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Science - New Academic Staff Guide: Home

An overview of the Science Library services and resources for new and existing staff members

Welcome to Science Libraries



Welcome to the Wits Science Libraries!        

These pages have been created to guide you through some of the most important library services and resources that are available to support your teaching, whether you are a new or continuing academic at Wits Science Libraries.

We strongly encourage you to contact your Librarians,  Salome Potgieter @ BioPhy Library or Rachel Louis @ Geomaths Library to arrange an orientation session so that we can answer your questions and gain a better understanding of the issues that you are interested in.

The more you know about the library's services and resources, the better you can inform your students!

Librarians are available to help guide you through the use of library services and resources. We are also responsible for collection development, delivering classes face-to-face and online on finding quality information, and one-on-one consultations with academics and students.

Loan Periods

Loan rules in the Sciences library vary by item, by location and by user types.

Academic staff can take out up to 30 books at a time and the following loan rules apply:

Open shelf books 45 days
Short loan collection 1 day or 3 days
Bound journals 3 days
Unbound journals 1 day
Overnight Check-out from 12am; return by 9am the next day


Items you have borrowed can be renewed up to 4 times.  Then you will have to return the books to the library to be checked in and issued again if you still need it.  Log in to the My Library Account on the Library Homepage.

You will receive courtesy emails to remind you when material is due for return.  You will not get reminders for short loan items (1 day) borrowed from the library.

If an item is out on loan to another patron, you may place a hold on that item, and when the item is returned it will be kept for you at the Circulation desk.  If the item is in high demand, you will automatically be placed in the queue.  First to place a hold is first to get the item.  Items that is on hold cannot be renewed.

All loans are subject to recall. If an item is recalled you will have to return the item earlier than the original due date as the item is required by another user. Users are informed of recalls and revised due dates by e-mail.  If you have an item that has been recalled, you will not be able to renew it.

Any overdue item, when returned or renewed, will result in a charge being placed on your account.

Inter-Library Loans

The University Library offers an Inter-Library Loan service which provides access to material not held in the Wits Libraries, and also supply material from its own stock to other libraries.  To request material not held in the Wits Libraries or to find information about Inter-Library Loans, click here. You will need your library PIN to submit an online inter-library loan request.  The Inter-Library Loans department will keep you informed on the status of your request.

Photocopying and Printing

Photocopying facilities are available in all the libraries. Please be aware that there are copyright restrictions on photocopying large amounts of material.

Prescribed and Recommended books

Prescribed and recommended books in high demand are placed in the library's short loan (overnight) collection and can be taken out for 1 to 3 days. Books will be allocated to the short loan collection on recommendation of academic staff.  Please contact your Librarian Salome Potgieter (Biophy), Rachel Louis (Geomaths) to make suggestions.

A list of Prescribed- and Recommended books available in the Wits libraries can be found in the following LibGuide: Science: Prescribed, Recommended & Open Textbooks. Links are provided to the catalogue record of books as well as links to the online availability of books. Additional links are provided under the Open Science Textbooks tab to assist students and academics on how and where to access Open Textbooks.

Faculty Library Committee (Knowledge Resources Committee)

Each School in the Faculty has a representative that serves on the Faculty Knowledge Resources Committee (KRC). The objectives of the Committee is:

  • to advise on the formulation of policies regarding the development of resources for teaching and research;
  • to advise on budget allocation and expenditure;
  • the development of library facilities;
  • to support library information literacy initiatives;
  • to report library related matters to the schools.


Information for Faculty of Science staff

Contact us


Principal Librarian - Science:

Salomé Potgieter Tel 011-7171961



Senior Librarian:

Rachel Louis Tel 011-7171967

Access to the Library

Your staff card will give you access to the Wits libraries and allows you to borrow library materials.  If you loose your staff card, report it immediately to the ICAM office for a replacement.


â–ºSetup your Library PIN


Reset your PIN

Your Library PIN enables you to:

  • Access Library electronic resources off campus;
  • Request material, not available in the Wits Library, from Inter Library Loans;
  • Access your Library account to view all titles issued to you and renew your items;
  • Place a hold on an item that is issued to another patron.

Other Services

Research Commons