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PolyU Library

Library Guide for PolyU Freshmen

Top things every freshman should know about your “Learning Hub” throughout your studies in PolyU and beyond



The library collects print (physical) and electronic resources related to all programmes and courses offered at PolyU. This includes books, journals, audio-visual materials and many more.

How to find an item in the Library Collection:

OneSearch is a one-stop discovery platform to help you find anything in the Library, whether it is in print or electronic format. Watch this short video or visit this guide to learn more about OneSearch.

Course Readings

Course readings are readings / study materials recommended by your instructors for the course you are enrolled in. You should try to get your hands on these readings at the beginning of the semester as they are very popular among students. These readings could be from different types of materials like books, journal articles and/or audio-visual materials.

How to find course readings

You can access the reading materials on Learn@PolyU or from the Library homepage. Watch this 1-minute video to learn how, or refer to the quick guide for students.

Physical & Electronic Collections

undefinedThe Physical Collection of PolyU Library contains various types of resources in wide range of disciplines. You can search them via OneSearch



Audio Visual Collection
Includes DVDs, VCDs, audio CDs, multimedia packages, microforms, maps, charts, etc.

undefined Book Collection
Includes books in English, Chinese, or other non-western languages, etc.
undefined Course Reserves on 7-day Loan

Includes Textbooks and supplementary materials recommended by teaching staff for the courses.

undefined Reference Collection
Includes encyclopaedias, dictionaries, guidebooks, handbooks, directories, etc.
undefined Serials Collection

Includes journals, annuals, irregular serial publications and newspapers. 

undefined University Collection

Includes historical materials documenting the development of University and publications.

undefined Remote Store Collection
Includes low used books, journals and audio visual materials.
undefined PolyU Reads

Includes good picks for your reading enjoyment and inter-disciplinary knowledge acquisition.

undefined Print Standards, Theses & Dissertations, and External Examination Papers

These collections are housed in closed stacks.


Visit Access & Borrowing page to learn more about borrowing services, loan privileges and more. 


After you searched the OneSearch and found the item(s) you want, you can mark down its Call number and the corresponding location of the item(s). 

Each physical item in the physical collection is labeled with a call number, which contains both letters and numbers representing the source's location in the library, e.g., TX911 .V33 2019. When you search a physical book through OneSearch, you will get a call number, which tells you where you can find the book. Books on the same subject will be placed in the same range on bookshelves.


How to read the Call number?

Call numbers can be divided into 4 rows:

  • The first row is simply sorted in alphabetical order.
  • The second row is sorted in numerical order.
  • The third row consists of a character and a set of numbers.
  • The character is sorted in alphabetical order; The set of number is sorted as decimal numbers.
  • The last row represents the publication year, which is simply sorted by the year.

Below are some examples of the rules mentioned above:

Notes: Large books which cannot be accommodated on the normal shelves are kept at the end of the collection in each Wing. The word [QRT] beside the call number indicates "large books". E.g. [QRT] TX911 .A84 1995 is shelved after T-Z books on G/F, North Wing.


Sometimes, a print book you want might be borrowed by others, or not found in our collection. There are two ways in which you can get the book: (1) request it in OneSearch or (2) HKALL service. Postgraduate students can consider ILL (Interlibrary Loan) too if the material is not found in PolyU Library or HKALL.

Visit Access & Borrowing page to learn more about borrowing services, loan privileges and more. 


The Electronic Collection of PolyU Library contains a multitude of electronic resources including e-books, full-text electronic journal titles, theses, newspapers, etc. 99% of our journals and 72% of our books are electronic versions and can be available anytime and anywhere. You can access most e-resources both on and off-campus access:



Access to different types/ subjects of electronic resources subscribed by the Library.

undefined Electronic Journals
Search and view over 147,000 full-text electronic journals online.
undefined PolyU Examination Paper Database

Includes the question papers of examination submitted by various PolyU departments.

undefined PolyU Electronic Theses
Includes doctoral dissertations & master's theses of the postgraduate students of the University.
undefined Digital Collections

Includes digital contents of valuable rare or unique titles from the Library.

undefined PolyU Institutional Research Archive

Includes research and scholarly outputs created by the PolyU community.

Find e-Books and Articles
OneSearch   Google Scholar

Start from OneSearch, your one-stop platform to search for library resources. Use "Full Text Online", "Books" or "Articles" filters to view the results that can be accessed online.

Visit OneSearch Discovery Platform - Quick Tips guide for more. 


Access Google Scholar via Library homepage so that you can directly access the full text of articles the Library subscribed to through PolyU eLinks.

Google Scholar@PolyU

Visit Google Scholar@PolyU guide to learn the steps.

Find e-Journals

Visit Journals A-Z to find and access the e-journals available through the Library. You may also use BrowZine which allows easy browsing, reading and following journals on both desktop and mobile devices.

Find Course Readings   Find Exam Papers

Access reading materials prescribed by your instructors for specific courses on Learn@PolyU. Watch this 1-minute video to learn how, or refer to the quick guide for students.

  Download the past exam papers from PolyU Examination Paper Database to prepare for exams of your subjects. You can do a search or browse by subject title and code.

Find Other e-Resources

Look for standards, images, statistics or other types of resources in your discipline? Explore related e-databases by type of resources or by subject

We also put together guides for different disciplines so that you can continue to explore and use these online resources available in the Library:

E-Resources Not Available?

Interlibrary Loan Services (ILL)

Eligible PolyU staff and students can also request for articles and other materials from overseas libraries using Interlibary Loan Service

Request an article via ILL

Get Resources Beyond Our Collection

Cannot find what you want or all copies in our collection are currently on loan? Try the following ways:

HKALL Borrowing Services

A shared platform for UGC-funded university libraries in Hong Kong, HKALL Borrowing Services allows you to request physical books that are not available in the PolyU library. The book will be delivered to our Library within 2 - 3 days for pick up. 

Find loan quotas and other details here.



You can also apply for a Joint University Librarians Advisory Committee (JULAC) Library Card at the Loan & Return Counter, which allows you to visit other UGC-funded university libraries in person. This can be another way to access resources from other libraries.

View detailed arrangements for the JULAC card here and register online here.


Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery Services (ILL&DDS)

To get full text for articles and book chapters that are not available in PolyU Library, you can submit a request via ILL&DDS services. For postgraduate students, you can even make a request for a print book if the resource is not found in our Library and HKALL collection.

Get to know steps for request from this video and other information from the homepage of ILL&DDS services.