8 things you need to know about UCT Libraries

20 January 2020

Occupying 17 000 m2 with 53 km of shelf space, UCT Libraries is one of the largest in the southern hemisphere. This is what you need to know.

1. UCT Libraries

UCT Libraries is the collective name for the university’s main library and it’s seven branch libraries. The main library, officially the Chancellor Oppenheimer Library, can be found on upper campus.

2. Services

Structured in alignment with the six UCT faculties, UCT Libraries offer customised services for undergraduates, postgraduates, academics and staff.

3. Spaces

There are many spaces in the libraries for students to meet, study and collaborate, including the dedicated undergraduate Vincent Kolbe Knowledge Commons, group study rooms and 24/7 study areas – such as the Hlanganani Junction.

4. Resources

UCT Libraries has 1.2 million+ physical volumes, 72 000+ e-journal titles, 28 500+ print journal titles, 1 600 manuscript collections and 190 high-quality electronic databases.


“I wish somebody had told me that the librarians are there for a reason and they are a useful resource. If I could go back to my first year, I’d definitely use them more.” — NOLUYOLO

5. Connectivity

UCT Libraries is a highly connected environment with around 450 PCs and Wi-Fi for your devices. You can register for on- and off-site access to all library resources.

6. Website

Accessible from your phone, tablet, laptop or computer, the UCT Libraries website (www.lib.uct.ac.za) is a portal to a world of information and resources. Primo, the UCT Libraries’ search tool, allows you to easily find what you need, and you can sign in for more functionality like reserving a book, saving records and exporting citations.

7. Borrowing and returns

Your student card is your library card, which allows you to borrow six items at a time for seven days. Staff at the loans desk will issue books to you or you can use the self-checkout machine (only in the main library). After-hours hatches at the libraries mean you can return books even when they’re closed.

8. Your learning partner

UCT Libraries staff are available to assist with all your information and research needs. They also provide orientation tours, library literacy and customised research database workshops.

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