Library top answers

Q: Where do I collect requested items? And how long are they held for?

Items can be collected from the Reservation shelves in the High Use Collection at the Main and Law Libraries and from the Help Zone at UNSW Paddington Library. If your requested item isn't on the shelf, please notify a staff member in the Help Zone.

Requested items, listed as General (General Services) in Library collection, can be collected at the Help Zone on Level 2 of the Main Library during staffed hours. Please inform a staff member that the item is on hold for you.

Requested items are held for:

  • five days for standard loan items
  • three days for items requested from General Services

After this time items will either return to their original location or be placed on hold for another borrower.

Q: Can I print from my laptop?

Yes, you can.

Log in with your zID to UNSW Wireless Printing to print from a laptop or mobile device.

Q: How do I find past exam papers?

You can browse through a list of currently available exam papers in the Library collection.

You can also check if the Library has access to exam papers for your course by searching the Library collection. Enter your course code without spaces (e.g. TABL2741). If an exam paper is listed, select View It to access the resource.

Please note:The Library does not automatically receive copies of all past exam papers from the Examinations Team and does not hold any papers prior to the last five years. If your exam paper is not listed in the Library collection you will need to contact your course convener.

Q: How do I return Library items?

You can return standard loan Library items at any of the UNSW Libraries, including Main, Law and UNSW Paddington with the exception of High Use collection items. High Use Collection items must be returned via the self-service machines at the originating Library where the item was borrowed.

For more information see return chute locations and Library opening hours.

Q: Can I renew a loan?

Most loans can be renewed up to a total period of 16 weeks for undergraduates and community members. For postgraduates and UNSW Staff, the total load period is 24 months.

You can renew loans online through myLibrary or the Uni-Verse app. Loans will also automatically renew, provided your Library account satisfies automatic loan renewal criteria.

For more information see Borrowing.

Q: Why did my loan not renew?

Your loans cannot be renewed if your account has any of the following:

  • You have blocks on your account
  • Your account will expire soon
  • You have fines in excess of $19
  • You have overdue items
  • The items have reached the maximum loan renewal period
  • The items have been requested by other borrower
  • The item is excluded from being renewed.

Automatic loan renewal is available to current UNSW staff and students. If your loans were not automatically renewed due to fees, blocks, other overdue items or account expiry, you may still be able to renew items before their due date in myLibrary or the Uni-Verse app after the above circumstances have been resolved.

Please check your myLibrary account or the Uni-Verse app regularly for your borrowing status.

Q: I am not from UNSW; can I still use the Library?

Yes, anyone can join the Library and borrow books, although you may need to pay fees. There are also some limits to the resources you have access to.

For more information see Not from UNSW.

Q: I am a UNSW graduate; can I still use the Library?

Yes,UNSW alumni can join the Library and borrow books, although you will need to pay an annual fee. There are also some limits to the resources you have access to.

For more information see Not from UNSW.

Alumni have no access to UNSW Library electronic resources outside of UNSW Library buildings. However, Alumni have access to eJournal packages through UNSW Alumni.

Q: What is the e-Shelf?

All items retrieved in a Library collection search include an Add to e-Shelf button.

Log in to myLibrary:

  • to keep e-Shelf records for later use, otherwise they will be cleared after each session
  • to organise records to be placed in folders or emailed, printed and exported to reference management software

Q: What is Library collection?

Library collection is a discovery tool for UNSW Library’s print and online collections.

High Use Collection items, exam papers, books, journals and journal articles, maps, music and DVDs are included in the Library collection search.

Search results can be personalised, expanded beyond Library collections, displayed according to full text or peer-review and refined according to resource type - including print or online, date, language, topic etc.

For more information, watch Smarter Searching.

Q: Am I allowed to eat in the Library?

You are welcome to eat cold, dry snacks in the Library (biscuits, chips etc.) and bring in drinks with lids. However, as a part of the Library conditions of use policy, as a courtesy to other clients, no meals, hot food, odorous foods or alcohol should be consumed in the Library.

The Main Library has a student lounge near the entrance where clients are welcome to eat food. The Law Library has kitchen facilities located outside of the Library on Level 2 of the Law building.

Q: I received an email saying my Library item was lost, what should I do?

Library items are considered lost when they become 30 days overdue. At this point a fine of $155, comprising of a replacement fee of $120 and an administration fee of $35, is added to your Library account.

If you are still in possession of the item and return it after it become lost, the $120 replacement fee is waived. However, the $35 administration fee remains payable.

If you have lost a Library item, you have the option to either pay the full lost Library item fine of $155 or replace the item with a duplicate copy, which can be a new or an unmarked second-hand copy in good condition. If you choose to replace the lost item, the replacement fee is waived but the administration fine will remain payable.

For more information see fines. If you have any queries or concerns, please submit an Ask a question form.

Q: How do I pay Library fines?

Library fines can be paid online using your UNSW Online account or by clicking the Pay icon located on each page of the Library website.

Fines can also be paid in person at the Print/Copy Services desk on Level 2 of the Main Library. Please note that the Library does not accept cash payments.

For more information about how fines are calculated and payment methods, see fines

Q: Why has the due date of my loan changed?

The due date of your loan has changed because it has been requested by another person. When this happens, your item is recalled and you are given seven days to return the item. You will not be able to renew your loan.

Loan periods change to 3 days when an item is requested by more than one person. This due date is indicated on your loan receipt. 

Q: Why has the due date of my loan shortened?

The due date of your standard loan may shorten for the following reasons:

  • The item due date is on 31 March (because your Library card expires before the due date)
    - Your loans will automatically renew 7 days before the due date if you have finalised enrolment for the first semester
    - Your account and loans must also satisfy the automatic loan renewal criteria
    - We encourage you to check myLibrary or the Uni-Verse app for changes to item due dates
  • Your account will expire before the standard loan period
    - You are welcome to renew your loan after your account expiry date has been updated and before the due date of the item
  • If you have any questions regarding your account expiry:
    - UNSW staff members including conjoint staff and emeritus professors: please contact UNSW Human Resources
    - UNSW students: please contact Student Central
    - UNSW Library members (non UNSW staff or students) please contact the Library

We encourage all clients to check myLibrary or the Uni-Verse app, on a regular basis to ensure that you are aware of any changes to your due dates.

Failure to return your book by the amended due date will result in fines

Q: Can desks be reserved in the Library?

You cannot reserve study spaces by leaving your belongings on desks or chairs. If you notice areas that have unattended property, please inform Library staff or UNSW security. For more information see Left property policy.

UNSW students can log into Room bookings to book a group study room.

Q: People are being noisy in the Library. What should I do?

If you are being disturbed by noise in the Library please immediately notify staff in the Help Zone. You can contact staff via the Library Help Point phones near the lifts in the Main Library. Please contact security outside of staffed hours.

Levels 6-9 of the Main Library are dedicated to quiet study.

Q: Can my children visit the Library?

Yes, children under 12 years of age must be accompanied and supervised by an adult at all times within the UNSW Library buildings. All clients and visitors must agree to abide by the Library conditions of use policy when using Library resources, facilities, and services.

For more information see UNSW Children on Campus Policy

Q: How can I improve my research skills?

UNSW Library provides a number of services and resources to help improve your research skills:


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