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Ask a Librarian: Library Membership

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How do I become a member?

Unisa Staff: Unisa staff are automatically members of the Library when they are appointed until their employment at Unisa comes to a close. Retired Unisa staff remain members of the Library.

Unisa Students: As a registered Unisa student you are automatically a member of the Library from the time of your registration for the current academic year. Your Library membership expires upon completion of the final examination of the same year.

Special members: It is possible for members of the public to become special members of the Unisa Library. There are a several categories of special membership (see below).

Telephone +27 012 429 3133 to apply for the appropriate category of special membership.

Who can apply for special membership?

  • Unisa retired staff
  • Unisa External Markers, Supervisors and Translators, Temporary Staff, Unisa Tutors and Guest Lecturers, Professors Extraodinarius, Affiliated Lecturers
  • Unisa master’s and doctoral graduates (for a fee)
  • Prospective honours, master’s and doctoral students of Unisa
  • Master’s and doctoral students of other South African universities/ universities of technology
  • Lecturers of other South African universities/ universities of technology
  • Donors
  • Community members

If you have any questions contact us at: +27 12 429 3133.

How do I get admission to the Library?

Students who visit the Unisa Libraries in person need to purchase an electronic student card at a cost of R45. This card must be presented to gain admission to the Library. Students have to present their print student cards when they purchase an electronic student card.

Watch the following video on how to obtain an electronic student card.

Can I lend my electronic student card to someone else to access the Library or to borrow books?

Under no circumstances may a student allow another person to use their electronic student card to gain access to the Library or to borrow books.

Students who do not comply with this regulation are subject to disciplinary action.


I have lost my student card/Library access card. What should I do?

Report the missing card to the Library immediately to block the use of the lost card by anyone else.

If a student fails to report the loss of his or her Library admission card, any Library material that is subsequently and unlawfully issued to another person who uses the lost card will remain the responsibility of the staff member or student.

What are the Library privileges per membership category?

What is meant by the term “library privileges”?

The term “library privileges” refers to the services which each category of Library membership is entitled to receive, for example, the number of books that may be borrowed, the length of the loan period for books, access to the Interlibrary Loan service, access to the electronic resources of the Library or access to such information services as the Personal Librarians' service or the Information Search Librarians' service.

What are the Library privileges per membership category?

For more information contact 012 429 3133 or visit the Membership information page.

How much does it cost to use the Library?

Library membership is free for Unisa registered students, but you will need to purchase an electronic student card for a fee of R45 in order to access the Library and borrow/ renew books ... etc.

Special members can enquire at the Library regarding the terms of special membership: 012 429 3133. 

Day visitors can pay R50 for a day pass. Note that this fee does not include the cost of making photocopies and does not permit the borrowing of books.