HKALL Borrowing Services

New Library System in July 2017
HKU Libraries will be moving to a new library system​ in July 2017. Eligible patrons please use Interlibrary Loans Services to request books from other UGC-funded university libraries from 6 June to 17 July.


Through searching HKALL, students and staff of HKU and HKU SPACE (full-time students only) can borrow books from the other seven participating libraries by requesting them online and have them delivered to the Lending Services counter of the HKU Libraries for Interlibrary Loans.

[ HKALL Overview | Access HKALL ]


Searching HKALL

Users can search HKALL by either one of the following ways:

  • Transferring a search at the HKU Libraries Catalogue (Dragon) to HKALL by clicking the button "Search HKALL" which appears at the top of the screen alongside with the other buttons
  • Accessing HKALL by clicking the link "HKALL" on the main menu of the HKU Libraries Catalogue or by visiting directly, then conducting a new search in the same way as searching in Dragon.


Requesting and Borrowing HKALL Books

What can be requested?

Books that are NOT available in HKU Libraries but with the status "AVAILABLE" in any other library on HKALL can be requested.

How to make a request?

  1. Conduct a search in HKALL.
  2. Select a desired item from the search result list by clicking the corresponding title.
  3. On the detailed record of the item, note the "status" of the copy (copies) listed. If a copy is AVAILABLE in any other library, click on "Request this title" to initiate a request.
  4. For the question "Which is your home library?", select "HKU Libraries".
  5. Fill out the authentication page and click on "Submit Above Information". The request is sent. HKALL will direct the request to a potential lending library.


What are the borrowing and returning procedures?

  • Users will be notified by email when the requested items are available. With the pickup notification, users should approach at Lending Services counter of the HKU Main Library to borrow the items concerned. Users will be given 5 calendar days to pick up the requested items after formal notification. Items not claimed will be returned to the lending library without prior notification to the users concerned.
  • HKALL items should be returned to Lending Services counter of the HKU Main Library. Please DO NOT use book drop for HKALL books.


HKALL Borrowing Rules and Regulations

Eligible Users / Loan Quotas / Loan Periods (calendar days)

  Eligible Users Maximum No. of Books to be Borrowed* Loan periods
1. Non-academic staff 15 items 15 days
2. SPACE CDP 15 items 15 days
3. SPACE Community College Students 15 items 15 days
4. SPACE Non-academic staff and part-time tutors 15 items 15 days
5. Technicians 15 items 15 days
6. Undergraduates 15 items 15 days
7. Centennial College Students 15 items 15 days
8. Honorary staff 15 items 15 days
9. Academic / research staff 30 items 30 days
10. Visiting scholars 15 items 30 days
11. Postgraduates 15 items 30 days
12. SPACE academic staff 15 items 30 days

*Important: Users will be using their HKU Library loan quotas to borrow HKALL books. The maximum no. of books can be borrowed also depends on the loan quotas of each category of borrowers.



  • Holds cannot be placed on checked out HKALL books.
  • However, local users at the owning library can "recall" items loaned out to other HKALL libraries through their own library catalogue at any time. Upon recall, the users at HKU who have borrowed the items concerned will receive an email notification. The original due date may be shortened. Yet, there is a minimum use period of 15 calendar days.



  • Two renewals are allowed on condition that the item concerned is not recalled by any local patron of the lending library.
  • Users can renew HKALL books online themselves within 7 calendar days of the due date via their individual circulation accounts accessible by clicking "View Your Circulation Record" on the HKU Libraries Catalogue opening menu. No email notification will be sent out and it is the users' responsibility to observe the new due date shown in their own circulation record.
  • The renewal period will be the same as the original loan period.
  • Renewal is treated as a continuation of loan and thus the book concerned will still be subject to recall at any time.


Cancellation of Requests

  • Users can cancel requests if they later do not need the items. However, this can only be done if the requests concerned are still under the status "HKALL REQUESTD" in the users' circulation records. If the lending libraries have already transferred the requested items to the HKU Libraries, the status of the requested items in the users' circulation record will become "TRANSFERRED" or "HKALL RECVD" and the users will not be able to cancel the requests at this stage.
  • Cancellation can be done via the users' individual circulation accounts accessible by clicking "View Your Circulation Record" on the HKU Libraries Catalogue main menu.
  • The lending libraries may also cancel the requests if the requested items are (i) not found on shelf, or (ii) being checked out by the local users or (iii) found not suitable for loan. The users concerned will be notified by email if the requested items are cancelled.


Overdues and Fines

  • An overdue notice will be sent via email to all categories of users as soon as the loan period of an HKALL book expires.
  • Fines for failing to return overdue items are as follows:
    • Normal overdue: HK$2.00 per item per calendar day
    • Recalled overdue: HK$4.00 per item per calendar day

* Important: It is the responsibility of the users to provide a current email address to the Libraries.


Loss and Damage of HKALL Books

  • It is the users' responsibility to take good care of HKALL books borrowed from the other libraries. No HKALL books should be taken overseas without prior permission from the lending libraries.
  • Users will be held responsible for any loss or damage of the HKALL books borrowed. Book replacement and penalty policies of the lending libraries will be followed when such cases arise.