Library Regulations

(Updated October 2017)

All Library users are requested to familiarize themselves with the following Library Regulations. Ignorance of any clause will not be accepted as an excuse for a breach of Library Regulations.

1. Opening Hours

The opening hours are determined from time to time by the University Librarian in the light of demand for library use and staff availability. Details of opening hours are announced via the Library hotline 2766-7734, posted on the Library's Homepage www.lib.polyu.edu.hk, and at the entrance to the Library.

2. Admission

2.1    Admission to the Library is conditional upon the presentation of a valid University Identity Card or a Library Card. These cards are not transferable. In addition, the University Librarian or his/her designated representative shall have the authority to request a user to produce his/her University Identity Card or Library Card for identification.

2.2    All University staff and students should obtain the appropriate University Identity Cards from the appropriate issuing centres for the purpose of admission to the Library and for borrowing library materials.

2.3    Loss of University Identity Cards or any Library cards, must be reported to the Library without delay. Replacement of cards, and change of correspondence address / phone number / email address must be reported to the respective department of the University, which issues card to the cardholder.

2.4  A charge will be made for obtaining a replacement of Library cards. Expired Library cards must be returned to the Library.  

3. Library Membership 

3.1   The following persons are eligible to apply for a Library Card by completing the registration procedure via corresponding Offices or at the Circulation Counter:

  1. members of the University Court and their delegates;
  2. members of Departmental Advisory Committees;
  3. University graduates;
  4. members of professional organizations or special borrowers who have organizational needs;
  5. such other persons approved by the University Librarian or his/her delegate from time to time for a specified period or purpose.

3.2    Persons listed in 3.1 (iii), (iv), (v), (vi) above who are residents in Hong Kong may apply for a Library Borrower's Card by paying a non-refundable annual fee. The Library reserves the right to change the service arrangement whenever it deems necessary and appropriate.

4. Conduct of Library Users 

4.1    All library users should follow the instructions on the proper use of the Library as displayed in the Library or given verbally by the Library staff.

4.2    The Library is a place for all library users to pursue their studies and research in a congenial atmosphere free from unnecessary disturbance. To this end, any misuse of library facilities or any behavior considered by the University Librarian to be unseemly is not permitted. The University Librarian or his/her designated representative shall have the authority to exclude those who have ignored verbal warning from the Library for the remainder of the day. Serious offences will be liable to further disciplinary action.

4.3    Books and other items which are the property of the Library must not be mutilated or defaced. The full replacement cost will be charged for any damage caused by users.

4.4    Anything in the opinion of the security guards or Library staff which may interfere with the proper use and management of the Library is not permitted inside the Library.  Taking photos, or recording videos/audio may not be allowed in the Library without the University Librarian's express permission. Food and drinks are not allowed except in designated areas determined by the Library.

4.5    Except in designated areas determined by the University Librarian from time to time, users are strictly prohibited from using pagers, mobile phones, etc. in the Library. These devices should be switched to silent mode before entering the Library. Any person using such devices in the Library outside of the designated areas (Library's staircases) will be liable to disciplinary action, and may be excluded from the Library. As a concession, the Library may issue only a verbal reminder to those offenders who immediately mute or switch off their phones upon ringing.

4.6    Tables and chairs should not be misused or moved to new positions unless permitted otherwise by Library staff.

4.7    Seat reservation is not permitted in the Library. Any personal belongings or library books left unattended on Library desks may be considered as a "seat reservation". Any such seats may be taken up by other users. In case of dispute, the University Librarian or his/her designated representative has absolute discretion in allocating seats or study places to users concerned. Unattended belongings may be removed by Library staff without prior notice to the owner. The Library will not be responsible for any loss or damage of personal property.

4.8    Smoking is not permitted in the Library.

4.9    No physical or online games of any form are allowed in the Library.

4.10    All library users must enter and leave the Library through the normal entrances and exits unless directed otherwise by Library staff.

4.11    At the request of a Library staff member or a security staff member, all library materials and personal belongings must be shown for inspection at the Library exit. Library users may also be asked to show the contents of their bags, cases or other kinds of receptacles.

4.12    Silence must be observed in the Library except in designated areas. Any user causing disturbance to others and ignoring the verbal warning of the University Librarian or his/her designated representative will be liable to disciplinary action, and may be excluded from the Library.

4.13    All library materials must be kept clean.

4.14    In the use of photocopying and scanning machines in the Library, the law regarding copyright must be observed. Reproduction or duplication of audio-visual materials or computer software is strictly prohibited. Any request regarding duplication of audio-visual materials or computer software should be directed to the University Librarian. Users are warned that they are fully responsible for any legal consequences concerning copyright that may arise.

4.15    The use of Internet resources in the Library is for the interest and information of the Library community. The Library advocates a policy on intellectual freedom and thus will not proscribe, censor, or remove information or web sites because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval. However, Internet users in the Library have a responsibility to be aware of materials that may be objectionable to others when using computer facilities in public areas. Internet users should not use public library computers and printers to display or print materials that might be defined as harassing or obscene. The University Librarian or his/her designated representative shall have the authority to relocate or remove such materials.

4.16    Use of e-resources: Unfair use of copyright works or violation of license agreements may result in the termination of access to e-resources for the entire University community. Activities including, but not limited to, excessive/systematic downloading or access via robotic tools are strictly prohibited. Legal action will be taken by the copyright owner. The University has the right to hold the user liable on an indemnity basis for any claims, liabilities, costs and damages the University may suffer as a result of any infringement.

5. Borrowing Regulations

Holders of Borrowers' Cards, Student and Staff Identity Cards may borrow books according to the following conditions:

5.1    Loan records: Borrowers are responsible for all loans recorded through the use of their Borrowers' Cards, Student and Staff Identity Cards. Any loss of cards  must be reported without delay in accordance with Library Regulation 2.3.

5.2    Identification: Borrowers' Cards, Student or Staff Identity Cards must be produced when borrowing library materials.

5.3    Borrowing procedure: No library materials shall be removed from the Library until their issue has been properly recorded at the appropriate counter or self-check machines. Any infringement of this clause may lead to disciplinary action or prosecution.

 
 

5.4    Loan Quotas and Loan Periods:

Categories of Borrowers Book Collection Reserve Books
Quotas Periods Quotas Periods
(i) University Court members, Council members and their delegates 60 1 term* 6 60 hours/
7 days
(ii) Members of Departmental Advisory Committees  60 1 term* 6 60 hours/
7 days
(iii) Full-time / part-time academic staff, research/project fellows, research/project associates and research/project assistants, and administrative staff of equivalent status; and eligible retired staff of this category 60 1 term* 6 60 hours/
7 days
(iv) Research degree students  60 1 term* 6 60 hours/
7 days
(v) Taught master and doctorate degree students  60 1 term* 6 60 hours/
7 days
(vi) Staff and eligible retired staff other than category (iii) above 30 28 days 4 24 hours/
7 days
(vii) Full-time and part-time students other than categories (iv) and (v) above 30 28 days 4 24 hours/
7 days
(viii) Persons listed under 3.1(iii), 3.1(iv), 3.1(v), 3.1(vi), and who are also holder of a Library Borrower's Card. 15 28 days 4 24 hours/
7 days

* One term: All term loans are due one week before the first, second or Summer term starts (i.e. regardless of the date of loan, a book has to be returned on or before the specified date due each term).

5.5    Renewals: All books loaned from the Book Collection (except Reserve books and other short-loan items) can be renewed via myRecord in OneSearch any number of times from the date of the initial check-out until the due date reaches the limit of the maximum renewal period, on condition that the item is not requested by other users. Loans cannot be renewed to a date beyond the expiry date of a user’s Borrower's Card, Student and Staff Identity Card. All loans are subject to recall in accordance with Library Regulation 5.6. Borrowers are responsible for returning their loans on or before the specified due dates. Overdue fine will still apply to items renewed after the due date.

5.6   Recalls: All loans are subject to recall any time with the exception of Reserve books and other short-loan items. Once recalled, the item has to be returned in 28 days or by the original due date, whichever comes earlier. All recalled items must be returned on or before the new due date (if applicable). Late return will be treated as an overdue and is liable to a fine.

5.7    Library Notices: All Library notices are emailed to the official PolyU and CPCE accounts for eligible users. For other users, notices will be sent to the email accounts they provided to the Library in library card applications.;

5.8    Fines: Borrowers are responsible for returning their loans on or before the due date. An overdue fine calculable immediately from the day following the date due will be charged at the following rates for all categories of borrowers:

  Library Materials Fine Rate Maximum Fine
(i) Normal loans 
Recalled loans
HK$2 per calendar day HK$120 per book
(ii) Reserve books:
Hourly loans
7-day loans 
HK$2 per hour or part of an hour
HK$2 per calendar day
HK$120 per book
(iii) Closed Reserve loans HK$2 per hour or part of an hour HK$120 per item
(iv) Research Carrel keys HK$30 per calendar day HK$120

5.9    Assumed lost: Any material which has reached the maximum overdue fine and has not been returned, will be assumed to have been lost by the borrower who will be charged accordingly. For items listed in 5.8(i), (ii), (iii), an additional fine equivalent to the estimated cost of replacement of the book plus processing costs will be claimed through the Finance Office. For items listed in 5.8(iv), an additional fine of HK$100 per carrel key will be claimed through the Finance Office.

5.10  Payment of fines: All fines paid are non-refundable. All fines should be paid to the Library when overdue loans are returned. Full-time staff members who have incurred fines to the extent of the replacement of the book will have the cost deducted from their salary by the Finance Office. Students may not be cleared for withdrawal or graduation until all library fines have been paid as well as all loans returned. When any fine of an individual reaches HK$120, his/her borrowing privileges of all library materials will be suspended until he/she pays the fine.

5.11    Advance date due reminder for staff and postgraduate students: As a reminder, a general library circular will be issued by the University Librarian at the end of each term before the due date for return of term loans.

5.12    Overdue notices: Attempts will be made to send overdue notices to borrowers as soon as possible. Non-receipt of such notices will not be accepted as an excuse for waiving or reducing fines for overdue loans. Users should also check their Library account for the latest due dates via myRecord in OneSearch.

5.13    Loss and damage of library materials: Borrowers shall be held responsible for any loss, mutilation, damage or disfigurement by writing or other marks and shall be required to pay the full cost of replacing or repairing such materials. In order to stop overdue fines from accruing, these cases should be reported to the University Librarian without delay. The cost of replacement will be the estimated price of the material plus a service charge per item as determined by the University Librarian. The book replacement cost may be waived if the lost item is found and returned within four weeks of the issuance of the reminder. However, the overdue fine calculable from the due date to the date the item is actually returned still has to be settled. Lost library books or materials will continue to remain the property of the Library even if replacement costs have been paid. All sums paid are non-refundable.

5.14    Book requests/reservations: A Pick-up Notice will be sent to the user via email once the requested book is available.

5.15    Return procedure: Borrowers must return all loans to the appropriate counter or book drop or by post. If they wish, they may wait to ensure that records of loans are cancelled at the counter according to the standard procedure when the books are returned. However, Reserve Books must be returned to the Circulation Counter (P/F) during Library opening hours or via the 24-hour Book Drop during Library closing hours and audio-visual items must be returned to the Multimedia Commons Counter (3/F). Users are advised to return their borrowed items before taking long leave or away from Hong Kong because all loans are subject to recall.

5.16    Non-circulating materials: Under exceptional circumstances, staff may obtain special permission from senior Library staff to borrow library materials that are not normally allowed to be charged out.

6. Data Privacy

6.1    Library users are required to provide minimum personal identifiable information and/or accept "cookies" while accessing certain restricted Library online services.

6.2    If the users fail to provide such information, the Library may not be able to provide the users with certain restricted Library online services.

6.3    The Library pledges to meet the standards of personal data privacy protection in compliance with the requirements of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance. The Library's data privacy policy and practices conform to the guidelines of the University's Privacy Policy Statement.

7. Special Rules

7.1    The University Librarian may from time to time make special regulations regarding admission to and use of particular areas of the Library.

7.2    The University Librarian may restrict or preclude the loan or use of any book, class of books and other Library materials.

7.3    Notwithstanding anything in the above, the University Librarian shall have the discretion to make special rules on library use and borrowing, and library card applications and renewals as deemed appropriate for the proper management of the library facilities.

7.4    Cancellation of Library Cards: Breach of any Library Regulations may result in the cancellation of access and/or borrowing privileges granted.

Breaches of Various Library Regulations

Regulatory Breaches and Regulatory Action
Regulatory Breaches Regulatory Actions

1. Case I: Library user found leaving the Library without charging out an item by mistake and not concealing it:

a) 1st breach
b) 2nd breach - 5th breach (repeated breaches accumulated in one year, calculable from the date of the first breach).

1st - A report will be made and kept in the Library for one year.

2nd - 5th breaches:

1) Serving of a warning letter; and

2) Imposition of a fine according to the following scale:

  • 2nd breach - HK$80
  • 3rd breach - HK$160
  • 4th breach - HK$320
  • 5th and subsequent breaches - HK$640.

3) Non-payment of a fine will result in suspension from using all Library facilities.

2. Case II: Library user found leaving the Library without charging out an item/part of an item and deliberately concealing it.

1) Offender will be served with a warning letter, a copy of which will be sent to his/her Department Head; and

2) Imposition of a fine of HK$80. The fine will be twice as much as the previous offence if the user commits the offence again during his/her period of study in the University.

3) Non-payment of a fine will result in suspension from using all Library facilities.

3. Case III: Library user found mutilating Library material(s)/leaving the Library with uncharged mutilated Library material(s) regardless of whether the material(s) is concealed or not.

1) Offender will be served with a warning letter, a copy of which will be sent to his/her Department Head; and

2) Imposition of a fine of HK$80. The fine will be twice as much as the previous offence if the user commits the offence again during his/her period of study in the University; and

3) Replacement cost of the mutilated Library material(s).

4) Non-payment of a fine will result in suspension from using all Library facilities.

4. Use of mobile phones/pagers*, playing physical games, making excessive noise, etc. in the Library are breaches of Library Regulations.

*Use of mobile phones/pagers is not permitted in any part of the Library except in designated areas determined by the University Librarian from time to time.

Users will be liable to the following:
1) 1st and 2nd breaches - user will be served with a written reminder and a record kept in the Library system for 12 months.
[As a concession, the Library may issue a verbal reminder to those users who immediately mute or switch off their phones upon ringing.]

2) 3rd breach - user's borrowing privileges will be suspended for one day.

3) 4th breach - user will be denied access to the Library for one week.

4) 5th breach - user will be denied access to the Library for one month.

5. Borrowing/Lending of University Identity Card/Library card from/to others to gain access to the Library For students, the case will be referred to the Student Discipline Committee for disciplinary action. For other users, the offender may be subject to suspension from using the Library facilities and resources.