Annual Report 2002 - Leisure and Cultural Services Department Brand Hong Kong - Asia's world city
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  Information Technology

In line with the Government's comprehensive e-government strategy, the department has employed IT as a crucial facilitator for delivery of its services through electronic means on an 'anytime and anywhere' basis. During the year, about 28 computerisation projects were undertaken at a cost of around HK$50 million to improve various services provided by the department, including public libraries, museums and booking of leisure facilities.

The public library system comprises 61 static and eight mobile libraries linked up by one of the largest bilingual Library Automation Systems (LAS) in the world. Through the Multimedia Information System or MMIS, the On-line Public Access Catalogue, the CD-ROM Network, Internet facilities and multimedia terminals, the dissemination of electronic information through multimedia technology has become an indispensable part of our library resources. The public can now have remote access to a wide range of library services, including on-line renewal of books, catalogue search and reservation of books through the Internet, as well as email enquiry service 24 hours a day.

The MMIS at the Hong Kong Central Library (HKCL) allows users to search and instantly access document images as well as audio and video-on-demand services in both digital and analogue formats. Most of these materials can be accessed anywhere via the Internet too.

A bilingual library system was also installed for the opening of the Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA) last year. HKFA enables the public to search and access textual and multimedia film information such as images and video clips. Internet service was launched in January 2002 to enable people to search the HKFA catalogue on the web. This new service serves to promote public awareness of Hong Kong's film heritage and cultural exchange with overseas film archives.

To encourage the utilisation of recreational and sports facilities, the department launched the Leisure Link System together with an on-line patron registration system in March 2002. Leisure Link provides 24-hour, on-line booking and payment functions for all the department's leisure facilities and activities across the territory. The public can register through the Internet as patrons of Leisure Link, and registered patrons may use the Interactive Voice Response System and the Internet Booking services.

To add value to the on-line patron registration system, an electronic magazine (e-Magazine) function has been initiated to promote the events and programmes of the department. The e-Magazine aims to encourage public participation in cultural and sports events. Interested parties are invited to subscribe to it for the latest information on all cultural and leisure events. Subscribers will receive via email a free weekly magazine customised according to their own interest areas. This e-Magazine is the first of its kind introduced by a government department and its pilot phase was launched in May. Response from the public has been encouraging and full-scale e-Magazine services will be launched in 2003.

e-Magazine

The department also supports the e-government initiative via participation in the Electronic Service Delivery scheme and use of the e-payment function via the Octopus Card. Installation of Octopus Card readers in 21 un-manned leisure venues was completed in 2002. Patrons are now allowed to pay by Octopus Card for on-the-spot reservation of the department's leisure facilities. Since the exact amount of payment is deducted from the card, manual effort and possible error in handling cash will be minimised.

Public opinion is also a main concern of the department. Since the pilot phase of the Management Information System (MIS) was successfully launched in the first quarter of 2002, the MIS Information Portal and the Views from the Public module have been extensively used by the department. It enables staff to share information, including complaints, feedback and compliments on staff performance. As the information is directly accessible from MIS, the department has gained significant efficiency in handling public complaints and formulating strategies to address the problems. The MIS contributed to the winning of the Grand Award of the Ombudsman Awards 2002.

Projects under development include the following:

Launching of the new functions of the LCSD ESD Leisure Link system in April 2003 to provide more comprehensive booking schedule information. Patrons can also set up their own booking profiles with pre-defined booking details and preferences to speed up the booking process.
Computerisation of the Hong Kong Museum of History so the museum collection and exhibition information can be viewed via the Internet.
Revamping of the LCSD website to meet the Common Look and Feel requirement.
Enhancement of the LAS and introduction of new systems to cater for the use of the smart ID card to access public library services. Extensive testing will be conducted in 2003.
MMIS will be extended to 26 branch libraries so the public can access those valuable digital collections from branch libraries other than HKCL.

 
 
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