The Wits Libraries often seem like dull and quiet spaces, but they are colourful spaces where curious minds meet and share knowledge, ideas and words. Here are eleven things you need to know about your libraries!
- There are 11 libraries on campus that cater to specific fields of study. There’s the Architecture, Biophy, Commerce, Education, Engineering, GeoMaths, Law, Management, Wartenweiler, Health and Science (WSHL) and William Cullen.
2. The Libraries have well over 1,206,144 volumes of books combined.
3. The Wits International Repository on DSpace (WIREDSpace) was ranked in the top 300 institutional repositories worldwide in 2014. With the uploading of specially selected collections, access to DSpace increased in 2015 and this Wits repository was ranked number 129 in the world and number 3 in Africa.
4. It’s not just academics that you will find, politicians come by every now and then. Among some of the key collections digitized for widened access and preservation in 2015 are the Hilda and Rusty Bernstein Papers (late Communist Party and ANC activists), selected COSATU materials, Sharpeville Commission of enquiry papers, Reiner Leist, Chris Hani interviews, and Anglican Church Jeppestown marriage registers.
5. 309 eBooks costing R630 325.24 were ordered in 2015 to add to the collection. 126 of these were for accounting, economics, law and management and 183 were on the engineering and architecture subjects. Bringing the total number of electronic books available to users to 16,358.
6. Students study overnight in the 24 hour sections of Wartenweiler and the Commerce libraries. But this section also doubles up as a shelter for homeless students.
7. Branch libraries are putting up displays guided by the theme #libraries4lifelonglearning to celebrate National Library Week on the 17th of March. Wits alumnus will be giving a public talk on campus. The Library will also be receiving a donation of South African photography monographs and some photographs. More information on this will be communicated in due course. Poster of national library week.
8. The air conditioning goes faulty from time to time as Wits Vuvuzela reported last year. It can get really humid in the library, best you bring a bottle of water. Built over 70 years ago, the library infrastructure may attribute to the faulty air conditioning system that gives in from time to time.
9. If buying books is not a financial option for you, multiple copies of prescribed textbooks for lectures can be found in the library… even if it is usually just two copies.
10. But you have to keep renewing the books to avoid being charged KuduBucks for bringing books back late. Fines can be charged per day or per hour depending on the section from which the book was taken. Books on the open shelves are charged at 50 cents per day, periodicals, journals and items from the one day loan section will cost you R1.00 per day.
11. A well known fact … students have also been known to use the library to get hot and steamy.