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Hong Kong Public Libraries and Cologne Public Library sign Memorandum of Understanding on Library Cooperation


The Hong Kong Public Libraries (HKPL) and the Cologne Public Library today (January 14) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a series of cooperation on library development, resources sharing, professional staff training as well as the inauguration of two simultaneous exhibitions in both cities to promote the cultural exchange between Germany and Hong Kong. The ceremony was held at the Exhibition Gallery of the Hong Kong Central Library through a live-video conference.

The officiating guests included Mr. Michael Mak kin-lam, Assistant Director (Libraries and Development) for Leisure and Cultural Services, Dr. Horst Neisser, Director of the Cologne Public Library, Germany and Mr. Jurgen Keil, Director of the Goethe Institut Inter Nations Hong Kong.

At the opening ceremony, Mr. Mak said, "The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Cologne Public Library and the Hong Kong Public Libraries marks the beginning of a series of cooperation between the two libraries on service enhancement, cultural exchanges, interflow of electronic information, publications, information technology and staff training."

He believed that by sharing resources with other public libraries in the world, the HKPL can have a full realisation of its vision and genuinely give play to its role as an international cultural and information centre.

Ms Alima Tuet, Chief Librarian of the Hong Kong Central Library was impressed with the effort contributed by the German counterpart on this exhibition and cultural exchange programme. The past two years have already seen a series of successful exchanges in staff training, sharing of each others’ collections and video-conferencing discussions on library development. All the attending guests look forward to a closer collaboration between the two parties in the future.

In Hong Kong, the "Exhibition on Heinrich Boll: Life and Work" will display 40 posters, featuring the Novel Prize Winner for Literature in 1972, Heinrich Boll’s photographs, manuscripts, awards and newspaper clippings. Born in Cologne, Boll (1917-1985) was known to be one of the most significant writers of postwar Germany. The Exhibition will open daily from 10 am to 8 pm to the public at the Exhibition Gallery on the Ground Floor of the Hong Kong Central Library.

In Germany, the Cologne Public Library will showcase the "Exhibition on Hong Kong Village Life Documents" revealing the village life of Hong Kong decades ago. The documents are selected from the Hong Kong Central Library’s special collection.

To tie-in with the Exhibition, an English talk titled ‘After Unification: Re-reading Heinrich Boll’ to be conducted by Professor Jeremy Tambling, Department of Comparative Literature, University of Hong Kong will be held on 19 January (Sunday) between 4:00-5:30 pm in Activity Room No. 1 on the Ground Floor of the Hong Kong Central Library.

A German film, Haus ohne Huter (The Unguarded House) based on Boll’s same novel in 1954, will be shown on 26 January 2003 (Sunday) between 2:30-4:15 pm at the Lecture Theatre on the Ground Floor of the Hong Kong Central Library. Conducted in German with English subtitles, the story depicts the lives of two teenagers in postwar Germany. It is a Class II A film and not suitable for children.

While seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis, admissions for all the above programmes are free-of-charge. For enquiries, please visit the Library website at or call 2921 0323.

End/Tuesday, 14 January 2003

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