SCMP Thursday, May 17, 2001

Mega-library officially opens

Updated at 4.15pm:
The Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa presided over the official opening of the Hong Kong Central Library (HKCL) on Wednesday.
A government press release said more than 800 guests attended the opening of what is being billed as a ''library without walls'' and the most significant cultural project of recent years.
With a gross floor area of 33,800 square metres, the Causeway Bay site is the SAR's largest library, accomodating over 2,000 readers.
A new state-of-the-art ''Digital Library System'' will allow readers to access a wide range of information from computer terminals inside the library and at home or work, the press release said.
The 12-storey building hopes to house two million items, but has drawn criticism over its $533 million price tag.
As well as the providing of ample facilities to attract younger readers, the library will be equipped with a multi-media production Room, a microform production room, a microform reading area, an audio-visual Library, a language learning centre, a user education hall, an exhibition Gallery, a lecture theatre, in addition to activity and music practice rooms.