Orientation – University of Cape Town Libraries

Orientation – University of Cape Town Libraries

August 24, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


Welcome to UCT Libraries. This is the Chancellor Oppenheimer
Library, the main library for UCT. You will need your student card to gain
access. We have a number of branch libraries, including Health Sciences Hiddingh Hall, and the Brand van Zyl Law Library, but this library serves the faculties of Humanities, Commerce, and Science and Engineering on the Upper Campus. The prints collection is only the tip of
the iceberg. We have well over a million print volumes, but most of our collection nowadays
exists online. You can access the online collection
through over 200 electronic databases and in total we have access to around
80,000 electronic journals. The main library contains about 300
computers and the whole area is wireless enabled. On your right as you enter, you will find the Knowledge Commons or KC for short, a one stop shop for undergraduates. It has over 100 computers, quick print facility, scanner facility, and 8 group study rooms. In KC, students are assisted and guided in the use of the libraries’ vast array of electronic resources and technical assistance needed for
assignment writing. Unlike other computer labs on campus, KC is staffed by librarians and skilled navigators who are on hand
to assist with research and any technical-related matters. The Hub is the main functional level of
the library. This is the central floor between the
Loans and Information Desks and caters for the different needs
undergraduate students. Students can interact with friends on
the zebra bench, settle with their laptops on the long sofa against the tag cloud wall or access e-resources at the
clusters of PC workstations. On you left you’ll see reference books and audio-visual viewing facilities. On your
right you’ll find the Loans Desk, where
undergraduates can borrow 6 books for up to 1 week. Next to the Loan’s Desk is Short Loans, this is where you lectures
put the books that you absolutely have to read to pass your course. You ask for the book by its shelf number and read it in the library for between
1 to 3 hours, before returning it to Short Loans. Beyond Short Loans is space for quiet
group study, where you can get together with
classmates to do collaborative work at the group project tables which are fitted with large LCD wall screens and power points for
laptops. There is a silent study area above. Beyond the group study space is the
Interlibrary Loans section which can source material for you from
all over South Africa, if we don’t have it here The library staff at the Information
Desk are here to help you. They will answer your questions, show you how to find books and articles in the library, and suggest resources
that will assist you with your work Don’t be shy to ask for help! If you have
a long or complex question the information desk will arrange a
meeting with your subject librarian in the Research Wing. The subject librarian will work with you by appointment. Close to the information desk are several
stand up PCs for quick reference and printing. The research wing is intended for
post-graduate students and academic staff. On the lower level you can find your
subject librarians for Humanities and Commerce and specialised financial databases in
the Business Corner. Also on this level is Government
Publications which forms part a Special Collections and houses official documents from South Africa and other African countries. The
collection includes census, legislation, parliamentary, planning, policy, public finance, and statistical
material. Upstairs you will find the Science and
Engineering librarians, as well as the current print journals. Above this is the Research Commons for Master’s and
Doctoral students and academics only. They offer
state-of-the-art workstations, laptops for loan, printing, scanning,
copying facilities, and a seminar room for collaborative
work. Experienced library staff are on hand to help
with queries or to arrange consultations with subject
specialists. The Terrace has undergraduate seating. Here you’ll find a recreational reading area and the start the Social Science books – with shelf numbers running from 001 to 359. The Undergraduate Wing continues the Social Science books, it
also contains Science and Engineering books. and some Art books. The shelf members run from
360 to 799. This area also has undergraduates seating and a recreational reading area for
popular science. We have a 24/7 facility, Hlanganani Level 6, for those who want to study in a secure
space throughout the night. From here you can go down the stairs and
return to the library entrance. Located in the Jagger Library, University
Avenue Special Collections is a closed access,
research-orientated library consisting of African Studies,
Manuscripts and Archives, and Rare Books. It houses a
comprehensive collection of Africa-centered material from books and
pamphlets, to maps, posters, and film in its Africa
collection. Archival and visual collections provide
primary sources in the form of diaries, personal papers, company records, sound
recordings, photographs, and film for those
researching political or social history. Rare Books, home to the
Rudyard Kipling and Historical Children’s Literature collections, contains many other wonderful
bibliographic treasures.