About the Library

Strategy and Policies

Learn more about the Library's Enterprise Support Plan, Collection Policies, Service Charter, Reports and Selection Guidelines.

Key Objectives

The key objectives of the Enterprise Support Plan: Information Services are:

Objective #1 - Transforming teaching and the student experience.

We will help transform teaching and the student experience by supporting a move to blended learning (including the flipped classroom), an increased use of open educational and electronic information resources, the intelligent use of learning analytics and more mobile device support.

Objective #2 - Enhancing our research

We will help enhance our research outcomes and citation rates by providing infrastructure, tools and information services to allow research to be done faster and smarter and for the results to be communicated more widely.

Objective #3 - Training our staff for the digital future

We will ensure that all staff are provided with a range of opportunities to acquire the skills they need to thrive in the digital future.

Objective #4 - Streamlining systems and reducing costs across the University

We will ensure that the University’s business processes are frictionless, customer friendly and efficient and delivered by systems that talk easily to each other and help reduce costs across the University.

Objective #5 - Supporting diverse end users and delivering customer-focused service

We will ensure that the University’s information services continue to be delivered in a customer focussed manner and services are enhanced to meet the evolving the needs of internal and external end users.

Guiding Principles

The following overarching principles are used to help guide the ongoing development and enhancement of the University’s information services.

Service Focussed and Proactive: Our students and staff will have access to support services that are efficient and effective and provided by “one team” of domain experts who are knowledgeable, courteous and proactive.

Anytime, Anywhere and Any Device: Our information services and resources will be accessible anytime, from anywhere and on any device.

Value for Money: We will drive costs down by adopting technology such as cloud, open source software and virtual desktops to streamline and standardise the operating environment and to simplify support. We will use our purchasing power to procure information services and resources at scale.

Supporting Continuous Innovation: We will use existing and emerging information services to support continuous innovation in teaching and research and to ensure the University maintains a competitive advantage. We will create best practice services and solutions that are reusable and work effectively.

Scalable, Reliable and Agile: We will develop and/or buy information services and resources which are reliable and scalable and agile enough to accommodate growth in students, staff, data and research activity.

Frictionless Systems: Our enterprise systems will be joined up and frictionless and capable of supporting paperless processes. When implementing new systems we will reuse what we have, before buying, before building it ourselves. When buying new systems we will prefer open source where is has sufficient functionality and community support.

Data Wise: We will treat data as an asset balancing the need to manage it securely with the desire for convenient and transparent access by staff, students and, in the case of research output, by the wider community.

Professional: We partner within and without the University. We provide professional services and follow industry standard methodologies.

Ask the Library – anywhere, anytime, any device

The Library is implementing a new service model to enable clients to engage seamlessly with the Library on demand, regardless of their location and device. The service desks in each campus library are being replaced with a blend of virtual and on-demand services with an emphasis on proactive library support.

The most noticeable change is that the Library will no longer have a permanent physical presence at the service desk. Instead students and staff will be able to contact the Library in a number of ways including:

Ask Library / IT service points on every campus including Whyalla and Mt Gambier

  • Video conferencing
  • Pop-ups
  • UniSA app
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Proactive Chat

At City West the Ask Library / IT service points are located on Levels 2-5 of the Jeffrey Smart building, opposite the main lifts. At City East, Magill, Mawson Lakes and Whyalla they are located in close proximity to the entrance to the building; at Mt Gambier in the new Learning Centre building.

Virtual services will be improved by the use of communication software and the implementation of proactive chat which invites a website visitor to engage in a live chat interaction. This allows for the provision of timely and context specific support at point of need.

In addition, during peak times staffed library pop- ups will be set up in campus locations most occupied by students to offer one on one assistance.

In person support for complex queries has not changed. Staff and students will still be able to make appointments with librarians and the Academic Library Teams will continue to work closely with staff in support

Funding available for information resources is determined as part of the University's annual budget process. The Library is not funded at a level that allows it to purchase all journal subscriptions requested.

In allocating the acquisitions budget the Library gives priority to:

  • Maintaining existing commitments and subscriptions
  • Supporting teaching through the acquisition of required and recommended ebooks
  • Resources that support the current research priorities of the University

For both books and journals, the Library takes advantage of consortia purchasing arrangements.

Up to 80% of the Library acquisitions budget is allocated to existing subscriptions for journals and databases. The remainder is allocated to one-off purchases (books and journal backsets). Because of the ongoing financial commitment to existing subscriptions and because increases in subscription costs often exceed the annual inflation rate, there is little flexibility to acquire new journals or databases without cancelling existing subscriptions.


  • Academic and research staff are encouraged to be involved in the selection of library resources, and are expected to recommend those resources needed to support their research and the courses for which they are responsible
  • Library staff have primary responsibility for selecting resources to support research and teaching at UniSA
  • All Library clients are able to recommend the purchase of relevant scholarly resources

The following criteria may be used by the Library to evaluate and prioritise recommendations:

  • Relevance to the existing or anticipated needs of the university’s research and teaching
  • Strength of the existing collection within a subject area
  • Currency and quality, including presence on University lists of preferred publishing targets and Australian lists such as those for ERA and the Australian Business Deans Council
  • Actual or expected demand
  • Price (and ongoing financial commitment)
  • Availability via alternative methods (e.g. document delivery)
  • Licensing obligations
  • Information resources are acquired in digital format whenever possible

Learn more about the Library's collection policy:

Our commitment to quality service

We promise to provide a professional, reliable and efficient customer focused service to you. Here’s how we do it.


Access to Library catalogue, databases, guides and digital learning resources

We will provide:

  • Access 24 hours a day, 7 day a week
  • Course eReadings as advised by academic staff
  • The resources needed for learning, teaching and research electronically, so you can access them anywhere, anytime on any device

Opening hours

Access to Library buildings, technology and collections

We will:

  • Open our buildings at least 110 hours per week during peak periods
  • Provide Ask the Library service at least 70 hours per week during peak demand
  • Ensure Self Service is available 100% of the time

Ask the Library

Contact the Library by telephone, chat, video call or email

We will:

  • Respond to telephone, chat and video enquires within 1 minute
  • Seek to resolve your enquiry the first time
  • Follow up all enquiries within 2 hours or the next working day*
  • Provide a professional customer focused service


Provide feedback to improve our services, resources and facilities

We will:

  • Respond to your feedback within 48 hours*
  • Conduct client surveys annually
  • Redirect appropriate feedback to other areas
  • Order relevant recommended course resources within 48 hours*
  • Respond to eResource access problem reports within 2 hours or the next working day*

Requesting items from another campus

Request physical items and print documents held at another campus or in offsite storage

We will:

  • Action your requests within 24 hours*
  • Deliver items electronically within 48 hours of the request*
  • Make physical items available within 48 hours of the request*
  • Notify you of unavailable items within 24 hours*

Off Campus Library Service

For external, international or remote staff and students, including Open Universities Australia

We will:

  • Action all requests within 24 hours*
  • Dispatch article requests to you within 24 hours*
  • Dispatch available items from UniSA collections within 72 hours*

Interlibrary loans

For staff and research degree students when the item is not available within UniSA

We will:

  • Action all requests within 48 hours of receipt*
  • Deliver items within 24 hours of arrival*
  • Display status reports in myLibrary
  • Dispatch loans to other libraries within 5 days of the request*

*Weekends and public holidays excluded.

Ask the Library

Opening Hours



*UniSA ID access may be required

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