Scan & email requests

Scan and email requests may be made via email or Ask-a-Librarian.


Use your student card to borrow books, DVDs or CDs at the Loans Desk or use our self-checkout machine.

  Loan Limit Loan Period Renewal Period
Undergraduates 6 items 7 days 28 days
Postgraduates 12 items 35 days 140 days
Staff 30 items 90 days 180 days

CDs, DVDs and journals are issued for 3 days and are renewable.
Items that have been requested by another library user may not be renewed.

Can't find a book on the shelf?

Request the book online. You will receive an email when the book is available for you to collect.

Self-service machines

Books may be issued using the self-service machine available at the Loans Desk in the following libraries:

  • Chancellor Oppenheimer Library
  • Bongani Mayosi Health Sciences Library
  • Brand van Zyl Law Library.

In our other libraries, books will be issued to you at the circulation desk.

Can journals be borrowed?

Postgraduate students and staff members may borrow 6 bound journals for 3 days, in addition to the items listed above. Journal loans may not be renewed.


You can request a library item that's out on loan, from a branch library or another university.


Request a book online or by visiting the Loans Desk.

How long will it take to get a book?

The person who has it out on loan will be given a maximum of 7 days to return the book. For urgent requests, visit the Loans Desk staff who will do their best to retrieve the item as quickly as possible.

Request a book from a Branch Library

Request the book online. Specify a pick-up location for the book and the book will be transferred on your behalf. You will receive an email when the book is available for you to borrow.

Theses and Dissertations

  • Visit OpenUCT for a digital copy of a UCT master's dissertation or doctoral thesis.
  • Alternatively, please submit a request to Digital Library Services to have one digitised.

Request items from other universities

Place an interlibrary loans request for books, journal articles or book chapters not available at UCT.


Renew your books online, at the self-checkout machine, by phone or in person.


Login to My Library Card

Self-checkout machine

Available at Chancellor Oppenheimer Library

Visit the Loans Desk

Remember to bring your student/staff number or call your nearest Branch Loans Desk.

Vacation Loans

Registered UCT postgraduate students and staff may borrow books for extended loan periods over the long mid-year and year-end vacations.

The Loans Desk staff will issue books to you with a condition that the Library can recall a book at any time.

If someone else requests a book that you have out on vacation loan, the Library will recall the book and you must then return the book at once, even if that means using a commercial courier.

Fines & Fees

A courtesy notice is emailed 3 days before your books are due to be returned.

The notice is to remind you of the due date and inform you that a fine will accrue should your books not be returned in time.

What happens if I return my books after the due date?

  • Late returns: R2.00 per day.
  • Late returns on recalled books (requested by another borrower): R5.00 per day
  • Fines accrue to a maximum of R50 per item.
  • Fines R50.00 or more: Triggers an automate system "block" which prevents you from borrowing further items until the fine is paid.

Lost a library book?

  • Go to the Loans Desk and inform the staff.
  • Lost library materials must be paid for by the borrower who has lost them.
  • An additional handling charge of R250 (to cover the costs of reordering, cataloguing, and processing) will be payable per item.