers, periodicals, CD-ROM databases, microforms and maps. Some of these library materials may be borrowed whilst others are for use in the libraries.
The extensive use of information technology improved the efficiency in delivering library services, enhance and speed up access to the library collections and optimize use of available staff resources. The automated library system is one of the largest computerized library systems in the world with Chinese and English capabilities. Through the Online Public Access Catalogue, Internet facilities and multimedia terminals, information in electronic and multimedia formats has fast become an integral part of the library's resources. Remote access to library services including telephone and web renewal service, online reservation service and email enquiry service gives the public greater convenience than ever before.