Annual Report 2004 - Leisure and Cultural Services Department Brand Hong Kong - Asia's world city
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  Information Technology

Since its establishment, the department has effectively used information technology as a crucial facilitator in providing quality services to the public, as well as improving operational performance. During the year, 15 major computerisation projects, costing $28 million, were commissioned to improve the quality of service, efficiency and productivity.

The effective use of information technology enhances the department's services to the public.
The effective use of information technology enhances the department's services to the public.


Computerisation of Public Libraries

With the opening of the Tung Chung Public Library in April and another mobile library in December, there are now 63 libraries and nine mobile libraries serving the Hong Kong community. Each library is linked by the LCSD's Library Automation System (LAS), one of the largest bilingual library automation systems in the world. In 2004, a number of IT initiatives also helped improve library services. A capacity review was completed on the LAS to ensure sufficient processing power. The implementation work to double the system's processing capacity, and to enhance network security will be completed in early 2005. 3G wireless technology was adopted for the new mobile libraries to provide on-line circulation services, replacing the CDMA technology previously in use in other mobile libraries.


Improving library services through information technology initiatives.
Improving library services through information technology initiatives.

The Multimedia Information System (MMIS) was launched at the Tai Po Public Library after its renovation and re-opening in December. Patrons can now access the rich digitised materials of MMIS through 25 branch libraries and the Hong Kong Central Library. A review of the functions and performance of MMIS was conducted during the year and upgrading work on specific areas is expected to begin in 2005. In addition, a study was completed on the Hong Kong Public Libraries network infrastructure, and related implementation work is in progress.


The MMIS service proves popular with library patrons.
The MMIS service proves popular with library patrons.


Computerisation of Museums

Hong Kong Museum of Art

The existing computerisation system for the Hong Kong Museum of Art was developed in the mid-1990s to provide a primitive set of management functions for handling museum collections. Due to the growth of the museum's collections and the demand for new functions to streamline operations, the system was reviewed in mid-2004. As a result, upgrading will begin in 2005 to improve museum operations and deliver better quality images of museum collections to promote art appreciation through the Internet.


Museum collections can now be handled by computer systems.
Museum collections can now be handled by computer systems.

Hong Kong Museum of History

The collection of the Hong Kong Museum of History has been computerised to provide a complete set of management functions, including registration of collections, stock-taking, movement of objects, loaning of collections and maintenance of exhibition records. Internet access will be made available in 2005 for the public to view the museum collections.


On-line Patron Registration System

To cope with future growth and to ensure service availability, a full-scale On-line Patron Registration System (OPRS) was implemented in July 2003. Since the launch of the full-scale system, the number of registered patrons has increased substantially to well over 46,000, of which about 26,000 have subscribed to the e-Magazine service — an increase of about 24% over 2003. There was a 32% increase in the number of patrons of Leisure Link, with 29,000 patrons registered by the end of the year. On average, there were about 750 registrations each month for OPRS.


e-Magazine System

To proactively promote LCSD programmes, an e-Magazine System was launched since 2002. The system allows subscribers to receive up-to-date information of cultural events and leisure programmes according to their personal areas of interest through email on a weekly basis. By the end of 2004, there were about 26,000 subscribers.


LCSD Website

The department's website was revamped, starting from November 2003, to meet the 'common look and feel' requirement, making it easier for the public to search for information and use electronic services through the Internet. The redesigned web pages, with new icons and better categorisation of information and services provided by the department, allow the public to quickly locate data and click onto the right web pages with greater ease. The website serves as a complete guide to the department's wide variety of programmes, events and user-friendly electronic services. Most of the corresponding web pages were revamped by September 2004. An on-line survey of the revitalised site showed that over 88% of the respondents rated the new web pages as 'very satisfactory', 'satisfactory' or 'fair'.


Leisure Link System

The system was introduced in March 2002 to enable the public to book leisure facilities and programmes in Hong Kong through the Internet, by telephone, or by visiting booking counters. The Internet booking functions are available at the ESDlife website and the Leisure Link booking service has proved to be the most popular service under the Electronic Service Delivery scheme.

In 2004, a number of new system features were launched for improving the management of leisure facilities and programmes and the user friendliness of the Internet channel. To meet increasing public demand and to cater for future expansion requirement, the computerised Leisure Link booking system was upgraded in December in order to ensure that we could continue to provide services to the public in an efficient and effective way.


Management Information System

The computerised Management Information System (MIS) is designed to facilitate decision-making in the formulation of cultural and leisure services policy, resource allocation and provision of cultural and leisure services. The system will integrate operational and performance data from various sources into a structured information database to enable information sharing, data analysis, ad hoc queries' handling and reporting in a timely and efficient manner. The development of the project is under way and the initial phase will be launched in October 2005, followed by the start of the enhancement phase.


Pearl River Delta Cultural Information Website

A new Pearl River Delta (PRD) Cultural Information website to improve the exchange of cultural information between Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macau was launched in April. The PRD website carries a variety of cultural information, including performing venues, cultural programmes, museums, libraries, arts organisations and ticketing. It provides a common portal for the public to locate cultural information of the three regions.


Cultural information on Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macau is readily available through the Pearl River Delta Cultural Information Net.
Cultural information on Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macau is readily available through the Pearl River Delta Cultural Information Net.
Cultural information on Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macau is readily available through the Pearl River Delta Cultural Information Net.


Projects under Development

Other projects being developed include:

  • Revamping the Hong Kong Public Libraries' (HKPL) website to meet the 'common look and feel' requirement across government bureaux and departments. The information and structure of the site will be redesigned to make it more user-friendly for accessing HKPL material through the web.
  • Provision of self-charging terminals at selected libraries to meet the increasing demand for circulation of library material. A public tender has been issued for the purchase of additional self-charging terminals to be installed in 2005 and 2006.
  • Planning for an Internet Express Terminal Service pilot scheme to provide convenient access to the Internet. Under the scheme, library patrons will be allowed impromptu and brief access to the Internet to check e-mails and browse websites.
  • A geographical information system will be introduced to computerise textual, photographic and cartographic information on the archaeological and built heritage of Hong Kong. This will foster public awareness of Hong Kong's heritage and promote cultural exchanges with overseas heritage institutions, as well as improve the operational efficiency of handling information on Hong Kong's archaeological and built heritage.
  • A tendering exercise is in progress for the back-end operations of URBTIX. A commercial ticketing contractor will be engaged to develop, operate and maintain a dynamic back-end ticketing system and its related services to provide better ticketing services with full Internet functions for the public. The project is planned to start in early 2005 and the enhanced system will be launched in 2006.
  • Implementation of a tree inventory system to make use of Internet technology for public access to the department's green information and to provide the department with a geographical information system for managing this data.
  • Provision of self-service kiosks at LCSD venues for booking leisure facilities and enrolment in community recreational and sports activities. Tender preparations have been completed and implementation will begin in 2005.
  • Computerisation of the Hong Kong Heritage Resources Centre (HRC) will include setting up IT equipment, implementing a library management system for the centre's reference library, and developing a computerised system for visitors to browse research data on buildings of interest.

A glimpse of the future — the Hong Kong Heritage Resources Centre.
A glimpse of the future — the Hong Kong Heritage Resources Centre.
 
 
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