Library top answers

Can I donate books to the Library?

Donations will not be reviewed or accepted during the COVID-19 pandemic for work health and safety reasons.

Can I print from my own device? How do I use the print/copy/scanners?

Yes, you can print from your own device. Log in with your zID to UNSW Wireless printing to print from a laptop or mobile device. You must have a valid student or staff ID card to print.

All printers are also photocopiers and scanners. For more information about printing in the Library see Print copy scan.

For more information about campus printing including where are the printers, how to print, costs of printing and how to change your pin see UNSW IT - Printing for students.

Copyright is your responsibility - observe the Copyright Act 1968 provisions and regulations at all times when accessing and printing resources both on and off-campus. A section of the Act is displayed near each Library computer and print station.

How do I find past exam papers?

Due to exams being held online for T1 and T2 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Library is unable to provide copies of these exam papers. Contact your school, faculty or lecturer for more information.

The Examination Board provides the Library with some exam papers only and those held date from the past 5 years. Use the following options to access past exam papers:

  • 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).
  • Contact your school, faculty, or lecturer as some schools or faculties hold past exam papers for student use.
  • Browse through a list of currently available exam papers in the Library collection.

How do I improve my research skills?

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

Can desks be reserved in the Library?

Leaving personal belongings on desks or chairs to reserve a study space is not permitted. If you notice areas that have unattended property, please contact us or UNSW security. For more information see Left property policy.

UNSW students can Book a space for individual study. Group study rooms and collaboration spaces are currently unavailable.

As a condition of entry, you must agree to comply with all physical distancing and hygiene measures in place. UNSW is providing hand sanitiser, as well as cleaning products to allow you to wipe down equipment, desks and computers as required before use. If you are feeling unwell, please do not come to campus and ensure you seek appropriate medical attention.

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

If you are being disturbed by noise in the Library, feel free to respectfully let someone know they are disturbing you. Alternatively, contact us as soon as possible.

Outside of staffed opening hours, contact UNSW security.

Can my children visit the Library?

Due to COVID-19, the Library is open to current UNSW staff and students only. UNSW libraries are not open for any other visitors.

Am I allowed to eat in the Library?

To support requirements for physical distancing and COVID Safe measures, we have temporarily closed kitchenettes and designated eating areas. Find the nearest water refill station to Main Library and Law Library. No hot food or meals are to be brought into the library.

While you are welcome to consume non-alcoholic drinks and eat in our libraries, please remember to put your rubbish in the bin and only eat hot food and meals in kitchenettes or designated spaces provided.

For more information see Food in the Library.

I am not from UNSW. Can I still use the Library?

Due to COVID-19, memberships are temporarily unavailable and the Library is open to current UNSW students and staff only.

Keep up-to-date with Library news and follow us on Instagram and Twitter for our latest updates to services.

See Safe Return to Campus for further information on UNSW’s plans for a phased, safe return to campus.

I am a UNSW graduate, what Library benefits do I have?

You can access some eJournal packages from off-campus through UNSW Alumni by signing up for a UNSW Alumni account.

Due to COVID-19, alumni Library memberships are temporarily unavailable and the Library is open to current UNSW students and staff only.

Keep up-to-date with Library news and follow us on Instagram and Twitter for our latest updates to services.

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 Smart searching.

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. Each Library has a designated return chute where you can place items to be returned. It is also possible to return standard Library items by post. For more information see Borrowing - Return.

High Use collection items must be returned through the self-service machines at the originating Library where the item was borrowed.

High demand items should be returned at the originating Library where the item was borrowed.

Loan Laptops must be returned to the self-service loan lockers at the originating Library where the laptop was borrowed.

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 loan 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 - Renew.

Why did my loan not renew?

There are several reasons why your loan may not be renewable. For a comprehensive list, including information about automatic loan renewal, see Borrowing - Renew.

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

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.

Why has the due date of my loan shortened?

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

  • Your account will expire before the due date of the item:
    - You are welcome to renew your loan via myLibrary after your account expiry date has been updated and before the due date of the item
    - Your account and loans must also satisfy the automatic loan renewal criteria
  • 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 The Nucleus
    - All 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.

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

Items can be collected from the reservations shelf in the High Use Collection area 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 contact us.

Requested items are held for:

  • five days for standard loan items and items requested from Library Storage
  • two days for high demand items

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

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

Loan Laptops are considered lost when they become 5 days overdue. All other items are considered lost when they become 30 days overdue. For more information see fines.

If you have not yet returned the item, please return it immediately.

If you have returned the item, or are unsure why the item is on your Library account, please submit an Ask a question form.

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 at the recharge kiosks, located in the Main, Law and Paddington Libraries or 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.

Does the Library collection include fiction?

The Library holds a collection of literature in English and other languages. This includes novels, novellas, a few picture books and short stories. The collection includes winners of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

To find fiction books in the Library collection, use the 'Advanced Search' option:

  1. Change the drop down from 'Title' to 'Subject' search and in the search box enter in 'fiction'. Then select 'SEARCH'.
  2. Once search results appear, on the left use the filters underneath 'Refine my results' to find eBooks and Print Books.

Tips when browsing the shelves for print books:

  • For Main Library and Paddington Library, fiction books usually have the call number prefix 823.
  • For Academy Library ADFA, fiction books usually have the call number prefix P (or PN, PQ, PS, PT, PZ).


What should I do if the fire alarms go off?

Wait for instructions via the PA system then follow the evacuation instructions by exiting in an orderly manner.

  • Do not use the lifts or internal stairs.
  • Follow the direction of Security, Wardens and Emergency services.
  • Do not re-enter the Library until authorised.

For more information refer to the emergency procedures.

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