Guide To Rhodes University Library (RUL) Services - 2022

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Guide To Rhodes University Library (RUL) Services -2022
Guide To Rhodes University Library (RUL) Services -2022


The Rhodes library service is perfectly positioned to enable students to access powerful knowledge by providing relevant and appropriate academic infrastructure, equipment, facilities, services, and programs that support the academic project.  We strategically position the library to support and sustain the university’s teaching and learning endeavors and research-intensive reputation.   

RUL is made up of four libraries and three affiliated libraries. These are; the Main Library, the Cory Library for Humanities Research, the Alistair Kerr Law Library, and the Sound Library. The affiliated libraries are the Margaret Smith Library at SAIAB, the Teacher Resources Centre, and the International Library of African Music (ILAM). Click here for more information on each of these libraries. 

Library membership and access to Learning Resources

All registered students and Rhodes University staff are members of the Library. Staff and community members are required to register annually to have access to the library service and facilities.  New students and staff members have to activate/set up their library accounts in order to access online databases and eBooks remotely/off-campus.  To create your library account, click here. This short video explains the easy steps to follow in setting up My Library Account   For all your  membership queries and problems with login procedures contact us at Circulation Desk. or, for learning & research support, visit our Libguides or consult your Faculty Liaison Librarians

Learning Resources

As a member of the Library, you are entitled to use the vast learning resources that are made available by the Library.  The Library has +- 300 000 volumes of print books onsite, +-700 000 e-books, and more than 66 online scholarly databases. Access to all learning resources is through the Library’s web page Once you are here, you can search our Library catalogue, using either the exact title or subject, or keywords. The short loan is the most heavily used by both staff and students. The short loan collection includes materials reserved by your lecturers for immediate and short-term access.  To access short loan resources and other print resources held by the library, you will have to visit the library during opening hours.  For all access or loan related enquiries, contact our Circulation desk or send an email to or directly to or

Opening hours

Our standard operational hours are as follows:

Main Library: Monday to Thursday         08:30-22:30

                          Fridays                                  09:00-22:30

                          Saturdays                            09:00-21:00

                          Sundays                               13:30-05:30

Law Library:  Monday -Thursday             08:30-20:00

                         Friday                                     08:30-17:00

                         Saturday                               10:00-17:00

                         Sunday                                  10:00-17:00         

Cory Library: Monday – Friday                 08:30-13:00

                                                                          14:00-16:30     Weekends & Public Holidays           Closed

Music Library: Monday – Thursday          08:30-16:30    Weekends & Public Holidays          Closed

                          Friday                                     08:30-13:00    Weekends & Public Holidays          Closed

SAIAB Library: Monday - Friday                08:00-17:00    Weekends & public holidays          Closed 

TRC:                  Monday- Thursday            08:30-17:00

                         Friday                                      08:30-17:30

                         Saturday                                09:00-12:00

                         Sundays                                 13:00-16:00

ILAM:              Monday – Friday                   08:00-17:00    Weekends & public holidays          Closed   

These hours are subject to change at any time, due to specific regulations, Public Holidays, extended times during the examinations, etc. Changes are communicated regularly by posting on the Library entrance, the Library’s webpage, social media, and e-mail.

Borrowing Library books

The loan schedule of the Main Library is as follows:

  • Undergraduates:                                                                    6 items for 2 weeks.
  • Postgraduates: 12 items for 4 weeks
  • Senior postgraduates: 20 items for 8 weeks
  • Academic staff, Research staff, Support staff &

Post-doctoral scholars:                                                                  30 items for 12 weeks

  • Community members: 6 items for 2 weeks up to 3 months
  • Visiting scholars: 20 items for 8 weeks or more than 3 months

Lending rules

Library resources are issued out on loan,  the borrower is responsible for returning any loaned item/s by the due date. Items which are not returned on the stipulated loan period are subject to fines. The University requires all users to pay such fines.  Please note: no item issued out in your name may be transferred to any other person during the loan period.

  • Items which are lost or damaged must be paid for or replaced.
  • The Director: Library Services may restrict the loan item or period of the loan based on stipulated conditions or regulations.
  • An item on loan may be recalled at any time when there is a need.   

Access to Electronic resources

We encourage users to make use of our e-Resources which are accessibly online and remotely where there is Internet access.  Current Rhodes University staff and registered students can access electronic collections through the Library’s web page.  Community members are limited to on-site access only, as a significant portion of e-Resources is subject to terms and conditions stipulated in license agreements with vendors. Community members who need access to subscription-based resources must contact the Circulation Desk.  You can explore a variety of our eBooks here

Library Facilities and Venues

Located on Level 2 in the Main Library, the Research Commons is a dedicated space for academic staff, researchers and senior post-graduate (Master’s and Doctoral) students. A valid Rhodes University ID card is required to gain access to this area. Find more information on research support

Located on Level 0, the PGC is a dedicated space for academic staff, researchers, and postgraduate (Honours, Masters, and Doctoral) students. A valid Rhodes University ID card is required to gain access to this area. For more information on Postgraduate support click here

Located on Level 2 in the Main Library, the IC is a dedicated space for undergraduate students, accessible during Library operating hours, with differentiated learning spaces, 56 PCs, and a dedicated Information Literacy Coordinator available during Library hours. You can access the new student libguide here.

This facility is available to all registered students.  A valid Rhodes University ID card is required to access the facility from 22:30 to 08:30 pending the variations as mentioned on page 1, under “Opening hours” 

Cory Library for Humanities Research

Cory Library collects, keeps, and preserves archival and published material to support research in the Humanities and Social Sciences. The collection of books, journals, and archival holdings are particularly strong in the history, heritage, and culture of Eastern Cape.  It also covers the mission and church history, family history, and various southern African topics, including politics, literature, education, mining, commerce, and agriculture. Since the initial deposit of Sir George Cory’s collections, there has been a focus on the history of the Eastern Cape and on Grahamstown itself. Cory Library’s collections include manuscripts and other documents, government publications, rare and modern books, pamphlets, periodicals and newspapers, maps, photographs, audio-visual recordings, and electronic media.  Through its book publishing programme (the Graham's Town Series, Eastern Cape Themes, and Eastern Cape Reprints), Cory Library contributes to the intellectual and academic culture of the University.


Cory Library is a non-circulating library. It is open to students and staff of Rhodes University. Members of the wider research community and the public are welcome to enquire about readers’ tickets should they want to utilize this library. To contact Cory Library, use the following email address: or email


Library Orientation and Training

  • We conduct Orientation for all first-year entering students, both undergrads and postgrads during the O-week and extended O-week programme
  • Ongoing Information Literacy classes are conducted throughout the year.
  • For more information on Library O-week programme and Information Literacy classes, contact our Undergraduate Librarian
  • Postgraduate support comprises of customised research database workshops, organized with postgraduate supervisors, your lecturers, the Centre for Postgraduate Studies (CPGS), and directly with your Faculty Liaison Librarians. For more information on research, support visit our research support page.
  • Postgraduate training also includes; Research guides to finding, using, and evaluating information on specific subjects. Systematic reviews also form part of research support offered by the Library. For more information, contact our Liaison Librarians.


Learning cannot be confined within the walls of the lecture room, traditional classroom or laboratory, the Library as an extension of the classroom enhances your learning and research experience as a student, an academic, a researcher or a member of the learning communities.

For all your training or information or research needs, consult your Faculty Librarians as follows:

  • Faculty of Science and Pharmacy: Ms. Thandiwe Menze: @ 046 603 8689 or
  • Faculty of Humanities and Education: Ms. Linda Cartwright @ 046 603 7341 or
  • Faculty of Commerce and Law: Ms. Jill Otto @ 046 603 8062 or

The Information Commons guide is a one-stop facility for all undergraduates. The new student/staff guide will also familiarize you with most library services.  Always remember to visit our gateway, the library website at