The Chinese University of Hong Kong Library Regulations

The Chinese University of Hong Kong Library Regulations

(Latest amendment approved by Senate: 29 March 2017)

1. Introduction and Context

1.1 The Chinese University of Hong Kong Library (CUHK Library) facilities, services and resources are provided to support the research, teaching and learning and administrative activities of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. These Regulations have been made by Senate for the benefit of all Library users, and your co-operation in observing them is essential for the common good. They are intended to promote

  • equitable access to Library materials, space and services
  • the maintenance of Library materials, equipment and buildings in acceptable and serviceable conditions
  • the maintenance of an environment conducive to study
  • proper conduct when using CUHK Library and the library services of other Institutions

1.2 These regulations apply to both registered users and visitors. All Library users are requested to familiarize themselves with the Library Regulations. Ignorance of any clause is not an excuse for a breach of Library Regulations. All Library staff are authorised to administer these regulations within the remit of their post and subject to any guidance issued by the University Librarian.

1.3 Definitions: For the purpose of these Regulations:

“the University” means The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

"the Library" means any Library of The Chinese University of Hong Kong Library, and any other space designated for Library use falling under the jurisdiction of the Librarian.

“the Librarian” means the University Librarian or any person nominated by the University Librarian.

"book(s)" means all forms of Library materials.

"Library card" means a valid CU Link card issued by the University, a valid Library card issued by CUHK Library, or other valid Library cards, as considered as such by the Library.

“User” means a person authorised to use the Library as defined by his or her status at the University or as defined by Section 2.1.

1.4 Feedback and constructive comments are welcomed on all aspects of the Library via the Library website, email, phone or in person.

2. Admission to the Library

2.1 Authorised users are:

a) Members of the University Council, all members of University staff and all registered students of the University, honorary graduates, honorary professors, emeritus professors, and Masters of Colleges.

b) Others including alumni, retired staff, spouses of staff, visiting scholars and other applicants approved by the University Librarian.

2.2 Staff and students of the University have priority access.

2.3 The Librarian reserves the right to refuse entry to anyone deemed unfit by demeanor or conduct.

2.4 A user must produce their library card to enter the Library. Visitors may be asked to sign in.

2.5 Library cards are personal and individual. They may not be transferred to, or used on behalf of other persons. The Library maintains a one-card policy. Although users may have multiple statuses, only one Library card will be issued.

2.6 A user must notify the University or Library immediately if:

  • There are changes of postal or email address. Change of postal address for current CUHK students and staff must be reported to the University to update the student or staff record system.
  • They are aware that their library card has been lost, stolen or used by another person.

A charge will be made for a replacement card (see the Library website).

2.7 Children are not admitted to the Library, unless in exceptional circumstances with permission from the Librarian. If admitted children must be accompanied and supervised at all times by an adult who will accept sole responsibility for the children’s good conduct, safety and observation of these regulations.

2.8 Library users must make any bags and receptacles brought into the library available for inspection upon request by library staff.

2.9 Wet umbrellas can be brought into the Library only if they are in plastic bags.

2.10 All users must leave the Library by closing time and immediately during emergency evacuations or when requested to do so by Library staff. 

2.11 Use of Other Libraries. All users who have access to the libraries of other institutions by virtue of their Chinese University of Hong Kong status must abide by the visited library's regulations. Any breach of these, or any other form of misconduct, will be regarded also as a breach of the Chinese University of Hong Kong Library Regulations.

3. Behaviour in the Library

3.1 All users are required to behave considerately and to respect the study needs of others.

3.2 Study areas in the Library may be designated quiet or available for group work. Users must maintain good order and observe the rule applying to each area.

3.3 Mobile devices may be used only in silent mode except in designated Phone Zones. The use of headphones is allowed but the volume should be such that there is no noise leakage.

3.4 Personal belongings should not be left unattended or used to reserve study places.  Library staff may remove books and other personal items that have been left for more than 30 minutes.  Non-valuables left unclaimed for a length of time will be disposed of. Food and drink will be instantly discarded.

3.5 Users should not bring in to the Library an excessive number of personal items. The Library considers that excessive would constitute more than a user could handle and move comfortably at any one time.

3.6 The Library takes no responsibility for the security of personal belongings. Users should take care of their possessions at all times.

3.7 Users must not mark, deface, damage or destroy any Library resources or property.

3.8 Smoking is not allowed in the Library.

3.9 Eating and drinking, with the exception of drinking water in secure bottles, is not allowed in the Library, apart from in designated refreshment areas. No alcohol, hot or odorous food may be brought into the Library.

3.10 Library areas are not be used for sleeping or living quarters. Equipment including sleeping bags, and furniture arrangements designed for sleeping are not permitted.

3.11 Users are expected to dispose of their own litter in the bins provided.

3.12 Animals other than assistance dogs are not allowed in the Library.

3.13 Photography and filming in the Library are allowed only with prior permission from the Librarian.

3.14 Distribution of leaflets and displays of posters are forbidden without permission of the Librarian. Unauthorised material will be removed.

3.15 A user must comply with all University policies and regulations, and Hong Kong SAR ordinances relating to:

Copyright and intellectual property;



Data protection;

Health and safety.

4. Access to facilities and services

4.1 Users have access to designated public areas within the Library buildings and to the facilities in these public spaces. Access maybe restricted at particular times and dates. Booking of particular spaces may be limited to certain user groups. Details are specified on the Library’s website.

4.2 Borrowing

4.2.1 Borrowing privileges are extended to all registered students and staff of the University. Other categories of users permitted to borrow may be determined by the Librarian. The Librarian may determine borrowing limits for different categories of users, as advertised on the Library’s website.

4.2.2 The Librarian may determine which Library materials may or may not be borrowed. All books on the open shelves may be borrowed except those temporarily or permanently confined to the Library. Books not on open access may be consulted on application.

4.2.3 The Librarian may determine loan periods including renewal periods. Details are advertised on the Library’s website.

4.2.4 Books obtained via interlibrary loan are borrowed through the courtesy of other libraries and the lending library’s restrictions as to loan period and renewal are observed. Fines will be charged on interlibrary loan books returned late or damaged in accordance with advertised charges.

4.2.5 No book shall be taken out of the Library without first being issued.

4.2.6 Borrowed items are for the sole use of the cardholder and may not be passed on to any other person. Users are responsible for all items issued to their Library card, unless the card has been reported lost or stolen. This responsibility ends only when the item has been recorded as returned on the Library system. Users will be liable for any loss of, or damage to, books or other items while in their charge. Any loss or damage must be reported immediately to a member of Library staff.

4.2.7 Books on loan must be returned no later than the due date, or earlier if they are recalled by the Library. The responsibility for returning books on time lies with the borrower. Fines will be charged on books returned late, in accordance with advertised charges. 

4.2.8 Renewals must be made on or before the last date of the initial loan period. Otherwise, overdue fines will be charged. No book may be renewed if

  • it is required by another person;
  • the maximum number of renewals is reached;
  • the borrower’s maximum fine limit is reached;
  • the borrower has received four overdue notices on any single borrowed item.

4.2.9 Failure to return books, or books returned damaged beyond repair will result in a charge including the cost of replacement in addition to a processing cost and any accumulated fines as advertised.

4.2.10 The Library may recall a borrowed item at any time by notifying the user. If a borrowed item is recalled, the due date specified in the recall notice becomes the due date for the item.

4.2.11 Books that are already on loan may be reserved by another borrower. When returned, reserved books will be available for collection for a limited period only.

4.2.12 Users with outstanding fines or overdue items may not be allowed to borrow further loanable items or use library facilities until the fines are paid and books are returned or renewed. 

4.2.13 All users leaving the Library must show all books in their possession if requested to do so by Library staff, whether these belong to the University or not.

4.3 Use of electronic services

4.3.1 Use of Library computers, end user devices and use of the campus network, both wired and wireless, must comply with University-wide policies and guidelines. PCs should not be left unattended when logged on, or locked down in any way to reserve use.

 4.3.2 Users may be required to authenticate themselves before using library devices, networks, electronic services and resources. Usernames and passwords must not be shared or used to enable others to access electronic resources.

4.3.3 Use of electronic resources including e-journals, e-books and databases is governed by the University’s license agreements with vendors. Details of the license agreements are available on the Library’s website. Users must comply with the terms of the relevant license.

4.3.4 Systematic or excessive downloading of electronic content is expressly forbidden. ‘Systematic’ or ‘excessive’ downloading is defined as a deliberate attempt to copy or distribute a whole or significant part of an electronic resource using ‘robots’ or any such software, or any manual means designed for wholesale infringement, which results in a vendor license violation on the part of the University and/or its Library. Details of the applicable copyright law and license agreements are available on the University and Library website.

5. Library Notices

5.1 Electronic mail is the default means of communication between the Library and users. Electronic mail for University staff and students will be sent to the user’s email address registered with the Library.

5.2 The Library will not be held responsible if a user does not receive a particular notice.

6. Fees and Charges

6.1 The Librarian reserves the right to charge for access to or use of library services and resources not normally available to a particular category of user, or impose any reasonable penalty fines, as specified on the Library’s website.

6.2 Charges will be imposed for any of, but not limited to, the following:

  • membership;
  • replacing a library card;
  • overdue borrowed items;
  • interlibrary loan or document delivery service;
  • printing, scanning or photocopying;
  • misuse, loss, damage or destruction or unauthorised removal of library resources;
  • other breaches of Library Regulations.

6.3 If a person refuses to pay any outstanding charges, the Library may withhold access and borrowing privileges until the account is cleared. Please note that Graduating Certificates for students with outstanding Library debts will be withheld until the account is settled.

7. Sanctions

7.1 By order of the Senate, the Librarian has the authority to maintain good order in the Library. The Librarian may suspend or permanently revoke a user’s access to the Library and/or Library resources if the user fails to comply with these Library Regulations, or acts in any way which may interfere with the convenience of other users or the work of the Library.

7.2 A user who:

  • Refuses to return a book;
  • Refuses to settle an outstanding account;
  • Lends his or her library card or facilitates others to gain unauthorised access to the Library or libraries of other institutions;
  • Repeatedly removes items from the Library that have not been charged out properly;
  • Infringes copyright law

may face suspension of access to facilities, resources and/or borrowing privileges for up to  eight weeks from the day of violation in the first instance. For a CUHK student, a letter to this effect will be issued by the Library to the Faculty Dean, College Dean of Students, and Department Chair to which the student belongs, and/or authority concerned. If a user is from another institution, their home institution’s Library will be informed.

7.3 A gross breach of the Regulations, including threats of violence to Library staff or users, or actual violence will subject the library user to immediate loss of Library privileges.  The Librarian reserves the right to refer serious matters to University Security or the police.

7.4 The Librarian has the authority to deprive permanently a library user of privileges in the case of repeated infringement of Library Regulations.

7.5 In cases of serious misconduct in the Library, the Librarian has course to refer to the University’s student and staff disciplinary procedure.