FAQ - Locating Materials

How to find Library materials?

Use the Classic Library Catalogue or Library Catalogue 2.0. For details about the use of the Library Catalogue, please refer to the Classic Library Catalogue Search Guide and the Library Catalogue 2.0 Search Guide.

How to find books on a topic?

  • Do a subject search using the Classic Library Catalogue. This will enable you to find all the books in the library categorised under the subject you enter. If you are not sure about the subject headings, do a keyword search. Consult the Classic Library Catalogue Search Guide for details on search methods.
  • Alternatively, you may enter keywords to search in the Library Catalogue 2.0.
  • Most of the books are available for loan. A few collections contain items which may only be used in the Library. For their locations, please consult the Library Floor Plan. For locating a book on shelf, please refer to the Library Web page "How Library Materials are Shelved".

How to find a printed journal that I need?

  • Searching for a journal is similar to searching for a book in the Library Catalogue. Do a title search and see if the journal is available in the Library. Note the "Lib. Has" / "Library Has" field. It tells you the Library holding information.
  • If you would like to find out the latest issues that the Library has received, click on the hypertext link "Latest Received" (in Classic Library Catalogue) or the hypertext link "Show library holdings" (in Library Catalogue 2.0).
  • All serials are classified by the Library of Congress (LC) Classification Scheme. In the Serials Collection Area, current unbound issues are shelved in the periodical racks while bound issues are shelved on compact shelves. Some bound volumes are housed in the Shatin Storage.

How to find journal or magazine articles on a particular topic?

  • The Library Catalogue does not list articles in periodicals. However, the Library has many periodical indexes (both in print and electronic format) which could be searched by subjects or keywords. Many of these indexes also provide brief summaries of articles.
  • Try browsing through the subject list of databases to look for the right index/abstracts/full-text databases for your topic.

I have a citation of an article in hand, how do I find the full text of the article?

  • Firstly you can search the Library Catalogue to see if the periodical containing the article you need is available in any format from our Library. Then, check the "Lib. Has" / " Library Has" field and see if the issue/volume you are looking for is available.
    • If it is available in print format, you may go to the Serials Collection Area and get the desired issue/volume of the periodical. If the desired issue/volume is located in the Shatin Storage, you may request the Library to make photocopy of the desired article via the Library Catalogue.
    • If the desired issue/volume is available in electronic format, at the full record of the e-journal, click on the "online access from XXX" link to access the e-journal and then navigate down to the desired article.
  • In some cases, the periodical may be available in microform (microfilm or microfiche). Request these materials via the Library Catalogue.

What databases or e-journals are available?

How to find newspaper articles?

  • Current issues of Library-subscribed local and overseas newspapers are kept in the Leisure Corner near the Library Lounge of the Library.
  • Back issues of Library-subscribed local and overseas newspapers are located in the Serials Collection Area of the Library.
  • Back issues of some newspapers are also available in microform which can be requested via the Library Catalogue.
  • Full-text news articles are also available online. For newspaper databases, refer to the "Databases by Source Type – Newspapers" page.
  • Hong Kong Newspaper Clippings Index which contains indexes and full text images of local newspapers (1994 - June 1999) is available at the IT Help Desk.
  • For more help on finding newspapers articles, please refer to the Research Guide "News and Newspapers".

How long will the printed newspapers be kept in the Library?

  • Search the Library Catalogue for the title of the newspaper and note the "Lib. Has" / "Library Has" field.
  • Normally local newspapers are kept for one month. Overseas newspapers are normally kept for three months.

How to find company information/annual reports?

Please refer to the Research Guide "Company Information" for Library resources available both in print and electronic format, in addition to relevant websites that can help you find company information/annual reports.

How to find materials in Chinese?

Chinese materials are shelved together with other language materials in the Library Collection. Users may search Chinese materials in the Library Catalogue using any input method available at the PC. Handwriting systems are also available for use inside the Library.

What should I do if the book I am looking for is not on the shelf?

You may check the following first:

  • Are you looking for a book in the wrong collection (e.g. looking for a course reserve book or a reference book in the Circulation Collection)? You may need to check the "Location" of the book in its catalogue record again.
  • Is the title "AVAILABLE"? Check its "Status" in the Library Catalogue. If the item is "DUE with a date", it means the title has been checked out by someone else. You may request a checked-out item using the Library Catalogue.
  • If the item is "AT BINDERY", it means that the item is in the process of being bound and is not available for loan.
  • If the item is "ON HOLDSHELF", it means that the item has been requested by another user. The Library is holding it for the requester to pick up. The item is not available for loan to other patrons but you may place a request on the item.
  • If the item is being ordered or processed, it is not available for loan. Please allow some time for the ordering and/or cataloguing process(es).
  • If the item is "AVAILABLE", you may try looking for the item in the sorting shelves which are shelves on which returned items are temporarily placed before they are properly re-shelved.
  • Sometimes, items may be mis-shelved or being used by other users, especially the sought-after items. It is advisable that you look up the item at a later time or enquire at the appropriate service counter.

How to request a book, a media resource, a bound volume journal or a journal article from the Shatin Storage?

Book or media resource request:

  • When you find that the book or the media resource you are looking for is located in Shatin Storage, at the record display screen in the Classic Library Catalogue, click on "Request" button; in Library Catalogue 2.0, click on the link "Request it". Then fill out the "Item Request Form".
  • An email notice will be sent to you when the book or the media resource is available for you to pick up at the Circulation Counter.

Bound volume journal or journal article request:

  • When you find that the bound volume journal that you are looking for is located in Shatin Storage, at the record display screen in the Classic Library Catalogue, click on "Request" button; in Library Catalogue 2.0, click on the link "Request it". Then fill out the "Item Request Form" to request the whole bound volume or a particular journal article.
    • For bound volume request, please fill in Volume, Issue and Year. The whole bound volume will be delivered to the Library for you to pick up.
    • For article request, please fill in Article Author, Article Title, Date, Volume, Issue, Year and Page No. of the article and accept the Copyright Declaration stipulated on the form. The Library will charge you at HK$0.3 per page. Payment should be settled upon receipt of the article at the Library.
  • An email notice will be sent to you when the bound volume journal or the journal article is available for you to pick up at the Circulation Counter. Should you require other means of notice, please specify in "Other Info" box.

Where can I get lecturers' notes and other course materials?

Teachers may put private copies of their books or their personal notes in the Library for student use. These are kept in the Closed Access Collection. To borrow the materials, please approach staff on duty at the Circulation Counter. You may also search for the course reserve materials in the Classic Library Catalogue by course name or by instructor's name.

Where can I find CityU past examination papers?

CityU past examination papers of the latest four years are kept in the Semi-closed Collection Room. Older examination papers are kept in the Shatin Storage and may be requested for use by users. The electronic versions of examinatin papers from 1996/97 onwards are available in the Classic Library Catalogue. CityU staff and students may search, view and print the examination papers.

Where can I find local university prospectus and calenders?

Local university prospectuses and calendars are kept in the Reference Collection.

How to obtain materials which are not available in CityU Library?

Interlibrary Loan Services (ILL)

  • Interlibrary Loan Services are provided to academic and equivalent administrative staff, research staff, postgraduate and final year degree students as well as executive officers of different departments for obtaining materials not held by the Library.
  • Eligible users are advised to use our online Interlibrary Loan System - ILLiad to submit their requests. To logon to ILLiad, you need to enter your CityU ID Number and your Library PIN. CityU ID Number is either staff ID number or student ID number. Library PIN is the password required for various library services. For users who newly joined CityU are recommended to create a Library PIN first. To create a PIN, please go to the Library Catalogue's View Your Circulation Record page and follow the instructions on screen. If you have forgotten your Library PIN, please reset your PIN online.
  • For users who need to submit printed forms, the Interlibrary Loan Request Form can be downloaded online or obtainable from the Circulation Counter. Completed request forms should be returned to the Interlibrary Loan Services Office via the Circulation Counter.
  • For more details, please refer to the web page on Frequently Asked Questions on Interlibrary Loan Services.

Hong Kong Academic Library Link (HKALL) Service

CityU staff and students of courses leading to CityU awarded degrees can access the library resources of all University Grant Committee (UGC) funded libraries via the HKALL service.

Where do I return Interlibrary Loans materials?

All materials borrowed via Interlibrary Loan Services must be returned to the Circulation Counter. Please do not return any ILL items via the bookdrops.

How to access the Library Catalogue from home?

Go to the Library Home Page, select "Catalogue" in the main navigation bar. From the drop-down menu, select either the Classic Library Catalogue (http://lib.cityu.edu.hk) or Library Catalogue 2.0 (http://encore.lib.cityu.edu.hk/).

Can I access the web-based Library-subscribed electronic resources at home?

Yes, all CityU staff and students can access most of the web-based Library-subscribed electronic resources at home via Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Please consult the Library web page "Remote Access to Library Electronic Resources".

Locating Law Materials

Can I remove the pages from the Law Section's loose leaf binders for photocopying?

No. You must bring the binders to the Law Reference Desk and ask the staff to remove the pages for you.

Can I use Lexis HK or Westlaw?

The databases are for designated groups of users, as listed below.

Database Eligible user
Lexis HK
  • CityU teaching staff
  • CityU School of Law students
  • CityU students who are taking law courses
  • CityU School of Law staff
  • CityU School of Law students

Users who do not belong to those groups may want to consider the following legal resources:

  • Hong Kong e-Legislation (HKeL) - an electronic database of the legislation of Hong Kong by the Department of Justice, HKSAR
  • Judgments and Legal Reference – database with unreported judgments by the Judiciary Branch, HKSAR
  • HKLII - a free Internet facility providing the public with legal information relating to Hong Kong
  • HeinOnline – a database with a comprehensive collection of legal periodicals

How to find a Hong Kong Ordinance?

To look up an Ordinance, you may use the print set of the Laws of Hong Kong, which is located in the Quick Reference Area of the Law Section. Start by using the Index Volume of the set. Alternatively, you can use the databases, Hong Kong e-Legislation (HKeL), Lexis HK or Westlaw Asia.

How to find a Hong Kong case with its case name, for example, Chu Hon Wah v. Cho Herman [2004]?

You may consult a case citator: Consolidated Index to All Reported Hong Kong Decisions or Hong Kong Case Citator. With the citation given, you then use an abbreviation list to look up the full title of the law report and then search it in the library catalogue. Next turn to the respective law report to read the case. Hong Kong law reports, case citators and abbreviation lists can be found in the Quick Reference Area of the Law Section (Stack B). The following databases also carry full text of Hong Kong judgments and cases: Judgments and Legal Reference, Lexis HK and Westlaw Asia.

My lecturer gives me the abbreviation of a law report, e.g. WLR, and I have no idea what it means. How can I find out what the abbreviation stands for?

You can refer to Index to Legal Citations and Abbreviations / Donald Raistrick, 1993 or other abbreviation guides to identify the name of the law report. The Index will tell you that WLR is the abbreviation for the Weekly Law Report. You may also find this online abbreviation list useful, Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations(URL: http://www.legalabbrevs.cardiff.ac.uk/)

How can I locate a UK case with its case name, for example, Hewitt v. Lewis [1986]?

You can refer to the case citator or a case table, for example, The Digest: Consolidated Table of Cases, to find the citation of the case. Then use the abbreviation guides to identify the title of the law report. Next look up the law report title in the Library Catalogue and go to the respective location in the Law Section to use the law report if available. You can also take the case name to the databases, Lexis HK and Westlaw Asia, and search it there. When using the databases, first choose the appropriate field and enter the case name accordingly.

How can I find the text of UK Act?

Use the Halsbury's Statutes of England and Wales, refer to the Consolidated Index volume first. Full text of UK Acts are also available from the UK Office of Public Sector Information web site - Acts of the UK Parliament, Lexis HK and Westlaw Asia.

You may find the following databases useful. Law databases: Lexis HK, Westlaw Asia, Westlaw Next and HeinOnline. Non-law databases: Academic Search Premier, Cambridge Journals Online, Oxford Academic Journals, Social Sciences Citation Index, Scopus.

How are law periodicals shelved?

Law periodicals are shelved in two separate places. Current issues are located on the right side when you walk into the Law Section while back issues are kept in the Law Section electronic compact shelves. In either place, the journals are shelved by alphabetical order of the title. So once you find a law periodical from the Online Library Catalogue, you just move to the respective location. It is not necessary to jot down the call number.