The LCSD makes extensive use of information technology to enhance the quality of its services to the public and to improve its operational efficiency. In 2015-16, 45 computerisation projects were being implemented at a total expenditure of $58.22 million.
Computerisation of Public Libraries
The Hong Kong Public Libraries (HKPL) has been continuously enhancing the e-services it offers to the public. To help mobile phone and tablet users access HKPL's online information and e-services more easily, a mobile version of the HKPL website was launched in May 2015. In addition, a single sign-on function has been implemented, enabling members of the public to conveniently access all the library's e-services (e.g. renewal of library materials, booking of library workstations, and use of e-books and other e-resources), simply by logging in once through the library website.
The popular HKPL mobile app 'My Library' has also been enhanced with new functions. Users can now online renew library items that are overdue (up to a certain limit), and manage up to five library accounts.
Besides winning the Best Lifestyle (Learning & Living) Gold Award at the Hong Kong ICT Awards 2015, HKPL's 'Library at your fingertips' (which includes the 'My Library' mobile app, the Multimedia Information System (MMIS) mobile app and the provision of e-resources) also won a Merit Award (Government and Public Sector) at the Asia Pacific ICT Awards 2015.
Apart from improving its e-services, HKPL also made efforts to enhance the services it offers in libraries. In late 2015, some 90 sets of new Self-Charging Terminals (SCT) were deployed in various branch libraries to further enhance the existing self-service. The user-friendly new SCTs allow patrons to check out library materials by themselves quickly and efficiently.
To promote computer literacy and to give the public better access to reference information, a number of Computer & Information Centres/Areas (CIC/As) have been set up at several public libraries. These provide users with common software packages such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite, together with printing and scanning services. With the opening of the Tiu Keng Leng Public Library in July 2015, a total of 29 public libraries had been provided with CIC/As. As of March 2016, 15 of these libraries also had colour laser printers installed to improve the quality of the printing services available there.
Leisure Link System
The Leisure Link System (LLS) enables the public to book leisure facilities and enrol in recreational and sports activities via several different channels: at counters, through the internet, at self-service kiosks, and by phone. An enhancement project for the self-service kiosk system was completed in July 2015, which involved adding new functions such as the cancellation of facility bookings, and real time registration of Leisure Link Patrons for Hong Kong Identity Card holders. At the same time, the system's performance and capacity were enhanced. In view of growing demand from the public and likely future service needs, a study is currently being conducted to explore the ways of improving the service further. The aim will be to enhance its efficiency, user-friendliness and transparency for members of the public wanting to book leisure facilities and enrol in recreation and sports programmes. The study is expected to be completed in 2016.
In September 2014, the LCSD's departmental website was enhanced to conform with the Level AA standard of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Version 2.0, promulgated by the World Wide Web Consortium. Since then, it has been further revamped and given an up-to-date website layout design to improve the navigation experience of users. The new version of the LCSD website, accompanied by a mobile version, was launched in July 2015. The website was awarded the Silver Prize under the Government Departments Stream in the 'Best .hk Website Awards 2015'.
Hong Kong Film Archive Management System
The Hong Kong Film Archive Management System (HKFAMS) was launched in early 2015, replacing the old system and improving the management of films and related items in the Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA). Besides enabling the catalogue to be searched online, the new system also provides a number of new functions that are helping streamline the HKFA's business operations.
Projects in Progress
- A museum Multimedia Information Guide System is currently being developed, which will provide museum visitors with information about exhibits and navigation aids. This will enhance museum services at the Hong Kong Science Museum and the Hong Kong Space Museum. Mobile apps are also being developed for popular smart phones, which members of the public will be able to download; the apps will enable them to access the museum guides in multimedia format on their smartphones. The new system will be launched in phases from mid-2016 to early 2017.
- A Music Office Integrated System is being developed to enhance the efficiency of the Music Office's business operations, and will cover the management of trainees and instructors and the handling of inventory records. The new system will also provide e-services (such as online application and online payment) for various training programmes and music activities. The different functions of the new system will be introduced progressively from April 2016 until the end of the year.
- A Borrower Registration Record (BRR) System is being developed that will involve computerising HKPL's borrower registration records, which are currently stored in traditional forms such as paper and microfilm. This will streamline the process for retrieving these records by HKPL branch libraries. The new system will be in place by mid-2016.
- A Book Dispenser Pilot Project is being implemented. Three book dispensers will be installed at selected locations in a pilot run, where their feasibility and merits in terms of complementing existing library services will be evaluated. The first book dispenser will be launched in mid-2017.
- The Campaign Records System & e-Magazine System are being upgraded to a more modern system platform and enhanced to use Cloud mailing technology. The new system will be launched in mid-2016.