Welcome to the University of Cape Town, the place you have chosen to embrace for this new chapter of your life as a young adult and student towards the fulfilment of your dreams. While the prospect of an academic journey is exciting, it can also be a daunting, frustrating (and at times lonely), fulfilling and dynamic experience.
Your ability to navigate this journey is contingent upon your familiarity with the various University structures that exist to support your physical, emotional and intellectual well-being. The UCT Library network is one such entity and we pride ourselves on being your study partner during your academic journey.
We acknowledge that your primary purpose as a student is to broaden your intellectual horizons through the active pursuit of knowledge in your chosen field of study so that you become a responsible global citizen.
The Library is guided by the social justice principles enshrined in the Bill of Rights (Ch.2 of the Constitution of South Africa) with specific reference to Section 32 - the right of access to information, including all information held by the government.
To this end, we are committed to:
- Fostering an environment of enquiry and dialogue.
- Providing access to credible and authoritative print and electronic resources that cater to your different needs during the course of your developmental pursuits so that you make informed decisions and choices.
- The ethical use of information and knowledge.
- Availing state-of-the-art facilities for study, meetings and programmes.
- Respecting a person's right to privacy and confidentiality.
- Ensuring and maintaining an accessible and safe place.
By providing access and connecting you to the body of world knowledge and information, you can be assured that both your academic responsibilities are being met and intellectual horizons broadened.
We also actively foster a culture of reading, which promotes critical thinking, enhances one’s vocabulary, language skills, imagination and creativity. This is supported by a wide-ranging recreational reading collection spanning various genres including the classics, African writers’ series, fantasy, bestsellers, and many more.
The Library, as a beautiful and comfortable world-class facility, has earned a reputation as a trusted place where students spend many hours studying, writing, researching, playing board games or reading for fun. You will be introduced to this environment and all that it has to offer you by our professional and friendly staff, who are waiting to welcome you.
So, given our purpose and role, what is your role in all of this?
It is to seize the opportunities presented to you and not limit yourself during this time of study, enquiry, debate, learning and expansion of your thinking. Delve deeper into subjects and become informed about contemporary issues, and national and global debates. By using the resources available to you, let your voice be heard and your opinion be informed and knowledgeable.
Most importantly, I urge that when you feel overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of the transition from school to an academic environment or the volume of work and the deadlines to be met, do not hesitate to ask for help.
You will be doing yourself the greatest disservice by struggling alone or thinking that you will be mocked for not knowing how to use the Library, a computer or various resources. We are here to assist you to become information fluent so that you navigate this academic and knowledge environment to the best of your ability.
You have an open invitation to pop by my office with any concerns or suggestions that may enhance your and others' experience of the Library or communicate with us via our Facebook Page – so please do go and like our page!
It is my pleasure, therefore, to invite you to make your acquaintance with us as your knowledge and study partner for the duration of your time here at the University of Cape Town.
I wish you well with all your endeavours!
Executive Director: UCT Libraries