The extensive array of collections at the HKUST Library are primarily in the subject areas of science, engineering, business and management, humanities and social sciences. They include learning and research materials in different languages and in multiple formats, including printed volumes, electronic resources, microforms, audio-recordings, maps and items in other forms. The collections statistics presents the details of the collection size.
Books are organized by subjects according to the Library Congress Classification, with classes A-L on LG4 and classes M-Z on LG3. The Library's extensive e-book collection is accessible through the Library Catalog from on and off campus. To promote reading for fun and enjoyment, the Library has been building its leisure reading collection.
The collection of databases provides full-text or bibliographic access to a range of research literature including books, periodicals, statistics, patents and standards.
Users can check the coverage and description of individual titles at the database lists. The majority of them require subscription, but select quality open access titles are also included.
Most of them are Web-based whereas some, due to license or software restrictions, are only accessible via standalone stations in the Database Room.
Digitization initiatives of HKUST Library include:
Media Resources is located on LG1. The collection consists of DVD, VHS, VCD, CD, audiocassettes, and slides. Selected Hong Kong TV programs and videos from the University Archives are available via Streaming Videos.
The On Call Collection consists of audio-cassettes, laser discs, slides, indexes of microfilms, supplementary materials of media items, less-used books, duplicate copies, old editions, and journals with complete e-coverage that have been sent to storage. Users can request on call items to be brought from storage by choosing the REQUEST button in the Library Catalog. The usual turnaround time is one day.
Periodicals (journals, magazines and newspapers) come in different formats: print, electronic and microform. Recent issues of journals, newspapers, and magazines are kept on G/F in the Current Periodicals or Newspapers sections. Bound periodicals are kept on LG4.
The reference collection on the G/F includes dictionaries, encyclopedias, indexes, atlases, almanacs, and handbooks. As a general rule, reference books are not for borrowing.
Items are placed in the Reserve Collection on G/F at faculty members request, usually for class assignments. They are intended for limited-time use in the Library. Some reserve items are available electronically.
Special Collections on the 1/F include rare books on the history of science, antique maps of China, Paul T. K. Lin Collection, and reproductions of Chinese calligraphy and paintings of the National Palace Museum.
The University Archives on the 1/F consists of the publications of the University and other University records that have been determined to have on-going value. Much of this material is available online through the Digital University Archives. Materials that because of their value, fragility, or format cannot be placed in the regular library collection are also placed in the University Archives Room.