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Information Literacy Tutorial: A. Services

A module-based information literacy tutorial that addresses each stage of the research process, including selecting a topic, identifying information needs, selecting sources, locating information, evaluating information, and citing sources.


Your student card is your library card.  In order to borrow library materials, you must first have your card activated at the Loans Desk on Level 5.


The staff at the Loans desk will help you to:

·     Check out and return books

·     Renew books (extend the loan period of books you have already borrowed)

·     Find out where to get assistance



This table illustrates how many items you may borrow and the loan periods:  


Borrower No. of items For How long?
Undergraduates 4 2 weeks
Postgraduates 10 1 month
UWC Staff 30 3 months

NB:  If you return open shelf materials late, you will be charged a R1 fine for each day late.Once you accumulate more than R10 in fines, your card will be blocked from further loans.  Save your money - Bring back items on time!

Knowledge Commons


Your One-Stop-Shop!

One of the Library's most popular and well-used sections is the Knowledge Commons, a dedicated undergraduate facility on Level 6.  Also known as "KC", the Knowledge Commons brings together technology, content and information service in one physical space.  

Offering 106 computer workstations, 5 group study rooms, printing facilities plus a modern, fully-equipped training lab, this facility provides a one-stop-shop for the undergraduate student who wants to excel. 

Students access the Libraries' eResources, ELearning modules, use quality software and IT equipment, and receive assistance to support their research, writing of reports, essays, and assignments.

To ensure equitable access, students are limited to 1-2 hours on KC workstations each day.  You can monitor how much time you have remaining for your session at the top of the screen.

The Library Thinthana Training Room is also found in the KC.


Check your understanding

Please work through the following quiz:


Interactive Quiz



Short Loans/Reserve


Short Loans is just that - a collection of books and photocopies that may be borrowed for a very short time - usually just for a few hours or maybe overnight!

This system is in place for materials that are in very high demand - items like prescribed texts and recommended readings for assignments.  These titles will appear in your module/course outline.

Also known as the "Reserve Section", this department is on Level 5, next to Circulation. 

Please follow these steps for borrowing material from Short Loan:

1. Use SmartSearch (library catalogue) to  look up the title of the book you need

2. Copy down the shelf number of the book

3. Bring this number to Short Loan so that Library staff may fetch the item and issue it to you. You may borrow 2 items at a time.

The staff will also help you place bookings in advance so that you may be sure to have reserved material for when you need it.  Plan ahead so that you can get ahead!


Because it is so important that Short Loan materials are available for use, the Library imposes very harsh fines if returned later than 9.30 am for overnight loans.

You will pay R1 for every hour the item is late.  The fine is automatically calculated by the computer - don't leave a Short Loan book at home!

Photocopying and Printing in the Library



 Swipe your student card through the Card Reader attached to the wall in order to access your photocopy credit 


  • Students load credit for photocopying/printing on their student cards at Level 5 (at the Minolta office on the far right of the Library foyer).  The cost of photocopying and printing is 50 cents per page.
  • Photocopiers are available on all levels of the Library.  Some are tucked out of sight, so ask Library staff on that level, if necessary.  
  • Print jobs are routed to the available printer on the same level as the computer you are using. There is an Express Print and Go area in the Foyer and on Level 5.  Insert your flash drive at the workstation to use a dedicated printer.
  • Ask the Knowledge Commons advisors (Level 6) to show you how to set up wireless printing in the Library from your laptop.  



University of the Western Cape,

Robert Sobukwe Road,



Tel: 021 959 2946