It ‘just’ took me four years to finally sign up to use the public library system in Hong Kong – and I have to say I really should have signed up years ago! It is fantastic and so easy.
As a HK resident, you can sign up with your ID card – and if you are not a resident you just need a HK resident to vouch for you. That’s it. Once you are signed up, you can borrow up to 8 books at the same time – and the best: it’s free. There is no annual fee.
And there are so many other great reasons to use the library system in Hong Kong:
- There are 67 static and 10 mobile branches – so one should always be close to you
- It has 11.36 million books and 1.74 million multimedia materials and there are tons of English books available – anything from travel guides to cook books and crime stories
- The electronic catalogue is vast and so easy to browse – much easier than walking through all the aisles and shelves, because let’s face it: the Central Library is a huge place! It is a 12-storey building with a floor area of 33,800 square metres…
- You can reserve books online and once they are ready, pick them up in your library of your choice for a bargain of 2.50 HKD
- It is so easy to return books – you can return them at any library and some MTR stations, like Central, even have book-drops
The Central Library in Causeway Bay not only offers a gift shop with quirky HK memorabilia but even has a toy library for kids (this is very popular, you have to book in advance, more info here) – and its building is very unique, you can see it from miles.
I read up on it on and it says: “The arch-shaped doorway atop the front facade of the Hong Kong Central Library symbolises the Gate to Knowledge, while the triangle, square and circle which make up the arch all carry further meaning. The circle represents the sky, the square the land and the triangle the accretion of knowledge” … so here you go, time to expand your knowledge!