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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).

Phone +27 012 429 3133 to apply for 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
  • 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
  • Diverse users and donors
  • Community members
  • NRF interns and Postdoctoral fellows

For more information visit the Library Membership categories page.

Contact the Library:

Tel: 012 429 3846/3025

How do I get admission to the Unisa Libraries?

When visiting the Unisa Libraries in person you will need an access card. You will have to present or swipe the card at the entrance and exit turnstiles of your nearest Unisa Library branch. You will also need your access card when borrowing books at the Lending Counter or using the self-service checkout machines.

Unisa Staff: Unisa employees must use their staff cards to gain access to the Library. This card is produced by the Human Resources Department upon the employee’s formal appointment.

Unisa Students: 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 video on how to obtain an electronic student card.

Special membership: Information for the different categories of special membership is available on the Library Membership categories page.

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

Students are not allowed to give their electronic student card to another person 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:

Tel: 012 429 3133


If a student or staff member 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 student.or staff member.

What are the Library privileges per membership category?

Each category of Library membership is entitled to specific Library services, 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?

Visit the Library Membership information page for more information

Contact the Library:

Tel: 012 429 3846/3025

How much does it cost to use the Library?

Unisa registered students

Library membership is free for but you will need to purchase an electronic student card for a fee of R45 in order to visit any of the Unisa libraries. This is a once-off payment for the time you are registered.

Unisa staff

Library membership is free for Unisa staff members.

Special members

Please enquire at the Library regarding access and the terms of special membership:

Access the Library's Membership categories page.

Tel: 012 429 3846/3025

Day visitors

Day visitors pay R50 for a day pass at the Cashier service point in the Library. Note that this fee does not include the cost of making photocopies and does not permit the borrowing of books. The admission card is only valid for one day and is not transferable for use by any other person.