Regulations of the University Library System

Regulations of the University Library System

(Approved by Senate, latest amendment: 1 September 2011)

The University Library System consists of the University Library in the central area of the campus and the branch libraries at the colleges and at the teaching hospital. The University Library houses an extensive research collection as well as many undergraduate materials and the pre-clinical portion of the medical collection. The branch libraries contain reference and curricular materials, some special subject collections according to the needs of the colleges, and books and periodicals to support general education. Library regulations apply to all the libraries. The University Library System reserves the right to revise these regulations when necessary.

Details about opening hours are posted in the Library homepage and at the entrance to each Library. Opening hours are adapted to the semester schedules.

Library Privileges

Library privileges are personal and individual. They may not be transferred to, or used on behalf of, other persons.

Privileges fall into three categories:

1. Borrowing

Borrowing privileges are extended to all registered students and staff of The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Others may apply to the University Librarian for special Borrowers' Cards. Spouses of the University’s full-time staff may also apply to the University Librarian for borrowing privileges.

2. Reading

The privilege of reading is extended to visiting scholars, to researchers, to graduates of this University and to other applicants according to established regulations. Reserve books, however, are mainly for the use of students and faculty of the University.

3. The use of special facilities

Carrels: not reserved for any category of Library user; they are available for the convenience of all.

Study rooms in the University Library: on application to the University Librarian, faculty members and PhD students may reserve a room for one month, renewable once if its use justifies it. These study rooms may not be transferred to another person.

Seminar rooms in the University Library: upon application to the University Librarian, a user may reserve a seminar room for a lecture or for a series of lectures or meeting which would benefit from the use of Library materials and resources.

Photocopying: photocopying machines are available in all Libraries. A reader may obtain at cost photocopies of materials, provided there is no infringement of copyright.

Interlibrary loans: the Interlibrary Loan Librarian will attempt to obtain from other libraries books and other materials which are not owned by the University Library System and which cannot be readily purchased.

Admission to the Libraries

Every user of the Libraries must show a University Identification Card, or a  Library Card at the entrance of the Library. Applications for Library Cards are made at the Circulation Desk.

The loss of a Library Card must be reported to the Library immediately; a replacement card may be issued on a payment basis five working days after the loss is reported. Changes of address should also be reported to the Library as soon as possible.

Borrowing Regulations

Borrower Categories

CUHK Library users are grouped into the following groups:

1.    Registered students of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (including undergraduate students, graduate students and exchanged students).

2.    Staff members of terms A, B and C.

3.    Others: spouses of staff members, alumni, visiting scholars and other applicants approved by the University Librarian.

Borrowing Limits

The borrowing limits for different categories of users are as follows:

Category 1.   Undergraduate students: 50 volumes for 30 days
Category 2.   Postgraduate students: 80 volumes for 60 days
Category 3.   Research staff: 100 volumes for 120 days
Category 4.   Teaching staff (Terms A): 120 volumes for 120 days
Category 5.   Teaching staff (Terms B): 120 volumes for 120 days
Category 6.   Administrative staff (Terms A): 80 volumes for 120 days
Category 7.   General non-teaching staff (Terms B): 30 volumes for 30 days
Category 8.   Staff members of Terms C: 20 volumes for 30 days
Category 9.   Spouses of staff members: 10 volumes for 30 days
Category 10. Others: according to special arrangement

Categories 1 to 6 users may charge out periodicals. Bound periodicals may be borrowed for five days. Current and single issues may be borrowed for one day.

All books taken from the book stacks must be charged at the Circulation Desk or the Self Check-out System. Reserve books must be charged out at the Reserve Books Desk: there are varying borrowing limits on these books.

Books obtained from interlibrary loan are borrowed through the courtesy of other libraries and their restrictions as to loan period and renewal are therefore observed. Usually the loan period is two weeks. Photocopies of periodical articles may be obtained at cost.

Reference books, rare books and microfilms do not circulate.
 

Renewals

Borrowers may renew loans for five additional periods. 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.
 

Recall

When needed by other users, circulating books and journals are subject to recall at any time. In the recall notices, a new due date will be given, i.e. 14 days after the date of the recall. 

Borrowers should respond to a recall promptly. Late returns will be fined [see Fines (b)].
 

Overdues

The responsibility of returning books on time lies with the borrower. When the loan period expires, an overdue notice is sent to all categories of borrowers.
 

Fines

(a) Overdue             

All categories of borrowers who keep books/items beyond the loan period are subject to a fine of HK$1.00 per item per day up to a maximum of HK$100.00.

A fine of HK$1.00 per hour will be charged for each reserve book overdue.

(b) Recall

The fines for not responding to recalls for all categories of borrowers are as follows:

HK$5.00 per item per day

Five working days after issuing of second recall: the Library could take any appropriate action to retrieve the items.

Losses

Borrowers who fail to return books or who return books damaged beyond repair will be charged the cost of replacement in addition to the processing cost of HK$100.00 and any accumulated fines. Damaged books and marked pages should be reported at the Circulation Desk as soon as noticed.

Control Counter

Bags and briefcases may be brought into the Libraries whereas umbrellas may be brought into the Libraries only if they are put in plastic bags. No food or beverages may be taken into the Library. On leaving the Library, all books, etc., may be inspected.

Loss of Privileges

Infractions, such as smoking, shouting, use of mobile phones and pagers outside the designated areas in the Libraries, and other disturbances, are forbidden in the Libraries. Photo-taking and video recording are not allowed in the Library without the permission of the Librarian. The Librarian or an appointed deputy may expel from the Library building for the remainder of the day any person who is acting to annoy others or who is damaging books or other property. Payment must be made to cover all damages.

A gross breach of the Regulations may subject the library user to a loss of Library privileges.
 

(a) Overdue books

After normal recall procedures, a written warning will be sent. If this is ignored, borrowing privileges will be withheld in all the Libraries until the return of the book(s) and the payment of accrued fines.
(b) Payment of charges

If a person refuses to pay any outstanding charges (fines, replacement costs of damaged books or repair of damaged property), all the Libraries will withhold his borrowing privileges until the account is cleared.
(c) In case of materials which have not been charged out properly at the Circulation Counter:

1.    The user's name will be recorded in the Library's register;

2.    The user's borrowing privilege will be suspended for eight weeks from the day of violation;

3.    Compensation for the damage of the item if necessary;

4.    For the 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.

(d) Unreturned Library Materials

1.    The user's name will be recorded in the Library's register;

2.    An invoice will be sent to the user with the warning that his borrowing privilege will be suspended if the books are not returned or the account is not settled.

(e) Observing the law on copyright and systematic or excessive downloading of electronic content:

The use of Library materials and facilities is subject to data protection legislation, copyright law and vendor licence agreements. Users must observe the applicable copyright law and the terms of any vendor licence agreements for materials they use, including print materials, electronic resources and materials in all other formats. The Law states that serious infringement in photocopying, scanning or downloading of copyrighted material could lead to civil action or even criminal prosecution.

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 licence violation on the part of the University and/or its Library. Details of the applicable copyright law and licence agreements are available on the University Website.

A gross infringement of Copyright may subject the user to a loss of Library privileges:

1.    The user’s name will be recorded in the Library’s register;

2.    The user’s borrowing privilege will be suspended for eight weeks from the day of violation;

3.    For the 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 person belongs and to ITSC, and/or authority concerned.

Repeated offenses may lead to a total loss of the privilege of using the Libraries.