Library top answers

Can I print from my own device?

Yes, you can.

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

How do I find past exam papers?

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 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.

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, please notify staff in the Help Zone during staffed hours.

You can contact Library staff via the Help Point phones near the lifts in the Main Library. Please contact security outside of staffed Help Zone hours.

Levels 6 & 7 of the Main Library are dedicated to silent study. Levels 5 & 8 are for quiet study.

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 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.

Am I allowed to eat in 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. Hot water, microwaves and kitchenettes are available in the following spaces:

  • Main Library Level 2 kitchenettes (hot water available in rear kitchenette)
  • Main Library Level 4 postgraduate study space kitchenette
  • Law Library Ground Level study space kitchenette

For more information see Food in the Library.

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

Members of the public are welcome to use the Library during regular Library opening hours. To become a Library member, see Not from UNSW.

For wireless internet access see UNSW guest Wi-Fi service

I am a UNSW graduate. Can I still use the Library?

UNSW alumni can join the Library to borrow books and use online resources and computers inside UNSW Libraries. Alumni memberships are free and valid for 3 years from the date of application. However, there are some changes to your borrowing rights including limits to the resources you have access to. For more information see Not from UNSW.

Additionally, off-campus access to some eJournal packages is available through UNSW Alumni. Access to these eJournals does not require Library membership, however, registration with the UNSW Alumni website is required.

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.

How do I use the 'Add to My Favourites' star icon?

All items retrieved in a Library collection search include an Add to my favourites star icon.

When the search results display, click the star icon in the top right corner.

Log in to myLibrary:

  • to save My favourite records for later use, otherwise they will be cleared after each session
  • to organise records using labels and email, print and export to reference management software.

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.

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 notify a staff member in the Help Zone.

Requested items, listed as General (General Services) 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 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 large collection of literature in English and other languages. This includes novels or fiction, novellas and short stories. The collection includes winners of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

See where to find literature on Main Library Collection page.

When browsing the library shelves, it may be helpful to know how to read a call number. The call numbers for literature generally include the first three letters of the author’s family name. Australian and English twentieth century fiction begins 823.9. Australian and English twenty first century fiction begins 823.92. For example, novels by Patrick White begin with the call number 823.9/WHI/ and novels by Richard Flanagan begin with the call number 823.92/FLA/.

American twentieth century fiction begins 813.5. American twenty first century fiction begins 813.6. For example, novels by John Steinbeck begin with the call number 813.5/STE/ and novels by Jennifer Egan begin with the call number 813.6/EGA/.

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