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New Students and Staff: Getting Started at Rhodes Library: Library Loan Services

Welcome to Rhodes University Library - a dynamic place to visit! This guide has been designed to assist you to become familiar with both print & electronic resources and on-site & virtual services at the Library

Do I need my Student Card when I come to the Library?

YES you do!

You need your Student Card to:

  • enter the Library
  • borrow books from the library
  • for photocopying and printing
  • to access the 24/7 room when the library is closed


Look after your student card!  If you lose your card, report the loss immediately to the Loans Desk staff. 

Never lend your student card to someone else.  This is against University rules and could land you in a disciplinary hearing!  It could also land you with library fines incurred by the person using your card.

How do I borrow a book?

Collect the book from the library's open shelves on Levels 2,3 and 4

Take the book, together with your student/staff card to the Loans Desk on Level 1

OR issue the book to yourself using the Self-Check system opposite the Loans Desk

PLEASE NOTE: The date when you must return the book to the Library will be stamped on the date sheet at the back of the book; the Self-Check system will issue a receipt noting the return date.

For more information see

Access and membership


How do I renew my book loans?

Renew the loans yourself online (NB: to renew a loan online you will have to set up a Library Account - Please refer to the Setting Up a My Library Account on the Library IT Services page for guidance on how to do this)
Take the book and your student card to the Loans Desk (on Level 1) and ask the Loans Desk staff to renew your loan period.

NOTE: You may renew your book loans up to three times unless another library user has reserved the book

Will I be fined if I return my library books after the due date?


We have to make sure that our books are equally available to everyone.

Library users who return their books after the due date, will be fined:

  • Open shelf books will incur a fine of 50c per day
  • Short Loan books are in heavy demand, so they incur heavier fines: R1 for every hour they are late

If you do not return your book at all, the Library will charge you for its replacement to your student account.

How do I return my library books?

The date when you must return your books will be stamped on the Due Date slip at the back of the book. Return your books to the Loans Desk where they were issued to you.

There is a book returns chute on the Loans Desk where you may return the books if you prefer not to stand in the queue.

You will find a Book Returns chute at the front entrance of the library. This is where you can return books when the library is closed.


Important: If you have taken books out from Short Loan, remember to return them to Short Loans.

Library Loans

Once you have chosen the books you wish to read, have them checked out to you at the Loans Desk on Level 1

Loan periods are as follows:

User category

Loan Period


6 items for 2 weeks

Senior Postgraduates (Masters & PhD)

20 items for 8 weeks

Honours & Graduates

12 items for 4 weeks

Short Course Participants

6 items for 2 weeks

Prospective Students


Visiting Research Students

20 items for 8 weeks

Visitor (Short-term)

6 items for 2 weeks


20 items for 8 weeks


30 items for 12 weeks

Staff (Permanent)

30 items for 12 weeks

Staff (Contract & Temporary)

30 items for 12 weeks

Staff (Library)

30 items for 12 weeks

Staff (Retired)

12 items for 4 weeks

Staff of affiliated institutes i.e. NELM (National English Literary Museum) and Albany Museum

30 items for 12 weeks

Staff of SAIAB (SA Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity)

30 items for 12 weeks

Staff (Institutes)

30 items for 12 weeks

Honorary Titles

People Council has deemed Honorary Associates of the University

Professor Emeritus   /  Associate Professor Emeritus

30 items for 12 weeks

Distinguished Fellow 

30 items for 12 weeks

Honorary Professor 

30 items for 12 weeks

Visiting Professor   / Visiting Fellow

30 items for 12 weeks

Senior Research Associate /  Research Associate /   Clinical Associate / Professional            Associate  

30 items for 12 weeks

Alumni (Convocation)

12 items for 4 weeks


4 items for 2 weeks

Grahamstown Community

4 items for 2 weeks

People attending RU Conference & Special Events


ILL (Borrowing Libraries)

4 weeks

Short Loan - Books recommended by your lecturer may be placed on Short Loan which is located at the Loans Desk. Remember to have the barcode and call number (shelf number) of the book with you when you request a book from Short Loan. These books are issued to you for an hour and may only be used in the Library (24/7 Study). You may borrow them overnight in which case they are to be returned by 9am the next day.

48 Hour Loan books are issued to you for 2 days. They may be renewed up to three times provided there are no other reservations for them.

DVDs are issued to you for two days. Browse through our wonderful and growing collection at our DVD viewing area (at the Loans Desk)

For more information, read about our Library Loan Services

We are here to assist you, so please ask us if you need any help.

Librarian: User Services (Circulation) - Jabulile Nene                        046 6038463

Borrower Responsibilities

What is my responsibility as a library user?

It is your responsibility to know the due date for all library material checked out to you.

You are also responsible for all material checked out on your card. This means that you will be held responsible for any damaged or lost material.