Holds and Recalls

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Holds and Recalls

The service aims to expedite the circulation of high-demand books. The online request may lead to a recall of the checked out items or place it on hold for another user. The loan period will be shortened once users place a hold on an item and users will then receive an email for a new due date of the recalled item.


What kinds of materials can be requested/recalled?

Items can be requested and recalled if:

  • An item is checked-out by another patron
  • An item is checked-out by other local/overseas institutions 
  • An item with the status “on hold shelf”

*Due date will not be shortened for short loan items (1 day, 2 days, 7 days & 14 days).


Online requests are rejected under the following conditions:

  • An item is not requestable (e.g. 3-hours loan period)
  • An item with the status “Available” (Please fill in e-form for searching a missing item)
  • An item is located at owning library
  • The borrower whose borrowing privilege has been suspended or terminated
    • Borrower's  account has outstanding charges that exceeds the prescribed limit
    • Borrower's  account has overdue recalled item or more than 5 long overdue items


How to place a hold?

  1. Sign in before placing a request on checked-out item. 
    • HKU Staff and Students: Enter your HKU Portal ID and PIN. If you do not have a Portal ID and PIN or have forgotten yours, please refer to the Information Technology Services web page.
    • Other library users (including HKU SPACE Staff and Students, Part-time tutors, Alumni, Circle of Friends, and JULAC users): Enter your Library Card Number and PIN. First-time users can create your own library password here. If you have forgotten your PIN, please reset your password or approach Services Counter for help.
    • Reader's cardholders: Request items at the Main Library or any branch libraries service counter for retrieval of physical volumes.
  2. Locate the desired requested item in Find@HKUL.
  3. Click on "Request this copy" button in "Get it" tab in order to place a hold.
  4. Choose preferred pickup location.
  5. Click "Request" button to submit the request online.
  6. A confirmation message "Request placed" is shown if the request is successful. An email notification will be sent to users when the requested item is ready for pick-up.

Please visit the quick guide for more details.


How many requests can I make?

User Type Request Quota for EACH category
(Physical items / Digitization)
Academic, Professional & Senior Administrative and Research Staff 25
HKU Postgraduates and Undergraduates 10
SPACE Academic staff 10
Other Registered Borrowers:
  • Non-academic staff
  • Honorary staff / Honorary appointees
  • Technicians
  • Visiting Scholars and External borrowers
  • Staff spouse and dependent
  • Alumni / Circle of Friends
  • JULAC staff and postgraduates
  • HKU Retired Staff / Staff Spouse
  • HKUSPACE Non-academic staff and Part-time tutors
  • HKUSPACE / Centennial College / International College (IC) students

(i) Physical item requests: Request of physical items includes Inter-branch and Hing Wai Storage requests
(ii) Digitalization requests: Request of library materials in Hing Wai Storage delivered electronically


When can I pick up the requested item?
How long will the requested items held on the hold shelf?

You will be notified by email when the item is ready for pickup. Check the status of the item from your circulation record by clicking on MyAccount@HKUL on library homepage.

Items on hold have to be picked up within the specified hold period, or else the items will be returned to the shelf or placed on hold for the next requester in the queue.

Loan Period of Requested Item Hold Period
1 day, 2 days 1 day
7 days, 14 days 2 days
60 days, 180 days 7 days


How should I respond to a recall?

All loans items are subject to recall once the item is requested by another user. The loan period will be shortened from the date of recall. User will receive a recall notice via email once the loaned item is requested by another patron. A new due date will supersede all previous loan periods or due dates. To avoid overdue fines incurred or suspension of borrowing privilege, users are advised to check your circulation record from MyAccount@HKUL regularly and return the recalled item within 14 days from the date of recall or by the original due date, whichever comes earlier.

To get a recalled item, users can simply place an online request on the item or eligible users can place an online request via Interlibrary Loan and Article Delivery Services



What if the book is not returned to the library on the new due date?

Overdue fines of $5 per day will be levied for late returns of recalled items. The patron will be blocked from further borrowing, renewals, or requests until all overdue recalled items are returned.