The opening of the new Central Library in Causeway Bay is to be put back to April or May because more time is needed to test the computer system, according to the Director of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. 'Our system will be the biggest automated Chinese-English library system in the world,' Paul Leung Sai-wah said after touring the $690 million library yesterday. 'We are obliged to ensure it operates 100 per cent effectively. We think there is a need to postpone the date after we discussed it with the computer suppliers.' The library opening had been pencilled in for December. Mr Leung attributed the delay to the decision to put the electronic installation system to open tender, which takes more time than assigning suppliers. The library is the last key project of the now-disbanded provisional urban council. The project has been at the centre of disputes since July 1997 when the then urban services director, Elaine Chung Lai-kwok, failed to notify the council before drawing up another design. A war of words broke out between then urban council chairman Ronald Leung Ding-bong and Ms Chung when they gave different versions of the design change on a radio programme. Another row centred on the Architectural Services Department's decision in September 1997 to add Greek columns to part of the exterior without council approval. The 12-storey library had been expected to open in December, a year after the council was scrapped. Mr Leung stressed that the opening date set by the former urban council was just an estimate. He said the department was considering inviting members of the public to give advice on buying books. There has been criticism in some quarters that the administration 'lacks transparency' in the way it chooses books. Leisure and Cultural Services Department deputy director, Michael Mak Kin-lam, said opening hours of public libraries would be reviewed after the Central Library came into service.