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Introducing first-year students to UCT Libraries' online catalogue, ALEPH.


  • A book's ALEPH record provides detailed information about the book, but it can also tell you if the book is on the shelf or if it is out on loan to another Library user.

  • The top line of the ALEPH record is the key to this information ... 


  • Clicking on All items will open a new page with a table giving information about every copy of the book in UCT Libraries.  This is called Holdings information as it tells you about the copies that the Library holds (owns).

  • The Branch column tells you which section of the Library, or which Branch Library, holds each copy of the book.
  • The Due date column tells you if the book is available (On Shelf).  If the book is out on loan, there will be a date recorded in the Due date column.  This is the date when the book is due to be returned to the Library. 
  • In the example below, there are 4 copies of the book Chemistry by Martin Silberberg.  The pink annotations explain how ALEPH provides you with information about the availability of each copy (item).

  • By clicking on Request in the left-hand column, you request a book that is unavailable.  When you do this, the book will be reserved for you ... and the person who has it out will not be allowed to renew it.  When the book is returned it will be kept for you at the Loans Desk.  For more about requesting books, go to the next tab of this guide.