Providing access to the public to diverse cultural expressions (Hong Kong)
There are 14 museums, a film archive, two heritage centres and a visual arts centre managed by LCSD. They are professionally managed to provide an ideal environment for the conservation and display of collections. Large-scale thematic exhibitions are held every year to add variety to the permanent exhibitions with the ultimate goal to attract more people to visit museums. Extension activities such as film shows, demonstrations, workshops and travelling exhibitions are organised to stimulate interest and popularise museum services.
LCSD monitors the performance of its museums on the basis of both quantitative and qualitative performance indicators. In addition, LCSD carries out territory-wide surveys to gauge public views on the facilities and services of its museums. In 2010, the attendance at the museums managed by LCSD was 5.44 million. About 90% of museum visitors indicated that they were satisfied with the museums.
Apart from public museums managed by LCSD, there are also a number of private museums on different themes run by non-Government organisations (NGOs) providing a wide range of museum services to the public in Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Public Libraries (HKPL) managed by LCSD now provides a network of 67 static libraries and 10 mobile libraries with a comprehensive collection of library materials, including books and multimedia materials. As at 31 March 2011, HKPL had 3.91 million registered borrowers.
HKPL aims to serve the public in the ways as manifested in the UNESCO Public Library Manifesto that proclaims the belief in the public library as a living force for education, culture and information, and as an essential agent for the fostering of peace and spiritual welfare through the minds of men and women. To promote the diversity of cultural expressions in creation, HKPL serves the public in the following ways:
- as an information centre where information and the latest development on all subject disciplines are freely and readily available to the public;
- as a centre for the promotion of literary arts and literary research in Hong Kong to cultivate public interest in creative writing and literary research, to encourage and promote literary writing, preserve Hong Kong literature, and promote cultural exchange; and
- as a source for the enrichment of everyday living where members of the public may learn about current affairs, hobbies, and leisure pursuits.
HKPL has continued to fulfill its commitment in promoting a knowledge-based community through reading and literary arts by organising a diversity of cultural activities by partnership with NGOs. The activities have been organised on both regular and non-regular bases for various reader segments including the elderly, housewives, children and working adults so as to enhance public involvement and partnership in public library services.
LCSD manages 15 performance facilities as focal points for cultural activities throughout the territory. They include two territory-wide performing arts venues (namely, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and the Hong Kong City Hall), 11 district civic centres as well as two indoor stadia (namely, the Hong Kong Coliseum and the Queen Elizabeth Stadium), with seating capacities ranging from 400 to 12 500. The general public and the arts sector may hire these venues under an open and transparent booking policy.
Besides, LCSD also actively explores new performance spaces other than those under its management to further support the growth and development of local artists in the community. Performances have been staged at venues of the universities and educational institutions such as the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA), the HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity and the auditoria of various universities.