Library top answers

Can I donate books to the Library?

The Library does not accept donations. For more information including details on a few exceptions see our Collection Development Strategy.

Can I print from my own device?

Yes, you can print from your own device. To access wireless printing, connect to a UNSW network to access UNSW Wireless printing and print from a laptop or mobile device. You must have a valid UNSW ID or Library membership 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?

From 2020, exams are online and the Library is unable to provide copies of exam papers. Contact your school, faculty or lecturer for more information.

The Examination Board provided the Library with some exam papers only and those held date from the past five years (pre-2020). 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.

For tips to help you prepare for exams and reduce stress, be sure to visit Current students - Exams for essential information, exam study tips and guidance on how to manage exam stress.

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?

Ensure your belongings are kept safe and desks are available for other clients. Check your belongings and power cables do not obstruct the corridors. Please take your belongings with you. Leaving personal belongings to reserve a study space is not permitted.

UNSW students can Book a space for individual or collaborative study in Main Library and Law Library. Find a variety of different spaces available to suit individual study needs, including desks and desktop computers. Remember to arrive at your reserved space within 15 minutes of your booking start time. Otherwise, your booking is forfeited and available for anyone to use.

If you notice areas that have unattended property, contact us or UNSW security. If you have lost property in the Library, items are held for approximately 24 hours before collection by UNSW security. For more information see Left property policy.

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.

If you need to report a disturbance, contact UNSW security +61 2 9385 6000 (or use the UNSW Security Help Point intercoms available) as soon as possible. Alternatively, during staffed opening hours see staff at the Help Zone or contact us.

The Main Library has multiple areas dedicated to silent or quiet study. Silent areas are on Levels 6 & 7. Quiet areas or study pods are found on Levels 5 & 8.

All Library members and visitors should respect other Library clients and not participate in behaviour or conduct likely to interfere with others.

Can my children visit the Library?

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

For more information see the UNSW Children on Campus Policy.

Am I allowed to eat in the Library?

While you are welcome to consume non-alcoholic drinks and eat snacks in our libraries, please remember to put your rubbish in the bin and only eat hot food and meals in kitchenettes or designated eating spaces provided. Find the nearest water refill station to Main Library and Law Library. Hot water, microwaves and kitchenettes are available in the following spaces:

  • Main Library Level 2 front and rear study lounge kitchenettes (hot water available in rear kitchenette)
  • Main Library Level 4 postgraduate study space kitchenette
  • Law Library Ground Level entrance lounge kitchenette
  • Paddington Library kitchenette
  • Snack vending machines are located at the Main Library entrance on Level 2

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 facilities and collections during regular Library opening hours. Library members can borrow books and access Library computers and online resources. However, there are some limits to the the resources you have access to. You are welcome to become a member of the Library. For more information see visiting or applying for a Library membership.

Keep up-to-date with Library news and our latest events or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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. Access to these eJournal packages does not require Library membership.

UNSW alumni can join the Library to borrow books and use the online resources and computers inside UNSW Libraries. Alumni memberships are free and valid for three years from the date of application. For more information see visiting or applying for a Library membership.

What is Library collection?

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

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

Search results can be:

  • personalised
  • expanded to include items beyond the Library's collections
  • displayed according to full text or peer-review
  • refined according to date, language, topic, resource type including print or online, newspapers, etc.

For more information, watch Smart searching.

How do I return Library items?

You can return standard loan Library items and interlibrary loans at any of the UNSW Libraries. Access the return chutes during opening hours or via the external chute 24hrs a day. There may be a delay before returned items will be removed from your record. You will not incur fines during this delay.

Return the following items at the originating Library where you borrowed them from:

  • High demand course items (7 day loans) via return chutes.
  • High Use collection items must be returned during opening hours. Use the self-check machine and place on the adjacent trolley or table in the High Use Collection room.
  • Loan laptops must be returned to the same self-service loan lockers.
  • Accessories, valuable items and anatomical models must be returned to the Help Zone during staff hours.

You can also return standard Library items by post (allow time for delivery). For more information see Borrowing - Return.

Can I renew a loan?

You can renew most loans online through myLibrary or the Uni-Verse app at any time before their due date.

Most items can be automatically renewed if your Library account and the terms of the borrowed item meet the relevant criteria. Loans can be renewed up to a total period of 16 weeks unless recalled. For postgraduates, honours students and UNSW Staff, the total loan period is 24 months.

Renewal conditions vary if your item is not from UNSW. For more information on items not from UNSW see interlibrary loans.

Why did my loan not renew?

There are several reasons why your loan may not be renewable. For a list of reasons see Borrowing - Renew.

Renewal conditions vary if your item is not from UNSW. For more information see Interlibrary loans.

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

Why has the due date of my loan changed?

Items from UNSW Library:

  • If another person requests your loan, the item is recalled and you have seven days to return it.
  • Borrowing periods are automatically shortened to three days if requested items are in high demand.

Items not from UNSW:

  • If your item is an interlibrary loan, the lending library has recalled it and you have at least three days to return the item.

You will receive an email notification when due dates have changed.

To avoid fines and suspension of borrowing privileges, return items in person or by post before they are due.

Check your myLibrary account regularly and return recalled items before the due date to avoid 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 room at all UNSW Sydney Libraries. If your requested item isn't on the shelf, please contact us.

Requested items stated as In Library Use Only 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 and items requested from Library Storage or Paddington Storage
  • two days for high demand course items (7 day loans)

After this time items are either returned to their original location or placed on hold for another client.

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

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

Items not returned by their due date become overdue. If an overdue item is not returned within a specified period (days), the item will then be considered lost. Items considered lost have additional costs and fees. The lost period, fine or penalty charged varies in accordance with loan type. For more information see fines.

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

How do I pay Library fines?

You can pay Library fines online using your UNSW Online account (students only) or in person.

The Library does not accept cash payments.

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

Why has the due date of my loan shortened?

An item's due date becomes shorter for one of the following reasons:

  • The item is requested by more than one person - return the item before its due date.
  • Your account expires before the item's due date - return the item before its due date.
    • You are welcome to renew your loan after your account expiry date is updated and before the due date of the item.
    • Your account and loans must also satisfy the loan renewal criteria.

If you have questions regarding your account expiry:

We encourage all clients to check your myLibrary account or the Uni-Verse app on a regular basis. 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.

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.

Does the Library offer academic peer support?

During term time, our Library Peer Mentors offer academic peer support in the study lounge at the front of the Main Library.

New and existing students are welcome to drop in and consult with their fellow students. Your Library Peer Mentors are from diverse backgrounds and have subject expertise across UNSW faculties and schools.

Library Peer Mentors can offer you support in areas including course related queries, research and study methods, planning and time management.

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