Library services being improved in Hong Kong

The Leisure & Cultural Services Department has implemented measures to improve library services.

(12 September 2017) Responding to today’s release of the Ombudsman’s investigation report on the criteria and procedures for procuring and withdrawing library materials under the Hong Kong Public Libraries system, the department said it accepts the findings and has implemented improvement measures and will consider putting further ones into action.

In drawing up the annual collection development plan, libraries will provide reports on the required quantity of additional library materials for formulating the overall ratio and total budget for acquiring various library collections for the next financial year.

The department said HKPL will upload the collection development plan onto its webpage to give the public a clearer understanding of the work on library collection development.

It will also review the need for revising the basic reference target of “procuring at least 700,000 items of library materials annually” when drawing up the collection development plan for 2018-19 and the quantity of library materials to be acquired.

It will complete the review on the workflow and revision of the template of reports on the library collection this year. The mechanism for addition or transfer of library materials is being put in place to meet the needs of libraries to increase their collections or replenish withdrawn library materials.

It will review the utilisation of library materials in different districts and explore ways to refine the library feedback mechanism on newly acquired materials to enhance the development and management of library collections.

It will work with government agencies to review the current practice of engaging contractors to dispose of old materials as waste paper, and examine how library resources can be best utilised in accordance with government regulations in a cost-effective manner subject to the availability of resources, the views of the community, resources allocated and effectiveness of the scheme.

For more effective use of resources, the pilot scheme on donation of 412 items of books to community libraries and schools was completed this year and the cost effectiveness of the donation arrangement in accordance with Government’s Stores & Procurement Regulations was reviewed.

As some publications will be produced in both print and electronic format or switched from a print to an electronic version due to the increasing popularity of electronic publishing, HKPL will review and analyse the usage data of printed and electronic publications to decide on the arrangement for adding the publications to the library collection.

The department said HKPL is committed to developing a balanced and diversified library collection to meet the community’s needs for reading and self-learning.

The department will listen to views from various stakeholders, especially feedback from readers, to provide more suitable and higher quality services while ensuring the effective use of resources, it added.

The news is here.

A press release of the LCSD’s response to Ombudsman’s investigation is here.