Services & Facilities


  • All books that have been borrowed from the open book shelves have to be presented at the circulation desk along with your current student/staff card.
  • The rights of the cardholder cannot be transferred to another person.
  • Items that have been borrowed may be renewed twice. Renewals are allowed only if the item is not overdue or not in demand.


The Main Library has installed two book-drop zone facilities to allow students to drop off books before the library’s opening times. The book-drop zone for regular items is situated in the foyer next to the entrance of the Library. The drop zone for short loan items is at the Short Loans Desk side and is clearly marked.



Manager: Access & User Services

Mr. Trevor Fortune


Tel: 021 959-2073

Circulations Desk & Evening Services- 021 9592946

Short Loans- 021 9592943



The Short Loans Section consists mainly of prescribed texts and recommended readings selected by your lecturers for your courses. The objective is to ensure that as many people as possible obtain access to the available material. DVDs covering all subject areas are also kept here and may be viewed by individuals inside the Library.


Books on the Short Loans Section may be used for one hour inside the Library during the day. Where multiple copies are available, books may be borrowed overnight from 2pm during the week and from 12pm on Fridays. A maximum of two items may be borrowed.


The Interlibrary Loans (ILL) system allows for material (ie, books and journal articles) not held in our library, to be borrowed from other libraries within the system, or from libraries abroad if not available locally. Users can request books or journal articles by clicking here to complete a form or email your requests to

To request a Thesis or Book please, click here to complete a form or email your requests to Request forms are also available at the ILL office. Users should complete one form per item, irrespective of whether two or more articles come from the same issue of the same journal. If there is no staff member in the office, please place your requests in the tray provided outside the office window. Please be sure to complete the form correctly and supply all the relevant details.


CALICO (Cape Library Consortium)

CALICO is an agreement between the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University, University of the Western Cape and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. It provides for increased access to all staff and students to information held in all four libraries.

A registered postgraduate student (excluding short-courses & Honours s) or a member of staff of any of the four institutions may visit the Main Libraries and some Branch Libraries of all four institutions and use the materials available in the libraries. Your student or staff card will ensure your access, once you have been introduced via a referral letter.

CHELSA (Committee of Higher Education Librarians of South Africa)

Staff and registered masters and doctoral students have national access to tertiary institutions through the CHELSA agreement between South African Universities. Such individuals should complete the CHELSA application form through their home institutions.

To request a referral letter, contact Mr Trevor Fortune, on UWC library Level 5 or email:

Note: this is intended primarily for students who are resident outside of the greater Cape Town area.

Please note that some of these services are currently suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic


The Research Commons on level 13 of the Main Library, is a research environment intended for use by postgraduate students at masters and doctoral level, as well as academic staff and researchers of the University of the Western Cape by means of controlled access to our facility.

It is equipped with computers, workstations, printers and photocopiers and three bookable seminar rooms, as well as areas for discussion and relaxation.

The main aim of the Research Commons is to enhance the Library’s contribution to postgraduate throughput and research output by providing an environment conducive to research, and offering services which directly support research aspirations of postgraduate students and researchers.

This cutting-edge and stimulating environment is supported by a core group of information technology-skilled student assistants and a research Librarian.