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LCSD responds to Ombudsman's investigation report
     Regarding the Office of the Ombudsman's direct investigation report released today (September 12) on the criteria and procedures for procuring and withdrawing library materials under the Hong Kong Public Libraries (HKPL), which suggested a number of improvement recommendations, a spokesman for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) said that the department in general accepted the investigation report and has studied its recommendations.

     In light of the Office of the Ombudsman's recommendations, the LCSD has implemented or will consider the implementation of the following measures:
Collection development plan and quantity of library materials to be acquired
 (1)  In drawing up the annual collection development plan, respective libraries will provide reports on the required quantity of additional library materials for formulating the overall ratio and total budget for acquiring various library collections for the next financial year. The HKPL will upload the collection development plan onto its webpage to give the public a clearer understanding of the work on library collection development;
(2) To review the need for revising the basic reference target of "procuring at least 700 000 items of library materials annually" when drawing up the collection development plan for 2018-19 and the quantity of library materials to be acquired;
Mechanism and workflow of library collection development and management
(3) To complete the review on the workflow and revision of the template of reports on the library collection this year. The mechanism for addition or transfer of library materials is being put in place to meet the needs of respective libraries to increase their collections or replenish withdrawn library materials;
(4) To continue to review the utilisation of library materials (including the statistics on withdrawn materials) in different districts; and to explore ways to refine the libraries' feedback mechanism on newly acquired materials in order to enhance the development and management of library collections;
Disposal of withdrawn library materials
(5)  Weeding is an on-going process to ensure the vitality and usefulness of the collections to the community and to make room for new materials. The LCSD writes off unserviceable library books in accordance with the disposal procedures laid down in the Government's Stores and Procurement Regulations. The HKPL will continue to work with relevant bureaux/departments to review the current practice of engaging contractors to dispose of the withdrawn materials as waste paper, and to examine how library resources can be best utilised in accordance with government regulations in a cost-effective manner subject to the availability of resources, the views of the community, resources allocated, effectiveness of the scheme, and so on;
Donation of library materials
(6)  For more effective use of resources, the pilot scheme on donation of 412 items of books to community libraries and schools was completed in 2017, and the cost effectiveness of the donation arrangement in accordance with Government's Stores and Procurement Regulations was reviewed;
Data management of library materials
(7)  As some publications will be produced in both print and electronic format or switched from print to electronic version due to the increasing popularity of electronic publishing, the HKPL will continue to review and analyse the usage data of printed and electronic publications so as to decide on the arrangement for adding the publications to the library collection;
(8) To record reasons for withdrawing library materials from the second quarter of 2015 for analysis;
(9)  To carry out the studying and planning of the new-generation library information system in 2017-18. In developing the new system, relevant tools for data management and analysis will be acquired to enhance the analysis of collection development and management.
     "The HKPL has always been committed to developing a balanced and diversified library collection to meet the community's needs for reading and self-learning. The department will continue to listen to views from various stakeholders, especially the feedback from readers and services users, so as to provide more suitable and higher quality services while ensuring the effective use of resources," the spokesman added.
Ends/Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Issued at HKT 13:00
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