Hong Kong Public Libraries

The Hong Kong Public Libraries (HKPL; Chinese: 香港公共圖書館) is a system of 70 static and 12 mobile public libraries in Hong Kong.[1] Offering a total collection of 14.35 million items, the system is managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. The network of libraries are interconnected by a digitalised library management system, one of the largest bilingual systems in the world, offering both Chinese and English capabilities.[4]

Hong Kong Public Libraries
Hong Kong Central Library, the location of the head office
Branches70 static, 12 mobile [1]
Size11.36 million books and 1.74 million multimedia materials[2]
Access and use
Circulation60.0 million [2]
Population served7,184,000
Members4.1 million borrowers [2]
Other information
Budget776.2 million HKD [3]
DirectorLee Yuk-man, Leisure and Culture Services Assistant Director (Libraries and Development)
WebsiteOfficial website
Hong Kong Public Libraries
Traditional Chinese香港公共圖書館
Simplified Chinese香港公共图书馆

The library head office is located on the eleventh floor of the Hong Kong Central Library in Causeway Bay.[5][6]


The first public library of Hong Kong, the City Hall Library, was established in 1869 in the former Hong Kong City Hall.[7] The library ceased to operate after the demolition of the old city hall in 1933.

The first modern library opened in 1962 at the new City Hall, which was also the central library for many years before the opening of the Central Library. Over ten thousand library cards were issued in the first month of service, and borrowers were limited to only one book at a time.[8] The second location and the first in Kowloon was the Waterloo Road Library, opened 1965 (later replaced by the Kowloon Public Library in 1984). The Pok Fu Lam Public Library opened next in December 1970 in the newly constructed Wah Fu Estate, and has served that community continuously for over 40 years.[9] The first public library in the New Territories opened in Fuk Loi Estate, Tsuen Wan New Town, in 1974.[8] In 1976 the first mobile library was introduced.[8] The Tsuen Wan Central Library, at the time of its opening in July 1993, was the largest library in Hong Kong.[10]

The public libraries were originally administered by either the Urban Council or Regional Council, depending on the location. When the municipal councils were abolished in 1999, the library systems were merged under the newly formed Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

The Hong Kong Central Library was completed in 2001 and is the largest public library in the territory. This twelve-story building is equipped with state-of-the-art technologies and serves as the administrative headquarters and main library of the public library network. It is also the major information centre for Hong Kong.[11]

Security Issue

All libraries in Hong Kong are subject to "Library Regulations" Regulators, the only part of the regulation is out of date. Such as listening area and viewing area, no person shall ─ more than one record or listen to a song, or repeat playing of any record or song; or watch more than one movie or watch a movie more than once.[12]

In addition, the library also prohibits photo taking and video recording, especially after the popularity of smartphones in 2012. Many "No photo-taking" signs are set up in several locations, including the entrance, children's library, staircase, and study rooms. Meanwhile, the library also has security to maintain the order of the library, including the enforcement of the "No photo-taking" rule. The library does not allow general citizens to apply for photography, only commercial filming is allowed and standard fees apply.[13]

See also


  1. "Hong Kong Public Libraries - Introduction". Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Hong Kong Government. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
  2. "Cultural services". Annual Report 2012-13. Leisure and Cultural Services Department. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  3. p. 200, "Head 95 - Leisure and Cultural Services Department" (PDF). 2011–12 Budget. John Tsang. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
  4. Lau 2002, pp. 198.
  5. "library_list_eng.pdf." Hong Kong Public Libraries. Retrieved on 18 April 2017. "Hong Kong Public Libraries Head Office 11/F., 66 Causeway Road, Causeway Bay."
  6. "Location Map of the Hong Kong Central Library." Hong Kong Public Libraries. Retrieved on 18 April 2017. "66 Causeway Road, Causeway Bay"
  7. Murray, Stuart (2009). The Library: An Illustrated History. Skyhorse Publishing. p. 252. ISBN 1602397066.
  8. "March 2007 issue". Library Newsletter. Hong Kong Public Libraries. Archived from the original on 1 April 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  9. "May 2011 issue". Library Newsletter. Hong Kong Public Libraries. Archived from the original on 4 June 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  10. Lau 2002, pp. 199.
  11. Murray, Stuart A. P. “The Library: An Illustrated History.” New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing, 2012, p. 252.
  12. 《圖書館規例》
  13. Film Service Office How to apply


  • Lau, Y.W. (2002). A History of the Municipal Councils of Hong Kong 1883-1999. Hong Kong: Leisure and Cultural Services Department. ISBN 962-7039-41-1.
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