Staff and students of HKU and HKU SPACE can access the library resources of all University Grants Committee (UGC) funded libraries through the Hong Kong Academic Library Link (HKALL).
HKALL accelerates library resource sharing among all UGC libraries. It serves as a common on-line catalogue allowing staff and students of the partner institutions access to each other's library resource --- a total of over seven million monographs and other materials. HKALL is the first of such partnership in this region and holds a large number of Chinese bibliographic records.
Based on an Innovative Interface software running on a server housed at the HKU Libraries, HKALL seamlessly connects the library automation systems of all universities in Hong Kong. So HKU users can request and borrow materials belonging to other UGC libraries directly. The system has loaded the catalogues of all participating libraries into a central database. With a single search, eligible users can identify and borrow materials from the common pool of collections using any personal computer in any location with access to the Internet, and have the materials delivered to the libraries of their respective institutions for further checkout.
Unlike the interlibrary loan service that involves intermediary manual processing, HKALL is an automated system using a common on-line catalogue and a central database. Thus the turnaround time is much quicker between requests and pickups.
While the interlibrary loan services cater only to certain categories of users, HKALL allows borrowing services to all staff and students of UGC institutions.