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The University Library


The first phase of the University Library, almost in the geographic centre of the campus, is a modern functional building on two levels. The library was designed by Messrs Norman and Dawbarn, as were most of the University buildings during that time. Its foundation stone was laid down by Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra on the 15th of September 1969 and the structure itself was completed two years later. It has a floor area of 10,200 square feet with a book capacity of 50,000 approximately and space for 120 readers. An extension of about 22,000 square feet to the first library building started in 1977 and was completed by the end of 1979.

The ground floor houses the administrative, technical, circulation and staff sections and a browsing area. It comprises a spacious counter area and lobby, offices for the Chief Librarian, the Secretary and the Clerks as well as a multi-purpose auditorium presently occupied by the Centre SYFED (Système Francophone d'Edition et de Diffusion).

At the farthest end of the old building is a large printing and binding unit as well as a dark room for photographic and litho-offset plate processing. The western wing houses the shipping and receiving section, the typing pool, and a large technical processing room for books, periodicals and other materials. The Reserve Section is also located on this floor next to the issue counter.


The first floor is an open area with reader tables along the windows and a popular browsing area. Other sections include Mauritiana, Law, Reference and Bibliography. This floor also comprises the office of the Librarian and the main stack and shelves for back issues of periodicals received from the Ministry of Health, the United Nations depository collection together with the publications of some of its specialised agencies like FAO, GATT, ILO, and WHO. The Canadian Government Publications, received on request depository, are fully catalogued and are intershelved with the main collection.

This floor also houses the audio-visual unit which provides a photocopy service to library users and the multimedia library which is presently being set up. The shelves for displaying the current issues of periodicals are located in the southern wing. The library catalogue card cabinets are on the left side of the entrance to this floor and a new technical processing room has been set up opposite the entrance.


The second floor is used as the main reading hall and for stacking the main book collection, whereas the third floor houses bound volumes of back issues of periodicals

The present policy of the library is to acquire, by purchase or through donations, gifts and exchange, all the necessary materials to support the teaching, research and informational needs of the five constituent Faculties of the University - Agriculture, Engineering, Law and Management, Science, Social Studies and Humanities - as well as the Centres for Extra Mural Studies and for Instrumentation Services. Significant textbooks and reference works on a wide range of subjects are also purchased.


Subjects already represented in the library stock relate mainly to the following: accounting, agriculture, animal sciences, banking, biology, botany, business studies, chemistry, civil engineering, communication, computer science, economics, electrical engineering, food and sugar technologies, horticulture, law, local government, management, mathematics, mechanical engineering, physics, political science, public administration, pure and applied sciences, sociology, statistics and surveying.


There are some 100,000 volumes at present in the library, consisting of some 88,000 monographs and the bound volumes of periodicals. The library subscribes to some 350 periodicals while some 250 additional ones are obtained either through gift or on exchange. The audio-visual section has a small collection of records and videotapes together with a collection of some of the older Mauritian newspapers on microfilm and also some selected documents on tape, microfilm and microfiche. These will eventually be transferred to the multimedia centre which is being set up in the library so that users can access information stored in other non-conventional format including electronic format like CD-ROM or optical disks.


Apart from the normal borrowing and consultation facilities provided to the readers, the professional staff of the library also handle a variety of queries on a multitude of different topics. The library staff normally searches for specific information from the resources already available within the collection or guides readers to the proper sources of documentation. In case the information is not available at the university, the readers are referred to other local libraries which have the required materials

The University library has also entered into inter-library loan agreements which allow it to borrow documents from other libraries, both local and foreign. For journal articles or research papers of moderate length not available locally but needed for research purposes, the library can order copies from abroad in any of the following formats: photocopy, microfilm or microfiche because there is a microfilm/microfiche reader in the audio-visual section of the library. Photocopies of articles from the learned journals already available at the library are provided at cost. A wide range of audio-visual facilities are also made available to the University and its members.

To facilitate information search and retrieval by both staff and users, the library has embarked on a programme for the computerisation of its services using the CAIRS Library Management System. The reconversion of the library card catalogue into a computerised database is presently being finalised and it is hoped that services at the circulation desk will be fully automated during the next academic year.


The Library maintains close cooperative links with the libraries of the Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute (MSIRI), the Food and Agricultural Research Council (FARC), the Mauritius Institute of Education (MIE), the Mahatma Gandhi Institute (MGI), the Mauritius College of the Air (MCA), the Mauritius Institute and other libraries and documentation centres in the island. Special working relationships and cooperation also exist with such international bodies as the British Library, AGRIS and CARIS, AUPELF/UREF.


Documents on agriculture going back to its early beginnings in Mauritius are held in the Library. It is building up its Mauritiana collections which already include among others official and private publications, periodicals and a good number of early newspapers published in the island (entrusted to the library by the Mauritius Historical Society) supplemented by current subscriptions to most local newspapers. A special law collection has been set up to meet the needs of students following the LLB Course. This collection is also available for reference purposes to students of the Council of Legal Education.


With the launching of a degree course in Medical Science, the library is building up a core collection of medical books to meet the teaching, learning and information and study requirements of the students enrolled on this course and their lecturers. The library also has a collection of medical books received from the Ministry of Health and these books may also be consulted by senior staff members of the Ministry of Health, members of the medical profession and other readers on request.


The University Library Regulations will apply to the Medical Sciences collection with the following exceptions:

Loan privileges are restricted to the students and academic staff of the University.
Medical books may, on the occasion, be placed in the Reserved Section for the use of students during special courses necessitating the use of these materials.


As mentioned before, the University Library has been selected as the official/ partial depository for Mauritius of documents of the United Nations and some of its specialised agencies.

The library also operates as the AGRIS and CARIS coordinating Centre for Mauritius.

With all these resources at hand, the library is thus striving to keep pace with the development needs of the country as well as acquire a small representative stock of universal literature to play its role as efficiently as possible as an information dispenser and a reference Centre.


The library is enjoying increasing popularity. Its members include staff and alumni of the University and such other categories of outside members as stipulated in the Library Regulations. However, the flood of requests for borrowing privileges has had to be checked as the present limited resources of the library are barely sufficient to satisfy the information needs of the academic population. It is only in exceptional cases that outsiders are permitted to borrow books from the library and other bona fide members of the public may also use the library but for reference consultation and reading facilities only.


1. Preamble

The University of Mauritius Act, 1971 provides in part under Section 21 (d) as follows:
"Subject to the provisions of the Statutes, the Senate shall have power to make regulations relating to(...) the use of the library."

The University of Mauritius Regulations approved by Senate, 1971 provide Chapter III D as follows:
"25 Library Regulations
All matters of internal discipline on the library premises shall be governed by the Library Regulations. If the matter is of such seriousness that it warrants action under the Disciplinary Regulations, then the provisions of these Regulations shall prevail."

2. Hours Of Opening

Week Days 8.00 a.m - 7.00 p.m

Saturdays 8.00 a.m - 1.00 p.m

(The opening hours may change on the decision of the Chief Librarian)

3. Membership Of The Library
Membership is open to
University staff, part-time and visiting lecturers.
Staff of the Ministry of Agriculture as approved by the Ministry.
Staff of the MSIRI as approved by the Director.
All registered students of the University of Mauritius including students following short or part-time courses.
Other persons such as distinguished non-academic visitors, members of the University Council, heads of ministries, diplomatic missions, directors of commercial firms, companies, estates, researchers who may be permitted to borrow books in exceptional circumstances at the Chief Librarian's discretion.
Researchers from Government Ministries and Public Corporations on application to the University Library.

4. Registration

All persons eligible to register as members of the University Library must complete and sign the prescribed registration form obtainable at the circulation Desk of the Library. Members under 3(d) will pay the appropriate fee as prescribed by the University Council from time to time and members under 3(e) and 3(f) will pay a non-refundable library fee of Rs 250 per annum to the Budget Director, others are exempted from the payment of any fee.

5. Library Tickets
(a) All borrowers, except those at 3(a), are issued with library tickets as follows:
Borrowers in category 3(d): two green tickets and one pink (Reserve Book)
Borrowers in categories 3(b), 3(c): one green ticket;
Borrowers in categories 3(e) and 3(f): one red ticket.

(b) A ticket must be presented before borrowing a book (including one from the Reserve Section) and it is returned when the book is discharged.

(c) Library tickets, which are personal and not transferable, are issued gratis in the first instance. Lost tickets will not be replaced automatically; replacement will, in any case, be charged for at the rate of Rs10 each.

(d) Members should return all library books and tickets in their possession to the Chief Librarian at the termination of their respective courses or on expiry of their membership of the University Library. A library clearance certificate will then be issued to them for admission to the conferment of their university qualification.

6. Loan

(a) General

All books on ordinary loans are subject to immediate recall.
All books must be charged out at the circulation Desk before being removed from library.
A reader remains responsible for a book charged out to him until it has been returned.
In special circumstances, the Chief Librarian may, at her/his discretion, lend books for such periods as he may decide.

(b) Ordinary Loans
Academic, senior administrative and research staff of the University and visiting lecturers may borrow up to six books at a time for a period of one month.
Borrowers in category 3(d) are permitted to borrow up to two books at a time for a period of up to fourteen days. A book may be renewed for a further period of fourteen days provided that no other reader has reserved it and that is not overdue. For such renewals, books must be produced at the Circulation Desk so that the appropriate date may be stamped in.
Other members of staff of the University and borrowers registered under Rule 3 (b) and (c), may borrow one book for a period of fourteen days. Renewals can be arranged as at rule 6(b) (ii).
M.Phil and Ph.D students may borrow up to five books at a time.

(c) Special Loans

Books from the Reserve Section may not be taken out of the library during working hours; they may however, be borrowed one at a time overnight or over a weekend. In such cases, the book will be issued at closing time and should be returned on the next opening day at 9 a.m sharp. Rule 5(b) applies in this instance. Members may only borrow reserve books connected with their course of study.

7. Fines

(a) The Chief Librarian is empowered to levy fines on readers who fail to return books within the prescribed time.

(b) The fine for ordinary loans is three rupees (Rs 3.00) for each day the book is overdue including Sundays and holidays.

(c) The fine for special loans made under Rule 6(c) is fifty cents (50 cents) per hour for each hour the library is open.

8. Periodicals

Unbound periodicals are to be consulted in the library; they may not be borrowed. For bound volume, the Chief Librarian must be consulted.

9. Reference

(a) Reference books and certain other library materials from special collections may not be borrowed.

(b) Books from the Mauritiana collection must be consulted in the special room where they are located.

(c) Access to thesis/dissertation is by way of application to the Chief Librarian made on Thesis/Dissertation Access Condition Form which is obtainable at the counter in the library.

10. Damage And Loss Of Library Materials

(a) The Chief Librarian is authorised to collect the cost of replacing lost or damaged library materials.


(b) The Chief Librarian is authorised to withdraw all library privileges from any reader who wilfully damages or misuses the library or its facilities or whose conduct is deemed to be unbecoming.


(c) Other borrowers found guilty of serious misuse of library facilities shall be reported to the Vice-Chancellor.

Borrowers are not permitted to smoke, eat or drink in the Library.
Bags, briefcases must be deposited in the spaces reserved for this purpose near the main entrance
All items being carried out of the library are subject to inspection on exit.


None of the foregoing Regulations can be interpreted as a prejudice to the general stipulations of the General Regulations and Disciplinary Regulations approved by the Senate on 21.09.71 or as they may be amended by Senate from time to time.



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