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9 February 2023
UWC Library: More than just Books!
Libraries are more than just places where books hang out, and this is true of the University of the Western Cape’s library as well.

UWC Library is home to over 400 000 books. The library also has a subscription to over 1200 electronic and printed journals and over 100 electronic databases containing hundreds of thousands of articles in various academic disciplines.

Physical Spaces and Facilities

In addition to the Main Library, there are two branch libraries dedicated to Community and Health Sciences (Bellville) and Dentistry (Tygerberg).

The libraries have open learning spaces for discussions and quiet study areas. Find the spot that suits you best, but respect the library rules.

The 24/7 Learning Centre offers a quiet and safe study space for all registered UWC students. 

Computers, printers, scanners, photocopiers and Wi-Fi connectivity are available throughout the libraries.
In the Main Library, you will find a dedicated space for users with mobility, visual impairment or different learning needs. Some workstations have wheelchair friendly desks, and computers with screen magnification features.

Loan Services

Always carry your student or staff card as it grants you access to the library's facilities, and it’s also required for borrowing library materials. Should you wish to borrow items from the library, you can use your student or staff card at the Loans Desk.
  • Use the uKwazi search box to check the availability and shelf number of physical library items. 
  • Students, Researchers and Staff have different borrowing privileges for open shelf items.
  • Please note that short loan items may be borrowed as one hour loans during the day, or as overnight loans from 14h00 until 09h00 the following day from Monday to Thursday and from 12h00 on Fridays until next Monday 09h00.
  • Visit the Loans Desk when you return your library item or enquire about drop-off zones when the library is closed. 
  • If you need help, just ask one of the library staff for assistance or email
Interlibrary Loans: 
Interlibrary Loans is a service available to UWC staff and students to request material not available within our holdings.

To submit your request, go to the ILL Online Request Form and provide details of the required item for more information email

Library Website

As a UWC registered member, you have access to thousands of online books, journals and other online resources, available at your fingertips 24 hours a day. To go to the library website, simply type the URL into your browser’s search field:

The Ask a Librarian is a live chat service that pops up at the bottom right-hand side of the library homepage. Ask for assistance on anything library-related.
  • The uKwazi searchbox is the library discovery tool for all your information resource needs. It provides simple, one-stop searching across all the library’s collections, whether in print, digital or media formats.
  • The First Year Experience tab is where you will find online library guides, useful interactive tutorials, and information on the student orientation programme. 
  • The Databases tab is very useful for searching for articles from across hundreds of scholarly journals. Here you can browse the A-Z listing or the Database by Discipline.
  • Find help getting started and improving your library skills by booking a spot on one of our regular training sessions via the Training Calendar tab. 
  • The Research Portal is the gateway to postgraduate research support and scholarly communication services. You can also visit the UWC Library Research Twitter account (@UWCLibResearch) or email
  • Information and Research Guides - mostly topic guides that are linked to the Research Portal for ease of access to users. The seven guides currently linked to the research portal are Covidence, Digital Humanities, Guide to Open Access, UWC Library Postgraduate Research Support, Research Data Management, Selecting a journal to publish your article, Special Collections and Donations
  • The Help tab provides you with a list of FAQs posted by current and past students, and includes a Submit a Question Form
  • To find more information, see the Students, Researchers and/or Lecturers boxes. Click on Read More on the relevant box to see what else the library has to offer.

Library Staff

Library staff are available to provide guidance on using library services and information resources effectively. Book an appointment with your librarian to get help with finding and using the best quality information resources for your learning, teaching and research activities, as well as getting advice on how to cite your reference sources correctly to avoid the risk of plagiarism. 

The UWC Library is a shared space committed to its mission: “To enrich the learning, teaching and research experience by providing relevant resources and expertise to enable academic success”.

Follow UWC Library on Twitter (@UWCLibrary) or visit the website to stay up to date with the opening and closing times of the Main Library and to be notified of special events throughout the year.

For more images of the Main Library, see the Gallery below...