UCT Libraries

27 January 2023
Campus Life 2023 - Your studies - UCT Libraries
Photo Je’nine May.

Occupying 17 000 m2 with 53 km of shelf space, UCT Libraries is one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. But more than just an amazing repository of information, it’s run by a team of people who are dedicated to making your studies successful. This is what you need to know.

1. UCT Libraries

UCT Libraries is the collective name for the university’s main library and its seven branch libraries, namely Bolus Herbarium Library, Brand van Zyl Law Library, Built Environment Library, Bongani Mayosi Health Sciences Library, Institute of Child Health Library, Hiddingh Hall Library and WH Bell Music Library. The main library, officially the Chancellor Oppenheimer Library, is located on upper campus and the branches located within the respective faculties, department or campuses.

2. Services

Structured in alignment with the six UCT faculties, UCT Libraries offers customised services for undergraduates, postgraduates, academics and staff. During the COVID-19 lockdown, a comprehensive Virtual Library Service was designed to support teaching and learning, and research. This service has now been mainstreamed to support users wherever they may be located.

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, library learning lounges (Snape and Chris Hani buildings) and 24/7 study areas, such as the Hlanganani Junction (upper campus) and the Impilo Junction (Health Sciences). All facilities are strictly managed to ensure users’ health and safety within the context of “a new normal”.

4. Your UCT Librarian

Your most important resource is a UCT librarian, who will introduce and guide you to the best information resources available to you. UCT Libraries has more than 1.2 million physical volumes, over 72 000 e-journal titles, more than 28 500 print journal titles, 1 600 manuscript collections and 190 high-quality electronic databases.

In addition, librarians have developed a series of subject and study guides linked to academic subjects and courses. We have acquired Leganto, a course reading list tool, that will connect you to your course readings and other relevant materials.

Do not hesitate to introduce yourself to a librarian or communicate via email or Ask-a-Librarian.

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 is a portal to a dynamic 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 functions, such as reserving a book, booking a study room, Ask-a-Librarian, recommend a purchase, training and workshops and many more.

7. Borrowing and returns

Your student card is your library card, which allows you to borrow six items at a time for seven days.

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 library orientation tours, information fluency and digital literacy, and customised research database workshops. These are all designed to support and ensure your academic success for the entire duration of your academic journey. Join our world and let us become your learning partner!

For more information, email libraries@uct.ac.za or call 021 650 3703/4.

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