RU Library

RU Library

RU Library

The Rhodes University Library (RUL) has evolved into an attractive, well-resourced and popular facility that is designed to actively promote and support the research, teaching and learning endeavours of the University. The RUL, aligned to the RU faculties, provides customised services and products to undergraduates, post-graduates, staff, alumni and visiting scholars of each faculty.

All services are designed towards providing on & off-site access to global information and knowledge. The RUL is committed to building, maintaining and facilitating access to balanced and relevant information & knowledge collections in print and electronic formats; providing the necessary equipment and technologies to access and use all types of information; and facilitating access to national and international collections through inter-lending and reciprocal agreements. (Satgoor, U. 2012.  Rhodes University Library Strategic Plan 2013 – 2015)

RU Library Opening Hours

 DaysMain LibraryAlastair Kerr Law Library

 Cory Library

 Sound Library

Teacher Resource Centre

Monday- Thursday

























Main Library

Alastair Kerr Law Library

  Cory Library

Sound Library

Teacher Resource Centre

Monday- Thursday

























 DaysMain LibraryAlastair Kerr Law Library  Cory Library Sound Library

Teacher Resource Centre

Monday- Friday


















  • utilise effectively its Collection Development Policy in the provision of information resources;
  • manage efficiently the library collection, including the curation, housing, monitoring and evaluation thereof;
  • provide an accurate, comprehensive and user-friendly in-house electronic information organisation and retrieval system and ensure integrity of all data;
  • co-operate with other libraries regionally, nationally and internationally, to encourage resource sharing;
  • create an environment conducive to research and study, including adequate access to the Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC), study areas, library resources and library staff;
  • foster a culture of service in the library staff and encourage the development of good interpersonal and communication skills;
  • empower library staff to maximise their skills and abilities;
  • assist the local community’s libraries where possible in enhancing their capacity to meet the community’s information needs;
  • engage in ongoing evaluation of its services to promote quality assurance.



1.1 Access to the Rhodes University Library is not limited to its members but anyone wishing to borrow items or make REGULAR use of the professional services of the Library Staff must apply to the Director: Library Services for registration as a member in one of the categories outlined in section 2.

1.1.1 Staff and student University ID cards and other Library users’ Library membership cards are also their Library access cards.  Access to the Library for members is dependent on their having on their persons their University ID or Library membership cards. Occasional visitors must show their Identity Document (or Driver’s license) and sign in at the Security Desk at the entrance to the Library on each occasion that they use the Library.


1.2 The Rhodes University Library building is normally open as follows:

RU Library Terms:

Monday – Thursday:  08h30 – 22h30
Friday:                     08h30 – 18h00
Saturday:                 09h00 – 21h00
Sunday:                   13h30 – 17h30

RU Library Vacations:

Monday – Friday:      08h30 – 17h00
Saturday:                 09h00 – 12h30

RU Library

1.3 The Director: Library Services may extend or reduce the normal hours of opening on occasion. Regular occasions are:

  • the examination periods when opening of the Main Library is extended

1.4 The Library offers a full professional library service during the hours 08h30  – 17h00 Monday to Friday.

1.5 The Library is normally closed on public holidays. All Rhodes University offices and departments, including the Library, close for approximately two weeks over the Christmas and New Year period. Notices are posted outside the Library indicating all changes in the regular opening pattern.

1.6 The Director: Library Services may close the Rhodes University Library building without prior warning in any emergency which, in his or her opinion, threatens the safety of Library users, staff or contents. At such times all persons in the Library building are required to leave it when instructed to do so by the Director: Library Services or any member of the Library Staff acting on his/her instructions.

1.7 Fifteen minutes before the scheduled closure of the Library building an announcement will be made. This will be repeated ten minutes before closing and again five minutes before. By the end of the fifteen minute warning period all Library users must have left the building unless they have the Director: Library Services’ permission to remain longer. Failure to leave the building is an offence in terms of these Rules and the full University Disciplinary Procedures will be invoked against offenders.

1.8 In the event of a fire or other emergency a warning siren will be activated and announcements will be made. Once this warning has been given all Library users and staff will leave the building according to the instructions of the Director: Library Services or the Incident Officers for each area of the Library building or any other Library staff member designated as an emergency incident officer by the Director: Library Services. If, for any reason, they receive no such instructions, Library users must leave the Library building at once by the nearest emergency exit. Failure to leave the building after the emergency warning siren has been sounded is an offence in terms of these Rules and offenders will be proceeded against as in 1.7 above.

1.9 Books and other library materials on loan from the Library may be returned to the Library using the Book Return slot to the left of the main entrance. Only material which fits into the Return slot without risk of damage may be returned in this way.

1.10 Books on loan from the Branch Libraries must be returned there during opening hours.


2.1 Rhodes University staff and registered students have access to the Library’s collections and services, subscribed online resources, to the inter-library loans service (staff and postgraduate students only), and to the advice and expertise of the Library staff, and may borrow circulating material from the Library. Other members have access subject to the prior needs of staff and students but do not have access to the inter-library loans service, or the subscribed online resources. The Library’s membership categories   and respective library privileges are summarised in a table.

2.1.1 RU Library  staff include:

  • Permanent, contract and temporary members of staff as defined by the Human Resources Division of the University
  • Staff of institutes and organisations associated with Rhodes University
  • Postdoctorals
  • People awarded Honorary Titles by Rhodes University

By resolution of Senate, Graduate Assistants are regarded as postgraduate students and not staff.

2.1.2 Membership of the Library is open to the following categories of user, provided that they are resident in Grahamstown:

  • Retired members of staff
  • Alumni (Members of Convocation and ex-members of RU staff)
  • Staff spouses
  • Grahamstown residents who have no ties with Rhodes University

2.1.3 Staff members who resign from the University’s employment must inform the Director: Library Services of their resignation and return to the Library any Library material in their possession before leaving the University.

2.1.4 Students include all undergraduate, graduate, Honours and senior postgraduate students registered as such with the Registrar’s Division for the current year. Undergraduate student membership terminates at the end of the calendar year, while post-graduate student membership terminates on 15 February of the following year. Senior post-graduate students may extend their membership until graduation on presentation of a letter from the Registrar granting an extension.

2.1.5 Students are regarded as Undergraduate or Postgraduate students depending on whether they are registered for undergraduate or postgraduate courses.

2.1.6 Students are regarded as Graduate students when they are in the final year of a 4 year degree (e.g. BMus, LLB), or if they have graduated and are registered as undergraduates for another degree, or if they are completing a postgraduate diploma (e.g. PGCE).

2.1.7 Postgraduate students living in Grahamstown who are not receiving tuition but wish to make use of the Library service must register with the University as postgraduate students or register with the Library as either Grahamstown Community members or Alumni.

2.1.8 The Director: Library Services may extend membership of the Library to bona fide residents of Grahamstown who do not otherwise qualify for membership, on application. Such members will be known as Grahamstown Community members and will be required to complete a form supplied by the Library and to supply a small photograph of themselves, proof of residence and to pay a registration fee determined by the Director: Library Services.  They will receive limited borrowing privileges and limited access to Library services.

2.1.9 Guest membership will be extended to spouses of bona fide Rhodes University staff on production of a letter of introduction from the member of staff and on completion of a form supplied by the Library. Guest members will be asked to supply a small photograph of themselves.

2.1.10 The study, teaching and research needs of staff and student members of the University will take precedence over the borrowing and other needs of Grahamstown Community or Guest Members. Such membership will not normally be extended to school children or persons under the age of 18 years.

2.1.11 Staff members of the Research Institutes and Units associated with Rhodes University are regarded as staff members of the University. These institutes and units are listed in the University Calendar.

2.1.12 Membership in any category other than the student categories comes into effect only after signing up in the Library. No person may be signed up in more than one category of membership.

2.1.13 Once students have been issued with Student ID Cards their details will be transferred to the Library’s Millennium system automatically, usually within 24 hours. Student members may only borrow from the Library after they have been issued with Student Identity Cards.

All other categories of member, including University staff members, may sign up at any stage of the year.

Library staff able to carry out the sign up procedures will be available during weekday office hours. Outside these hours intending members may not be able to sign up.

Users intending to sign up as members should approach the Loans Desk in the first instance.

Bar-coded Library Membership Cards will be issued to Grahamstown Community and Guest members by the Library on completion of the application process. Staff and Students’ ID cards are used as their Library cards. Grahamstown Community and Guest Members’ cards will have photographs of the members supplied by them. All Library membership cards will be retained by the members themselves and not by the Library.

If a card is lost or stolen, this must be reported to the Library immediately. The Library will replace membership cards which it has issued. The Director: Library Services may levy a fee to cover the cost of such replacement. Staff and Students’ ID cards are replaced through the Registrar’s Division but the new barcode must be recorded by the Library.

2.1.14  All borrowers are required to inform the Library of any changes in the addresses supplied to it on membership sign-up.

2.1.15 The Director: Library Services may require any applicants for membership to prove their identity.

2.1.16 See also regulations for distance students in Appendix B.

3.RU Library  LOAN RULES

3.1 Registered members may normally borrow items from the Main Library according to the schedules set out below.

RU Library Membership categories are:

  • Staff (Permanent)
  • Staff (Contract & Temporary)
  • Staff (Library)
  • Staff (Associated institutes)
  • Staff (Affiliated institutes)
  • Staff (Retired)
  • Visitor (Short-term)
  • Visitor
  • Postdocs
  • Honorary Titles
  • Undergraduates
  • Honours & Graduates
  • Senior Postgraduates
  • Visiting Research Students
  • Short Course  Participants
  • Grahamstown Community
  • Alumni
  • Guests
  • ILL (Borrowing Libraries)
  1. Commerce
  2. Education
  3. Humanities
  4. Law
  5. Pharmacy
  6. Science


 1. Staff (Permanent) 30 2
 2. Staff (Contract & Temporary) 30 2
 3. Staff (Library) 30 2
 4. Staff (Affiliates) 30 2
 5. Staff (Retired) 12 0
 6. Postdocs 30 2
 7. Honorary Titles 30 2
 8. Visitor 20 2
 9. Visitor (Short-term)  6 0
10. Undergraduates  6 2
11. Graduates & Honours 12 2
12. Senior Postgraduates 20 2
13. Visiting Research Students 20 2
14. Short Course  Participants  6 2
15. Grahamstown Community  4 0
16. Alumni 12 0
17. Guests  4 0
18. ILL (Borrowing Libraries) Unlimited 0


* This is the maximum number of items that a borrower in each category may have out at any one time.



(Loan periods are stated in days unless specified)

Open ShelvesHigh DemandBound Periodicals48 Hr LoanLimited LoanVideo/
Short Loan
Staff (Permanent)841422142141hr
Staff (Contract & Temporary)841422142141hr
Staff (Library)841422142141hr
Staff (Affiliates)841422142141hr
Staff (Retired)281420142140
Honorary Titles841422142141hr
Visitor561422142141 hr
Visitor (Short-term)141422142140
Graduates & Honours281422142141hr
Senior Postgraduates561422142141hr
Visiting Research Students561422142141hr
Short Course  Participants70 227271hr
Grahamstown Community140 20142 hr140
Guests140 20142 hr140
ILL (Borrowing Libraries)840000000

3.2 The Director: Library Services may at his or her discretion restrict the loan period of any item or refuse its loan altogether. The Director: Library Services may recall any item on loan from any borrower at any time.

3.3 No Library material of any kind may be removed from the Main Library building or the Branch Libraries by anyone unless it has been issued to them at the Loans Desk.

3.4 All borrowers must have on their person their Staff or Student ID or Library membership cards (see 1.1.1 above) in order to enter the Library, and produce their cards when borrowing from the Library, reserving items or cancelling their reservations and at such other times as the Director: Library Services or other Library staff member designated for this purpose by the Director: Library Services shall require.

3.5 Only the borrower in whose name a card has been registered (see above) may use that card for Library purposes unless the Director: Library Services has given permission, on application, for a designated individual to carry out transactions on behalf of another member. Where such permission has been obtained the members must state the name of their agents in writing to the Director: Library Services. This written statement must be renewed each year.

3.6 Every borrower assumes full responsibility for all items borrowed and for their return in good condition by the due dates. This includes items borrowed through an agent (see 3.5) and any items borrowed using a member’s lost card unless the loss of that card has been reported to the Director: Library Services.

3.7 No borrower may transfer any item borrowed from the Library to any other person.

3.8 Circulation and borrowers’ personal records are confidential and the Library will not disclose loan or other personal details to anyone other than the borrower concerned.

3.9 Items which are lost or damaged by borrowers must be replaced by them or paid for by them. Such payment shall be the cost of the item to the Library at the time of replacement plus a handling fee determined by the Director: Library Services. (Damage includes underlining in any form, lining in transparent colour, writing comments and removal of any portion of an item.)

3.10 All categories of borrower are liable for fines in respect of items borrowed from the Library and not returned by the due date stamped in each item on issue. Fines are incurred whether or not borrowers receive notices from the Library informing them that items are overdue. (Overdue notices will nevertheless be sent out by the Library as reminders). Fines commence from the end of the period of grace determined by the Director: Library Services. 48 hour loan or high demand material has no grace period. The rate at which fines are levied and maximum fines are determined by the Library Committee from time to time. Details are obtainable from the Library. If an item incurs the maximum fine and is still not returned to the Library it will be presumed lost by the borrower.

3.10 Once a fine has been incurred a borrower may not be able to borrow further material until the fine has been paid.

3.11 Any borrowed Library item is regarded as still out on loan until it has been returned to the Library and is discharged from the loan record. Borrowers are required to hand returning items to a member of the Loans Desk staff and to wait until the staff member has discharged each item and to receive a receipt for the returned items. The staff member will inform the borrower of any fines or messages recorded in the issue system. Complaints about return dates and fines cannot be entertained at a later date if a receipt cannot be presented by the borrower.

3.12 When an item on loan has been recalled by the Director: Library Services (see 3.2 above) fines will be incurred at the normal daily rate if the item has not been returned by the new due date specified by the notice emailed or posted to the last address(es) supplied to the Library by the borrower.

3.13 All items may have their loan periods renewed online or by the Circulation Desk staff, unless the item has been reserved by another borrower. Only in the case of senior postgraduate students and University staff may renewals be made by telephone or email.

3.14 The mutilation, theft, or attempted theft, of any Library property, including circulating materials, is a very serious offence. Library users who engage in theft or apparent theft will be referred to the University’s disciplinary structures by the Director: Library Services. Library users not subject to University disciplinary structures will be dealt with through normal legal processes and will have their membership of the Library terminated.

3.15 Items in heavy demand by students may be placed in a Short Loan collection by the Director: Library Services at the request of members of the academic staff or on the Director: Library Services’ own initiative. Short Loan items:

  • will be lent out for use in the Library only, or overnight when the Library is closed
  • will have a brief loan period (e.g. 1 hour) determined by the Director: Library Services on the basis of demand
  • may only be used in areas of the Library designated by the Director: Library Services
  • will have a limit of 2 items to any one borrower at one time
  • will have fines levied at a higher rate than those for ordinary loans (details obtainable from the Director: Library Services).

The Director: Library Services may modify these regulations at his/her discretion.

3.16 The Director: Library Services may designate certain items or classes of material as for “reference” or non-circulating use only. The Director: Library Services may require that such materials be used in designated areas of the Library only. In the case of rare or valuable materials the Director: Library Services may require, in addition, that they may be used subject to rules designed to ensure their safety and preservation.

3.17 Normal loan periods will apply to the University vacations but borrowers who will not be in Grahamstown and will, therefore, find it difficult to comply with loan requirements may apply to the Director: Library Services for special vacation loans. Such loans are subject to the Library needs of other borrowers.

3.18 The Director: Library Services may require that new material be placed on display for a period before it becomes available for loan. If an item is needed for urgent academic purposes, application may be made to the Director: Library Services to have the display period waived or reduced.

3.19 The Director: Library Services may block transactions at the Loans Desks in respect of borrowers who infringe the loan rules.


4.1 Inter-Library Loans is a facility which supplements the Library’s own stock by obtaining material which is not available in the Rhodes University Library for University staff and postgraduate students. In return Rhodes University Library material is made available to other libraries. In both cases resource sharing is subject to the rules and licence agreements of the lending library and to the needs of each library’s own members at any given time.

4.2 Members of staff and postgraduate students may request the Inter-Library Loans Department to borrow items or to obtain photocopies for them.

4.3 Request forms for books and periodicals are obtainable from the Inter-Library Loans section of the Loans Desk. A form must be filled in for each item to be requested, giving all available details about each item. The Faculty Liaison staff are available during service hours to give advice on the completion of the forms.

4.4 If a book is obtainable in South Africa, the Rhodes borrower will be charged the postal costs involved only. Books can be obtained from further afield if they are out of print and therefore, not obtainable by any other means. Borrowers must discuss the implications and costs of such loans with the Inter-Library Loans staff.

4.5 Original periodicals are rarely available for loan and most libraries supply photocopies of requested articles. The Rhodes borrower is expected to pay the photocopy costs but retains the copies. Photocopies obtained from beyond South Africa are expensive and requesters must discuss costs with the Inter-Library Loan staff.

4.6 It is important that before submitting Inter-Library Loan requests, users first search the full-text E-journals by TITLE (A-Z e-titles via SFX) of full-text electronic journals to see if the article is available electronically, and also check the Rhodes University Library catalogue/OPAC and Cory Library catalogue, to find out if the item is held in print.

4.7 Lending libraries have the right to impose conditions of loan including loan period and number of renewals permitted, if any. These conditions must be adhered to strictly by Rhodes borrowers. The Director: Library Services may impose fines on borrowers with Inter-Library Loan material in their possession beyond the due date. Such fines will be at the daily rate for borrowers of Rhodes material. Serious or persistent offenders may be denied access to the Inter-Library Loan service.


5.1 Rules of use of the Rhodes University Libraries are outlined in the Library Use and Conduct Code (see Appendix A). This code is published for the benefit of all users and is applicable to all users. Users who breach this code will be held accountable, which may result in disciplinary action being taken.

5.2 Notices may not be displayed in or on any part of the Main Library building unless the permission of the Director: Library Services has been obtained.

5.3 Library staff are not responsible for personal property brought into the Library.

5.4 The Library will not be held responsible for any damage or loss to equipment plugged into power points in the library or to data stored thereon as a result of power fluctuations or surges or from any other cause.

5.5 Library staff cannot normally undertake to transmit telephone or other personal messages to Library users working in the Library. In emergencies every endeavour will be made to locate individuals in the Library.


6.1 No person may use the photocopying machines in the Library for the purpose of breaking the law on copyright.

6.2 The staff of the Library will not undertake copying which is in violation of copyright law nor will the Director: Library Services permit photocopies which are or may be in breach of the law to be taken into Library stock, including temporary deposit in the Short Loan collection.

6.3 The Director: Library Services may withhold any item in the Library stock from photocopying if there is good reason to believe that it is not desirable for it to be copied. In cases where any item is withheld from photocopying because of the possibility of damage other forms of copying may be permitted.

6.4 Charges for photocopies made on machines in the Library are determined by the Printing Unit of Rhodes University. A statement of charges is posted in the photocopy areas.

6.5 Copies on photocopy machines accessible to Library users are made using a Staff or Student or Library ID or photocopy charge card. Charge cards can be purchased from the card dispensers/reloaders in the photocopy areas or at the Student Bureau.  Library ID cards are issued to Community Users & Guests on application.

6.6 Persons who are not members of the Library may use the photocopy machines provided that Library members are not inconvenienced by such use. Charge cards can be purchased from the card dispensers/reloaders in the photocopy areas.



The use of electronic resources is governed by strict licence agreements with publishers and vendors and access is not possible for the following categories of Library users:


Grahamstown Community


Staff (Retired)



This room has 12 chairs and is equipped with a white board, data projector, wall screen & speakers.

It may be used by other University staff & departments for academic and administrative purposes, but Library use has priority.

Booking is done through the Library’s Administration office.


            7.3 RU Library GROUP STUDY ROOMS



These rooms are equipped with white boards and are for group work use only.

They may be reserved, a week in advance.

Booking is done at the Information Commons Desk.



This room is equipped with a white board, a screen a data-projector and DVD player. It may be used for the group viewing of DVDs and for rehearsal of presentations (using personal laptops)

It may be reserved, a week in advance.

Booking is done at the Information Commons Desk.


              7.3.3 RU Library GROUP STUDY ROOMS, 8-9, LEVEL 3 COMMERCE

These rooms are equipped with white boards and are for group work use only.

They may be reserved, a week in advance.

Booking is done at the Commerce Faculty Desk.


             7.4 RU Library INFORMATION COMMONS LEVEL 2

A spacious, mixed-use area containing 56 computer workstations, group study areas and rooms and a state-of-the-art training room, this facility provides undergraduates with a “one-stop-shop” for access to printed and online resources, as well as Microsoft Office software to process their work. The Information Commons is staffed during Library opening hours by Library staff and a team of student navigator assistants to provide information, reference and technical assistance.



See information under section 4



This room has 33 chairs and is equipped with a white board, data projector, DVD player, wall screen, flat screen monitor,  & speakers.

It may be used by other University staff & departments for academic and administrative purposes, but Library use has priority.

Use of the adjacent Tea-Room and its facilities should not impact negatively on normal usage of this facility by Library staff.

Booking is done through the Library’s Administration office.



The Research Commons has been designed as a scholarly common room for senior post-graduate students and academics. It is located on level 2 of the Rhodes University Library, beyond the Science Faculty hub, and is open, via access control, to academic and research staff, postdocs and postgraduate students at master’s and doctoral level. Experienced library staff members are on hand to assist with users’ information needs and to arrange consultations with subject specialists as needed. The facility will be overseen by post-graduate student assistants after office hours.


            7.8 RU Library TRAINING ROOM, LEVEL 2

This room is primarily intended for Library-run training but the computers in this room may be used by students when the Information Commons computers are all in use and the room is not in use for training.

It cannot, therefore, be made available for use for other than Library purposes during university terms.

It may be used by institutes affiliated to the University, for training purposes, during University vacations. Application for temporary logins to the RU network, where necessary, will have to be made to the IT Division in advance, and the trainers will have to supply the IT Division with copies of all the users’ ID documents.

Booking of this facility is done through the Librarian: Information Commons



This area, also known as the Short Loan Reading Room, is an access-controlled area   where students may study after the Library has closed. Users of the facility while the Library is open will be asked to leave the facility 15 minutes before closing time. Those wishing to remain in the facility after Library closure, will have to leave the Library through the exit gates, taking with them all their possessions and Library materials on loan to them, and re-enter the facility from its outside entrance.. This entrance will be opened just after the Library closes and the door to the Library from the facility will then be locked.

7.9.1Access to the facility is controlled and users must be in possession of a valid University ID card.

7.9.2 The facility is fitted with a panic button linked to Campus Protection which is to be used only in emergency situations.


8.1 The Library provides access for people with disabilities alongside the front entrance.

8.2 People with disabilities are allowed to use the designated lift to access the other floors of the Library. Users may request assistance from a Library staff member at the Security Desk and should be accompanied when using the lift.

8.3 Students with low vision have priority at four computers which are loaded with special software which enlarges screen characters. These are situated next to the Science and Pharmacy Faculty Librarian’s office on Level 2.


9.1 Rhodes staff and students intending to visit other libraries for research and study purposes should obtain a letter of introduction from the Director: Library Services before leaving Grahamstown.

9.2 A Committee for Higher Education Librarians of South Africa (CHELSA) memorandum of understanding requires senior postgraduate students from one university visiting the library of another member to produce such letters. Students arriving without them may be refused admission or service by the library approached.

9.3 Undergraduate and Honours students are not covered by the CHELSA agreement but may request letters of introduction. A Rhodes letter of introduction will not ask for borrowing facilities on behalf of undergraduate or Honours students and the services open to them depend on the rules of the libraries approached.

9.4 Staff or students requiring letters of introduction must complete an application form available from the Loans Desk. Each signed letter of introduction will be available 24 hours after the application was submitted.

9.5 Each library visited by Rhodes staff or students has the right to determine what services and facilities it is able to offer, taking into account the needs of its own members.


10.1 The Director: Library Services has the power to impose fines for any breaches of the Library Rules and Regulations, to demand compensation for lost or damaged items belonging to the Library, to suspend any user from the privilege of borrowing material or to exclude them from the Library for a specified period.


This code is published for the benefit of all users of Rhodes University Library services and is applicable to all users. This code is enforceable by all members of the library staff and violations will be reported and pursued to the full extent of the law.

Rhodes University Library services seek to provide all users with:

  • A quiet environment for research, study, and reading
  • Access to well managed and diverse collections of library resources
  • Knowledgeable staff

Ensuring a pleasant and productive environment for study and research for all users requires that each user of the libraries follows the Rhodes University Library Services Library Use and Conduct Code and refrains from specific abuses. Use of the Rhodes University Library Services is a privilege not a right.

Rules of Use

  1. Users are required to have on their persons a valid Rhodes University ID card in order to access the Library and its branch libraries and to use these libraries’ facilities.  Users may not use someone else’s card to gain access to the libraries, borrow library material or use library facilities.


  1. Firearms or other deadly weapons, fireworks, explosives and/or explosive devices, or other dangerous devices, are not permitted in the libraries.


  1. Users must not interfere with an employee’s performance of his/her duties. Such behaviour includes but is not limited to verbal abuse, intimidation, sexual harassment or harassment on account of race, religion, ethnic background, gender or sexual orientation.


  1. Library materials, equipment, or property must not be taken from the library buildings without proper checkout or authorisation. Library materials must be returned on or before the loan period stipulated or on request by the libraries. Library materials must not be concealed in the libraries for the exclusive use of individuals or groups.


  1. Users must not vandalise, alter or damage library buildings, furniture or equipment, including computer systems, networks, programmes or data.


  1. All users must handle library materials in such a way that they are not defaced or damaged in any way. This includes marking, underlining, removing pages or portions of pages, removing binding, removing electronic theft devices, using paper clips.


  1. Licensed databases, on-line services and print collections are for the use of staff employed by and students and library users registered at Rhodes University.  Users must observe applicable intellectual property laws, including the South African Copyright Laws, or any other licensing agreements that the University has entered into which stipulates the reasonable use of and access to content. Computers may be used for academic purposes only.


  1. Users must not enter unauthorised areas of the libraries.


  1. Users are required to leave the libraries at closing and when requested during emergency situations and drills or following a violation of this Library Use and Conduct Code.


  1. Food or open beverage containers are not permitted in public areas of the Rhodes University Library or its branch libraries (only spill-proof beverage containers are allowed). Littering is not permitted in the libraries. Smoking is not permitted in these libraries or within 5 metres of library buildings.


  1. Users must maintain quiet and not engage in any behaviour that interferes with the normal use of the Library and its branch libraries.


  1. Cell/mobile  phones must be turned off or set on silent/vibrate mode when entering the Library or its branch libraries. Speaking on cell phones is not permitted inside the libraries.


  1. Users may not sit on tables in the Library or rest their feet on Library furniture or rock back on Library chairs.


  1. All Library chairs are for the use of one person at a time only.


  1. Bicycles or unicycles are not permitted in library buildings. Rollerblading, skateboarding or skating are not permitted in or on the library buildings. Wheeled vehicles must be parked in authorised areas and not at library entrances.


  1. Vending, peddling and/or solicitation of merchandise or services are prohibited within the library buildings.


  1. Only animals trained to assist persons with disabilities are allowed in the library buildings.
  2. Personal property should not be left unattended or be left to reserve seats in the libraries.

RU Library Sanctions

Users who breach this code will be held accountable, which may result in disciplinary action being taken.

In the case of students, the Library Disciplinary Committee or the Higher Disciplinary Authority will be used to pursue necessary disciplinary action.  Where there are repeat, recorded violations or high level first violations, a University Prosecutor will be consulted for a decision on how to proceed.

In the case of staff, the Staff Disciplinary Code will be used. Where there are repeat, recorded violations and/or high level first violations, the matter shall be referred to the relevant Head of Department/Division who shall deal with the disciplinary matter in terms of the Staff Disciplinary Code.

The Rhodes University Library Services Library Use and Conduct Code supplements the Rhodes University Student Disciplinary Code and other University policies.

With acknowledgement to the University of California, San Diego Libraries’ Use and Conduct Policy


1.1 Distance students are those registered Rhodes University students resident for all, or significant parts of the academic year, too far from Grahamstown to interact with the Library in person. The provisions contained in the Statement of Library Rules and Regulations apply to distance students except where modified below.

1.2 Distance students must register in person as Library borrowers. If they are not yet in possession of Students’ ID cards, the Library will issue temporary borrower’s cards. Students requesting temporary cards must supply proof of identity and a small photograph. Distance students must obtain an ID card at academic registration and then register this with the Library as a borrower’s card in place of the temporary card. Distance students must keep the Library informed of any changes in their registered postal and e-mail addresses and contact telephone numbers.

1.3 Distance students may borrow directly from the Library when they are in Grahamstown but must do so in person. If they want someone else to borrow on their behalf they must make a written request to the Director: Library Services, quoting their student numbers and barcodes, for particular individuals to act as their agents. In such case a person on whose behalf an item has been borrowed is responsible for it, not the agent.

1.4 The loan period for distance students will be the normal 48 days for Senior Postgraduates. The service will not normally be available to other categories of borrower. Renewals of loans may be done online, or be requested in person, by e-mail, or telephone, The Director: Library Services may refuse any renewal request and any item reserved by another borrower must be returned to the Library immediately.

1.5 When distance students are not able to visit the Library in person to borrow items they may request them from the Library by e-mail. Books will be sent out as registered surface post by the Library and must be returned by registered post or by the borrower in person. The Library will pay the postage out and the borrower the return postage. Only books or other items which are normally available for issue will be posted out and material in demand by students or staff in Grahamstown will not be available for postal loan during the period of demand.

1.7 Distance students will be liable for fines on overdue books at the standard rates. Books returned by post will not be regarded as overdue if the postmark date is the same as the due date or earlier. Borrowers who have incurred fines may be blocked from further personal or postal loans until the fines are paid.

1.8 The Library will not borrow books on Inter-Library Loan on behalf of distance students but photostat copies of periodical articles may be requested. Photostat copies of material held by the Library may also be requested subject to the provisions of copyright legislation but requesters will be charged the cost of the copies plus a handling charge.

1.9 Letters of Introduction to other university libraries will be supplied to distance students but only

  • if they are registered borrowers of the Rhodes Library and
      • if they comply with the Committee for Higher Education Librarians of South Africa memorandum of understanding.

1.10 The postal service is normally limited to the Republic of South Africa but distance students based beyond its borders may apply to the Director: Library Services through the Head of their Academic Department for a relaxation of this rule. The Director: Library Services may decline to offer a postal library service to areas where the postal service is unreliable even if these areas are within the borders of South Africa.

1.11 The Director: Library Services retains the right to recall an item from a distance student before its due date and may withdraw postal and other services from such students if they default on their obligations to the Library.