Regulations Governing University Libraries
L 1 Hours of opening
The hours of opening of the Libraries will be determined by the Library Committee and displayed at the entrances to the Libraries, and posted on the library website.
L 2 Admission to the Libraries
(a) Admission to the Libraries is conditional upon the possession of a valid library card (i.e. HKU Staff Card, Student Registration Card or Facilities Access Card issued by the Libraries), or such other documentary evidence of permission to use the Libraries as may be required from time to time by the Library Committee. This library card or documentary evidence must be produced at the request of library staff before admission to the Libraries.
(b) It is the responsibility of a holder of a Facilities Access Card to provide current correspondence and email addresses to the Libraries and that any subsequent change is notified to the Libraries.
(c) These cards are not transferable.
(d) Loss of a Facilities Access Card must be reported to the Libraries without delay. Replacement cards may be charged for.
(e) Charges, as approved by the Library Committee from time to time, may be levied for the granting of reading or borrowing privileges to persons having no formal connection with the University.
(f) Visitors wishing to visit the Libraries must first obtain the permission of a senior member of the library staff.
L 3 Borrowing privileges
(a) The following persons will be granted borrowing privileges on completing the application formalities:
(i) Members of the Court.
(ii) Full-time and part-time members of the teaching staff (whose status is that of Demonstrator or higher) and members of the administrative staff and non-teaching units of equivalent status, and Research Fellows, Research Officers, Research Assistants and Teaching Assistants.
(iv) Honorary Graduates, Honorary Professors, Emeritus Professors and Honorary University Fellows of the University.
(v) Wardens and Masters of University Halls and attached Halls and Colleges.
(vi) Currently registered graduate students and visiting students proceeding to higher degrees, postgraduate diplomas and certificates in the University.
(vii) Currently registered students and visiting students proceeding to Bachelors’ degrees, diplomas and certificates in the University.
(viii) Full-time and part-time members of the non-academic staff (except borrowers in category (iii) above).
(b) Registered graduates of the University will be granted borrowing privileges valid for one year on completing the application formalities and on settling an annual fee, the amount of which shall from time to time be approved by the Library Committee. The privileges are renewable upon confirmation of contact details by the users on or before the date of expiry.
(c) The Librarian may approve borrowing privileges to the following persons, under the same conditions as for (b), except that holders of JULAC Borrower Cards and staff spouses and dependants will not have to pay a deposit:
(i) Holders of JULAC Borrower Cards.
(ii) Retired staff who served at the University ten years or more.
(iii) Ex-HKU Terms of Service I staff who are residents in Hong Kong.
(iv) Researchers affiliated with University joint ventures.
(v) Spouses of all HKU current and retired staff.
(vi) Dependants of all HKU current staff.
(vii) Any other persons at the discretion of the Librarian.
(d) The Librarian may approve fee-based borrower’s cards for not more than three years to the following persons:
(i) Academic staff of the HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education.
(ii) Non-academic staff of the HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education.
(iii) Part-time tutors of the HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education.
(iv) Students of HKU self-funded courses.
(v) Students of designated courses offered by the HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education.
(vi) Students of HKU SPACE Community College attending Diploma in Foundation Studies and Associate Degree Programmes (Year I); and HKU SPACE Community College students attending Year I of Higher Diploma Programmes.
(vii) Students of HKU SPACE Community College attending Associate Degree Programmes (Year II) and HKU SPACE Community College students attending Year II of Higher Diploma Programmes.
(viii) Students of HKU SPACE International College and Centennial College.
(ix) Registered HKU Graduates.
(x) Members of HKUL Circle of Friends (HKU SPACE Graduate Gold/Platinum).
(xi) Formally approved visitors to University departments, centres and units.
(xii) Any other persons at the discretion of the Librarian.
(e) Loan quota and loan period:
(i) Borrowers in (a)(ii) may have on loan not more than 400 books and six audio-visual items; those in (a)(vi) may have on loan not more than 180 books and six audio-visual items; those in (d)(i) not more than 80 books and six audio-visual items; those in category (a)(iii) and (vii) not more than 60 books and six audio-visual items; those in (d)(ix) not more than 48 books and six audio-visual items; those in (a)(i), (iv)–(v), (viii), (c)(vi)–(vii), (d)(iii)–(v) and (x), not more than 24 books and six audio-visual items; those in (d)(ii) not more than 20 books and six audio-visual items; those in (d)(viii) not more than 16 books and six audio-visual items; those under paragraphs (b), (c)(i), (iii–v) and (d)(vii) not more than 12 books and six audio-visual items; and those in (d)(vi) not more than eight books and six audio-visual items.
(ii) Retired staff of (c)(ii) and their spouses of (c)(vi) will enjoy the same borrowing and access privileges as those prior to retirement excluding ILL, HKALL and other JULAC services. A valid HKU Portal account/HKUL account will be needed to access some electronic resources.
(iii) The normal loan periods of books, subject to limitations in paragraphs (f) and (g), are 180 days for borrowers in (a)(ii), (vi) and Terms of Service I staff of (c)(ii) and 60 days for Terms of Service II, III staff and technicians of (c)(ii), and 60 days for borrowers in all other categories; and three hours to 14 days for audio-visual items.
(f) If any individual to whom borrowing privileges have been given comes within the definition of more than one of the paragraphs (a)–(d), the Librarian shall decide under which category the borrower shall be given such privileges. Each borrower can only hold one library card.
(g) Borrowers in categories of paragraph (a)(i)–(vi), (c)(ii) and (d)(i) may borrow bound volumes of serials for 14 days, and unbound issues for one day. Borrowers in categories of paragraph (a)(vii) may borrow bound volumes of serials for three days.
(h) The Librarian may restrict or preclude the loan or use of any library materials where this is necessary for their preservation.
(i) All books to be borrowed must be charged out with a valid borrower’s card at the Libraries. Disciplinary action may be taken against anyone attempting to remove books from the Libraries in an unauthorized manner.
(j) All loaned items with loan period of 30 days or more are subject to recall by another user regardless of the original loan period. The guaranteed minimum use period of recalled books is 14 days from the date the item is recalled.
(k) Notwithstanding the installation of an electronic security system, all books and personal belongings must be surrendered for inspection at the library exit at the request of the library staff or University security guards.
(l) The maximum loan period with renewal for different material and patron types are posted on the library website. No loan may be renewed if the book has been requested by another borrower. Reserve materials on three-hour loan may not be renewed.
(m) No due dates will be stamped on charged-out items. All current students and staff should be aware that notifications including due date (except renewal online), coming due, overdue, recall and pickup will be sent to the email addresses supplied by the University. All users are reminded not to rely on email and SMS messages solely; circulation records should be checked often for the most updated due dates.
L 4 Fines for late return of books
(a) Fines for the late return of books borrowed will be charged at rates to be set from time to time by the Library Committee.
(b) A first overdue notice will be sent to the borrower when the book is overdue, and a second overdue notice will be issued one week later, but fines will accrue irrespective of the sending or receipt of a recall notice, and the onus of avoiding the late return of books rests with the borrower.
(c) As stipulated in L 3(j), recalled items must be returned on or before the revised due date shown on the circulation record; otherwise fines will be imposed and borrowing privileges will be suspended. The Libraries strongly advises borrowers to return all books before they go overseas.
L 5 Books assumed lost
Books which are overdue for 30 days or more and not returned will be assumed to have been lost by the borrower, who will be charged accordingly. Charges will include the full value of replacement, processing fees and any fines accrued. Only in exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of the Librarian can any refund be made in respect of books returned after a claim has been processed by the Finance and Enterprises Office.
L 6 Reading privileges
(a) The Librarian may approve reading privileges to the following persons:
(i) Holders of JULAC Reader Cards.
(ii) Full-time staff and students from overseas tertiary institutions.
(iii) Ex-HKU Terms of Service I staff who are residents in Hong Kong.
(iv) Formally approved visitors to University departments, centres and units.
(v) Any other persons at the discretion of the Librarian.
(b) The Librarian may approve fee-based reader’s cards for not more than one year to persons listed in L 3(d)(iv)–(v) above and members of HKUL Circle of Friends.
L 7 Theft or mutilation of library materials
Library materials may not be removed from the Libraries unless they have been properly charged out. Mutilation and theft of library materials are offences punishable by law, and in the case of the University of Hong Kong students and staff, are also disciplinary offences. Offenders will be penalized and payment must be made to cover all damages.
L 8 Damaged and lost books
Any defect or damage to a book should be reported to the Libraries immediately when it is noticed. Users will be held responsible for loss or damage to any book whilst in their charge, and will be required to pay the full value of replacement and processing fees. After paying for their replacement, users will not keep damaged items or, lost items subsequently found.
L 9 Reservation of places
Learning spaces may only be reserved with the official seat reservation system. Spaces not occupied by a person may be used by another, regardless of property left on the desk or chair. Books and personal belongings left unattended at learning spaces for more than 30 minutes may be removed to the counter on the instructions of a senior member of the library staff.
L 10 Photocopying/Printing/Scanning
Users must avoid any breach of copyright in using photocopiers, printers, and scanners in the Libraries. Users are fully responsible for any legal consequences concerning copyright that might arise from using the Libraries’ photocopiers, printers, and scanners.
L 11 General
(a) The Librarian may make special regulations regarding admission to and use of particular areas of the Libraries.
(b) Food and drink cannot be consumed in the Library except in areas designated under its food and drink policy.
(c) Photo or video shoots are not allowed in the Libraries without the permission of the Librarian.
(d) Smoking in the Libraries is prohibited.
(e) All mobile phones and pagers must be turned off or switched to vibrate/silent mode before admission to the Libraries. Use of mobile phones and pagers are restricted to designated areas in the Libraries.
(f) Keep a low voice at all times in the Libraries. Discussion is only allowed in designated areas.
(g) Users should not act in any way which may interfere with the convenience of other users of the Libraries or the work of the library staff.
(h) All computer use inside the Libraries must comply with the ‘Statement of Ethics on Information Technology (IT) Use’ of the University.
(i) Users should use the seats provided and not interfere with other library users and staff.
(j) Personal belongings should not be left unattended. The Libraries will not be responsible for any loss or damages of personal belongings.
(k) Use of electronic resources is restricted to purposes of research and education only. Other uses and excessive downloading are strictly prohibited.
(l) Users who violate these Regulations will be subjected to disciplinary actions.
L 12 Exclusions
(a) Borrowers who refuse to pay for books lost while on loan to them or who repeatedly refuse to pay fines accrued on overdue books for two months may be excluded from the Libraries and their access to library electronic resources may be suspended until the fines and fees are settled.
(b) Lending university identity cards or facilities access cards to others to gain access to the Libraries or borrowing library cards from students of other UGC institutions to access their libraries may result in exclusion from the Libraries and suspension of access to library electronic resources.
(c) The Librarian or the most senior member of staff on duty may temporarily exclude from the Libraries any person who infringes any of the Library Regulations or who acts in any way which interferes with the convenience of other users of the Libraries or the work of the Library staff.
(d) The Librarian has the authority to permanently deprive library privileges of a user who has infringed library regulation(s) repeatedly. The user may appeal against such decision to the Chair of the Library Committee.
(e) The Librarian may limit library services, including but not limited to temporarily excluding a category or categories of users, due to health or safety concerns.
L 13 Waiving of the regulations
The Librarian has discretion to waive any of the above regulations in special circumstances to meet the particular requirements of an individual library user if such waiver does not have a detrimental effect on the privileges offered to any other library user or the library services as a whole.
- In these regulations, the term ‘books’ should be taken to include all library materials.
- In case of doubt or discrepancy between different versions of the Library Regulations, the webpage version shall prevail.
Last updated on August 11, 2023