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Access to NWU Libraries and Databases

NWU students and staff

  • Only registered students and staff members of the North-West University may access our libraries and databases.

Prospective M and PhD students

Members of the public

  • External members who wish to borrow material or use the physical library spaces need to apply to Library and Information Services for access by completing our External membership application form. The completed form may be handed in at one of our Lending desks or sent to us via email.
  • Membership Fees and Conditions:

     

    Membership Fees and Conditions
    Alumni R 400,00 (Subscription: January - December with lending rights) + R80,00 (Diverse access card - fees must be paid to Security Services)
    Please provide a copy of your ID document and recent proof of residence. Proof from Alumni Office will be obtained by Library.
    Borrowing privileges, no database access.
    Community R 1200,00 (Subscription: January - December with lending rights) + R80,00 (Diverse access card - fees must be paid to Security Services)
    Please provide a copy of your ID document and recent proof of residence.
    Borrowing privileges, no database access.
    Day User R 50,00 (per day)
    No borrowing privileges and no database access. Assistance may be provided with catalogue searches and photocopies. No borrowing privileges, no database access.
    Short courses R 200,00 - Diverse card provided by course organiser. No borrowing privileges and no database access.
    UNISA Your department arranges for diverse access cards and guest registration on ITP. No borrowing privileges, do have access to databases.

Click here for a complete list of our user categories and services.

Access to other University Libraries - Letter of Introduction

Masters and PhD students can apply for a letter of introduction to another University Library. Please complete the Letter of introduction application form. The completed form may be handed in at one of our Lending desks or sent to us via email.

Library PIN

Access to your library record is provided by a unique PIN that you create yourself. This PDF explains how to create a library PIN.

If you need help, you are welcome to contact your Loans Desk.

My Patron(library) record

From your Library Record you can access the following pages:

  • loans - see your current loans and renew them if possible
  • overdue charges - details of fines issued by the library
  • blocks and messages - to see reasons for blocks on your record. For full details of blocks and messages, inquire at your nearest Loan Services desk.
  • personal reading history list
  • saved searches
  • personal settings - to view your contact information

North-West University staff and students log in with their surname, university number and Library PIN. This PDF explains how to create a Library PIN.

External users log in with their surname, library barcode and Library PIN.

When using a public computer, please remember to sign out when you have finished using your Library Record account so that your searches and personal details remain private.

User categories - How many books can I take out and for how long?

Membership Number of items Loan period (days) Database Access Help with Information Searches Interlibrary Loans
Undergraduates 6 14 Yes Information Commons No
4th-year degree and Honours students 10 30 Yes Honours Commons Yes
Post-graduates (M and PhD.) 15 30 Yes Research Commons & Faculty Librarians Yes
Academic staff 20 90 Yes Research Commons & Faculty Librarians Yes
Support staff 10 30 Yes Information Commons Yes
Managerial & Professional staff 15 90 Yes Information Commons Yes
Alumni (with borrowing rights) 4 14 No Information desk No
Community members 2 14 No Information desk No

Click here for a complete list of our user categories and services.

Borrowing, Renewing and Returning Books

How to borrow books?

All registered staff and students of the North-West University may borrow books from any of our campus libraries. You must present your university card for all borrowing transactions.

  • You can borrow books from the:
    • Loan Services desk
      This is the desk at any of the NWU libraries where you can check out, renew and return books, pay fines, pick up your holds, and more.  They are usually located near the main entrance of each library.
    • Self-checkout machine
      ​​Self-service machines are available at all our main campus libraries. If you encounter any problems please go to the Loan Services desk. You will NOT be able to use the self-checkout machine: 
      • to borrow items without a barcode
      • to borrow books that are "Non - circulating" e.g. Reference items
      • if your University card has expired
      • if you have a block on your University card
      • if your item has been invoiced for the replacement cost
      • if you have overdue charges in excess of R10.00
      • to renew a book if it was requested by another user

Manual on how to use the machine at the Potchefstroom Campus.

  • You are responsible for all items issued on your University card.
  • If an item you want is out on loan you can request it using the holds service provided by the Loans Counter. The library may ask you to return books earlier than their due date if the specific item(s) is highly on demand.
  • If an item you want to borrow is not on the shelves, please report it to the Loan Services desk. The Library staff will search for the item and place a hold on it for you. If we cannot find the item, we will change the status of the item to missing on the catalogue.

Borrowing books during recess

  • If you are going on vacation and have books on your record, or plan on taking out new books before going away, kindly ask the Loan Services staff at any of the libraries to adjust the due dates to when the new term starts.
  • You can also renew your books online.
  • Please see the Library website for our operating hours.

Email reminder notices

  • North-West University staff and students
    • Notices from the Library about recalled items, hold requests awaiting collection, inter-campus requests and overdue items will be sent to you by email and SMS. Please make certain that Campus Administration has your correct email address and cell phone number.
  • Other members of the library
    • Notices from the library about recalled items, hold requests awaiting collection and overdue items will be sent to you by email or SMS if you provide an email address and cell phone number when you register.
  • If you do not have an email address, notices will be sent to you by post.
  • If there is an item in your loan record that you are certain you have not borrowed, please contact the Loan Services desk immediately so we can investigate.

How to renew books?

Note that:

  • Only two renewals per book are allowed.
  • Items requested by another library user can not be renewed. Please return the requested book as soon as possible. Requested books returned after the due date will incur a recall fine plus an additional fine if also overdue.
  • Items from our reserve collection may not be renewed.
  • Items from interlibrary loans are renewed separately. Please contact your interlibrary loan staff for more information on renewing interlibrary loan books.

Use one of the following methods to renew your books:

  • Items may be renewed via the web. Go to your library record to renew your books.
  • Use a self-checkout machine. Please note that you will not be allowed to renew your books online or via the self-checkout machine:
    • on the date of expiry
    • if your books are already overdue
    • if you have outstanding fines in excess of R10.00
    • if you have already renewed the book twice
    • if your patron record/university card has expired
    • if the item has been requested by another user
  • Visit your nearest Loan Services desk and provide your card. Ask the staff to renew the items for you.
  • Items may be renewed via telephone or email.

How to return books?

You can return books via the:

  • Loan Services desk
  • Self-checkout machine
    When using the machine to return books please take your receipt, as this is your proof that the return transaction has been successful.
  • Book bin (dropbox) next to the Main Library entrance. 
  • Postal service
    Mahikeng: Books may be returned via courier services with prior arrangement. Please contact Nomzingisi Madikane at +27 (0)16 389 2198 for assistance.
    Potchefstroom: Per registered post to the North-West University: Ferdinand Postma Library, Loan Services, Private Bag X05, Noordbrug, 2522. 
    Vanderbijlpark: Per registered post to the North-West University: Vanderbijlpark Library, Loan Services, PO Box 1174, Vanderbijlpark, 1900.

Books must be returned by the date/time stamped on the date label in the book or as printed on the receipt if you used the self-checkout machine. Overdue items are liable for a fine. You are responsible for all items issued on your University card.

 

Library Fines
Overdue items: Open Collection R    1,00 (per item per day)
Overdue items: Course Reserve and Study Collection R    3,00 (per item per hour)
Overdue items: Interlibrary Loan (ILL) R  10,00 (per item per day)
Lost books R 150,00 admin fee + the replacement cost of the book

Self-Check machine

  • ​​Self-service machines are available at all our main campus libraries. If you encounter any problems please go to the Loan Services desk. You will NOT be able to use the self-checkout machine: 
    • to borrow items without a barcode
    • to borrow books that are "Non - circulating" e.g. Reference items
    • if your University card has expired
    • if you have a block on your University card
    • if your item has been invoiced for the replacement cost
    • if you have overdue charges in excess of R10.00
    • to renew a book if it was requested by another user
  • Manual on how to use the machine at the Potchefstroom Campus.

Fines

  • Return or renew your loans on or before the due date.
  • Avoid giving your loans to anyone else to return. You will be held liable, not them.
  • Treat your university card as a credit card. Report it immediately if lost or stolen. Do not let others use it.
  • Remember: if you share your Library items with others, you will be responsible for any fines, losses or damages incurred.
  • If there is an item in your loan record that you are certain you have not borrowed, please contact the Loan Services desk immediately so we can investigate.

 

Library Fines
Overdue items: Open Collection R    1,00 (per item per day)
Overdue items: Course Reserve and Study Collection R    3,00 (per item per hour)
Overdue items: Interlibrary Loan (ILL) R  10,00 (per item per day)
Lost books R 150,00 admin fee + the replacement cost of the book

Postal Service: M and PhD Students

The dispatching of books, journal articles, and other library materials may be arranged for all Master and Doctoral students at the Potchefstroom and Vanderbijlpark campuses of the NWU, but the service is currently not available for Mahikeng students. For further information in connection with these services please contact your lending desk.

  • Mahikeng: Books may be returned via courier services with prior arrangement. Please contact Nomzingisi Madikane at +27 (0)16 389 2198 for assistance.
  • Potchefstroom: Please return borrowed books per registered post to the North-West University: Ferdinand Postma Library, Private Bag X05, NOORDBRUG, 2522, South Africa. Contact Martin Nokoane at +27 (0)18 285 2422 for assistance.
  • Vanderbijlpark: Please return borrowed books per registered post to the North-West University: Vanderbijlpark Library, PO Box 1174, VANDERBIJLPARK, 1900, South Africa. Contact Tiny Moripa at +27 (0)16 910 3043 for assistance.

Course Reserves/Electronic Course Reserves (ECR)

 

Course Reserves

Hard copies of books/material are placed in the Course Reserve section of the library upon recommendation from the lecturer to be used in the library.

  • The loan period is normally 2 hours at a time.
  • To see the material you can search by Course Code or by Lecturer.  

 

Electronic Course Reserves (ECR)

ECR makes electronic copies of study material available to students. This service is only available at the Ferdinand Postma Libary.

How can I access electronic documents that have been placed on reserve?

  • You can search by Course Code or by Lecturer
  • Click on the title that you wish to view e.g. View or Print; //Title
  • Type your name, university number and PIN number
  • The reserved material will appear on the screen and can then be printed or saved

How to place items on Electronic Course Reserve

  • Advantages of ECR
    • Study material is available for the whole group, therefore the book/material is not only available to one student at a time.
    • ECR is not confined to a building, it is a virtual library.
    • It promotes the principle of e-learning.
    • Material cannot be damaged.
    • Material cannot be lost or stolen.
    • Information can also be made available on lecturers’ eFundi websites, via a link to the reserved material.
    • The complete list of reserved material does not need to be indicated in the study guide. It only has to indicate that reserved material can be found on the library’s website by clicking on the relevant links. Consequently, study guides do not have to be altered or updated when the material is removed or added. 
  • Procedures
    • Provide the library with a decent, legible copy for scanning. It can either be a hard copy or an electronic copy.
    • Enough time is needed to apply for copyright, scan the article, and to load it onto the appropriate course reserves module.
    • The lecturer will be notified as soon as the process is completed, in order to then resolve any possible problems, conduct quality management and, if necessary, make changes.
    • When the process is finished, registered students will have 24/7 access to the information from anywhere in the world.

 

Enquiries can be addressed to

Requests(Holds)

Staff and students can place Requests(Holds) via the Library Catalog on books that have been taken out by another user. 

Intercampus Resource Sharing - Borrowing books from other NWU libraries

 

  • Create an Intercampus Request by completing one of the forms on this page.
  • Journals articles, content pages and index pages are scanned and sent by email to the requesting user.
  • You will receive a notification to pick up your resources once it has arrived at your home library.
  • Working days/hours are from Monday - Friday from 7:30 - 4:30 and do not include weekends.
  • Books to Mahikeng:

    • Books from Potchefstroom Libraries take 3-7 working days to arrive in Mahikeng.
    • Books from Vanderbijlpark Library take 7-10 working days to arrive in Mahikeng.
    • For more information contact Itumeleng Kolodi at 018 389 2419 or Emilio Stuurman at 018 389 2115.
  • Books to Potchefstroom: Ferdinand Postma Library and branch libraries

    • Books from Mahikeng Library take 3-7 working days to arrive in Potchefstroom.
    • Books from Vanderbijlpark Library take 72 hours to arrive in Potchefstroom.
    • Books between the Ferdinand Postma and branch libraries will be ready for pick up at your home library after 24 hours.
    • For more information contact:
  • Books to Vanderbijlpark

    • Books from Mahikeng Library take 7-10 working days to arrive in Vanderbijlpark.
    • Books from Potchefstroom Libraries take 72 hours to arrive in Vanderbijlpark.
    • For more information contact Daniel Monyamane at 016 910 3044 or Siyabonga Sithole at 016 910 3044.

Interlibrary Loans - Request items from other universities

Interlibrary Loans (ILL) provides a service to postgraduate M & PhD students, staff and researchers by obtaining material not owned by the North-West University Libraries. Read more about our ILL service.

Book Collections

Short Loan Services

  • Library materials in these collections can only be loaned out for a short time period.
  • They can be used inside the library during the day or overnight. If these materials are borrowed overnight they must be returned an hour after the Library opens in the morning otherwise a hefty fee will be charged and/or you may be blocked from using the overnight service for an extended period.
  • Short loans consist of the Course Reserves and Study collection.

Course Reserves

Course Reserves are the reading materials/items prescribed by a lecturer for specific modules. Depending on the resource, they can be accessed online through the Course Reserve link or in person at the relevant campus library. Check your tutorial guidelines, or contact your lecturer for information about where your assigned course readings are located.

  • Course Reserves at the Library
    Lecturers can set aside physical items such as books and other course readings in the Course Reserve section of a library on any campus.
  • Electronic Course Reserves (ECR)
    Lecturers can make the assigned course materials available online through Electronic Course Reserves. These materials may include articles, book sections, study guides, exam papers, memorandums, notes and media resources. Please note that copyright law limits what may be made available online.

Study Collection

  • The Study collection is usually situated next to the reserved sources and is made available in the same manner as reserved physical items. This collection includes sources that your study guide refers to as recommended and prescribed sources, as well as one additional copy of books that are in demand by students.

Open Shelf Collection

  • Contains the bulk of the library's collections. Subject-specific material, both old and new is available and may be borrowed by any NWU user. The period for which you are eligible to borrow these sources depends on your lending category.

Reference Collection

  • This collection consists of materials that are typically designed to be consulted for a quick reference, rather than read from cover to cover. For this reason, they can't be borrowed and may only be used in the library. Examples include encyclopedias, dictionaries, almanacs, pharmacopoeia, and indexes. Our eReference Works are available online.

Journal Collection

  • Journals are collections of articles published regularly, e.g. in weekly, monthly or quarterly issues. A number of issues together form a volume. Journals can also be referred to as periodicals, magazines or serials. Aside from our physical collection which may not be taken out of the library we also subscribed to online journals which are available via our databases.