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Navigation Life Sciences Library

Address: Carbis Road, Private Bag X014, Scottville, 3201


Contact Information: Telephone:  +27-33-2605163+27-33-2605163  Fax: +27-33-2605161


Facilities: Photocopiers; computers, study space


Location: 3rd Floor of John Bews Building, Pietermaritzburg Campus. 

Library hours


The Life Sciences Library serves the staff and students of the following three schools within the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science:

  • School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • School of Life Sciences
  • School of Engineering 


 Specific disciplines within these schools which the library serves, include:

  • Agricultural Economics; Animal and Poultry Science; Agricultural Extension and Rural Resource Managemnet
  • Crop Science; Plant Breeding; Horticultural Science (including Agricultural Production and Sports Turf Management);
  • Forestry; Community Resources; Food Security; Dietetics and Human Nutrition;
  • Agricultural Engineering; Hydrology; Agrometeorology; Soil Science; Geography;
  • Biological Sciences; Botany; Zoology; Entomology; Grassland Science; Wildlife
    Science; Biochemistry; Genetics; Microbiology; Plant Pathology.


The library collection comprises: books; a reference collection; theses; the Farmer Support Group Collection; hardcopy journals; electronic resources (including e-journals); abstract and indexing journals; audio-visual material; pamphlets; a map collection; atlases; and records in microfiche and microfilm format. 


Book collection
Books are arranged according to the Dewey Decimal Classification system. Subject guides are available giving location numbers for specific subjects. All books are listed in the iLink catalogue.

Reference collection
The reference collection comprises general and subject-specific works, intended for consultation within the library. The collection includes subject-specific dictionaries, encyclopaedias, and handbooks, as well as English and other language dictionaries. These works are not available for loan.


The library acquires two copies of most theses: a non-loanable bound print copy and an electronic copy on CD. Theses are uploaded onto Research Space, UKZN's online digital repository. All theses are listed in the catalogue with the URL link.

Farmer Support Group (FSG) collection
The Farmer Support Group (FSG) collection consists of publications acquired from the FSG and maintained as a separate collection. The collection covers agricultural, environmental and development concerns of the smallholder farmer.


Hardcopy journals
Hardcopy journals are shelved alphabetically by title. Guides to journal titles within a specific discipline are available. Back-issues of certain titles (as indicated on the shelf listing and in the guides) are housed in a remote storage facility. These issues must be requested by completing a form at the issue desk.


Electronic resources
Electronic resources may be consulted from dedicated "database computers" within the library. These resources may also be accessed from elsewhere on campus as well as off campus in many instances. Electronic resources include databases, access to specific e-journals, useful subject links, e-books, e-newspapers, and free trials to certain databases and e-journals for limited periods.


Abstract and indexing journals
Some hardcopy abstract and indexing journals are available. Titles are listed in subject guides to the journals. Abstracting and indexing journals are arranged alphabetically by title.


Audiovisual material
A collection of audiovisual (AV) material in various formats (DVD, CDROM, video cassette, slide-tape programmes, slides, audio cassette) is available. Items can be loaned or may be viewed/listened to in the library. All AV material may be accessed using the catalogue. Where AV material accompanies a book, a note indicates this within the book, and the item is available at the issue desk.


Pamphlets and similar unbound/staple-bound items are housed in a separate pamphlet collection. The collection is divided into four sections: Technical communication (TC) booklets, Bulletins (BUL), Science Bulletins (SB), and other pamphlets (PAM). Items can be loaned.


Maps and atlases
A collection of maps relevant to the life sciences, is housed in a map cabinet. Maps are available for consultation in the library and may not be loaned. Atlases are also available for consultation within the library.


Records in microfiche and microfilm format are available. They include theses on microfiche, mainly from the late 1950s to early 1990s (some earlier ones). These items may be accessed on the catalogue. However, as a microfiche/film reader is not available at Life Sciences Library, users need to make use of the microfiche/film reader-printer and scanning facility at the Main (Cecil Renaud) Library. Users need to make an appointment to use this machine.

Subject Librarians
Subject librarians are avaiable to assist users with information related queries and user education. Please consult the "Contact us": Subject librarians tab on the library home page.

For subject specific resources and information, click on Libguides and select the appropriate guide.




September 2014