The Reader Service unit has a mission to provide a cost effective and quality user service in circulation, provision of security for library resources and in maintaining collection for maximum use by clients. It further aims to make Library and information resources available to all persons classified in the ‘category’ of ‘borrowers’ as privileged users.

The policies and rules of the service safeguards materials against abuse. This allows for equitable access to important resources in promoting the attainment of excellence in learning and scholarship at this University and in accordance with Matheson Library’s mission.

Securing valuable resources is an important priority also and the building is currently fitted with CCTV to ensure safety and the continuous surveillance of the property. Those found in breach of security rules are referred without delay to Disciplinary authorities for further investigation.

In addition, the exit is guarded by an electronic gate system that triggers an alarm when unchecked library materials are detected without having gone through the proper circulations checks.  The only setback occurs during power blackouts and physical checking of bags is then necessary.

Maintaining collection is the 3rd mission of Reader service and a daily task with as much as 20 thousand materials being circulated each semester, totally to more than 40 thousand item overall in circulation. This is a continual indication of the intensity of usage and the popularity of the physical collection, still seen as an advantage in the digital age of computers and technology.

The Library remains a valuable funded government resource to enhance learning and every effort is taken to preserve and safeguard its contents for us and the future generation to come and to maintain and provide effective access to information and the knowledge necessary to transform societies radically.

1.1                 OPENING HOURS       

MONDAY – THURSDAY:  8.00am – 10.00pm

FRIDAY: 8.00am – 4.00pm

SATURDAY and SUNDAY: 1.00pm – 5.00pm

Hours of operation is subject to change during scheduled holidays and semester breaks

2.1           MEMBERSHIP

Registered staff and students must have a validated card to use the service. Special conditions apply to other category of borrowers.

Students enrolling each year are assigned an ID number which is used throughout their study period at the University.  Each student will have to register each year while enrolled to use the service

University Staff who initially joins the library as new members must apply for a barcode to be pasted on their staff card. This number is maintained throughout their employment with the University as their Identification to use the service. The barcodes are free and are issued by staff upon receipt of new membership application.


Undergraduate’s                        10 books    30 days                 2 renewals  

Postgraduates                          15 books     30 days                 3 renewals

Staff                                         20 books     30 days                 3 renewals

Visiting scholars*                     5 books       length of stay        1 renewal

Council members                      5 books       2 weeks                 no renewal

Institutions                               10 books     30 days                 1 renewal

  • those in this category have to obtain permission from the Library Management to use the service


A validated ID card must be used to borrow.

No one is allowed to use another person’s ID card to borrow

Borrowing ceases 15 minutes before closing:

  • Monday – Thursday before 9.15 pm nightly
  • Friday before 3.45pm
  • Saturday and Sunday before 4.45 pm


Bring materials to borrow to the Circulation desk and present your own ID to borrow. A due date will be stamped and item (s) scanned to allow the material to be taken out of the building.

4.2.0     WHEN TO BORROW

The Lending service closes 15 minutes before the advertised library closing time. This allows for the closure of the borrowing system in preparation for closing.


The ‘Overnight’ chute outside the library building and the Circulation counter are the only 2 places to return books.  Borrowed library items left on desks, shelves and trolleys are not considered as returned.

4.4.0     RECALLS

All Circulating materials are subject to a recall anytime for another user. However, the library guarantees 7 days borrowing period to any user, but if the item borrowed is required by another person, a recall notice will be sent requesting for the prompt return of the item (s) within 4 days of the notice. A penalty applies to late return of recalled item (s).  (See Penalty fine)

4.5.0     RENEWALS

A renewal is necessary to register the extension of the borrowing period of an item to avoid an overdue penalty.

Renewals can be made by telephone, email or in person and user must quote, ID no for students, barcode no for staff, title of book (s) and barcode . Users who do not provide staff with the necessary information will not have their books renewed.

Second renewal times are allowed, however, on the 3rd renewal, all items borrowed must be physically shown to staff at the Circulation desk for a further loan period. In most cases, books are returned after 2 renewals, except for cases where books are still required for further consultation.

No renewal is allowed for special reserve materials on demand from any of the ‘closed’ collection.


Library item (s) on loan can be reserved at the Circulation desk by quoting the title of the book (s), call number (s), accession number (s) ,name of patron and current ID number for students and barcode number for staff.

4.7.0     HOLDS

A loan is not extended if another user has placed a ‘HOLD’ on the item

5.1           PENALTY FINES

A penalty fine is a measure taken by the Library to control the use of materials and maximize its circulation widely.

5.1.0     Books

A fine penalty of 50 toea per day, per item applies to a book returned late

5.2.0     Recalled items

A penalty overdue fee of 50 toea applies from the 5th day of the notice (see notes on Recalls)

5.3.0     Special Reserve / Exam papers and All CLOSED collections

 A fine penalty of K1.00 is charged after the 2 hour loan limit

5.4.0     LOST

The penalty fine for lost and damaged books is K200.00 with an administrative fee of K20.00 or an exact replacement copy including the fee.


Library materials being borrowed will be checked to ensure they are in good condition. Any item (s) returned and found to have a defect or is damaged while on loan will incur a damage fee penalty which is the same as the lost book fine,


These situations are precarious and happen without warning. In such cases, the person responsible would normally be liable to pay for damages to the library material in their possession.

7.1           REFUNDS

Refunds are allowed when the item is found and returned safely. Staff will organize for the refund with Accounts payable.

8.1           PAYMENT OF FINES

Pay fees at the Accounts office and return receipt as proof of payment to staff at the Circulation desk to update records

9.1           NON – PAYMENT OF FINES

Borrowing privileges are suspended for non – payment of fines

Results are withheld until fines are resolved and salary may be deducted in the case of staff

10.1      OVERDUE

Overdue notices are sent as a courtesy reminder. It is advisable that everyone who borrows from the library checks due dates to ensure that materials are returned on time. After 30 days any outstanding item (s) is billed as lost and fine to be settled before further borrowing privilege is allowed.

11.1      COLLECTIONS – Lending

Lending collection materials make up the bulk of circulating items outside the building. Borrowers are required to care for the materials while in their care to preserve them for future use.

11.1.0            MAIN COLLECTION

Materials in this collection are kept on the 1st floor of the library.

11.2.0            VERTICAL FILES

These file are kept in cabinets on the ground floor near the Circulation desk

11.3.0            FICTION

Fictions is arranged in alpha numeric order and located on the 1st floor of the library.

11.4.0            COLLECTIONS – Closed  

(Special conditions apply to the use of these collections –refer to Clause 5.3.0)

11.5.0            SPECIAL RESERVE

The holdings in this collection comprises of recommended texts by the academic departments of the University. Any other addition can be recommended by those in the University community deemed by the Reader Service Librarian in consultation with other senior staff as suitable and relevant to curriculum.

  • One Special reserve item is allowed at any one time
  • ID cards must be checked in to borrow from this collection
  • Overnight loan is allowed under the condition that the item is returned half an hour before library opening the next working day
  • Special conditions apply to its use ( refer to Special Reserve borrowing and fine penalty)


The Papua New Guinea collection was established in the early 70’s to support the University’s curriculum. Since then , the collection has developed to include materials on other countries in the region particularly Melanesia, although space limitation has only allowed the sections growth to include mainly Papua New Guinea items. Anything written about Papua New Guinea, by Papua New Guineans or on Papua New Guinea is held in this collection

11.7.0            RARE BOOKS

This collection is made up of books written on, by and about Papua New Guinea dating back to the 1800’s. The information is so valuable and kept separate from other collections in a closed room in the Library. Staff at the Circulation desk will assist patrons wishing to consult materials in this collection. Rare materials can be reserved for use in the Library only. (Refer to borrowing conditions)

11.8.0            THESIS

A long written essay, advanced study or report written for a University Post graduate, Masters Qualification or a Philosophical Doctorate. Most of these theses have now had their works in abstracts format digitized and made available on the Library’s homepage. (See the appropriate link to these papers by the Library’s Digitization project team)

11.9.0            EXAM PAPERS

These papers are kept at the Circulation desk for revision and can only be used in the building. Borrowing rules that apply to Special Reserve item are the same for Exam papers.  Academic Departments are reminded at the end of each exam period to furnish the library with their exam papers for student’s revision. Missing exam papers can be sought from Departments concerned.

11.10.0       STANDARDS

The Standards collection is made up of:

  • New Zealand
  • International Standards Organization
  • and Papua New Guinea Standards

Standards are filed in number order and kept in locked drawers on the first floor of the Library. These are manually indexed in specific catalogues kept on the cabinets. Access to these materials can be obtained by consulting with staff at the Circulation desk. The rising cost of Standards has altered any further purchase of the item. However, further queries on this can be directed to the National Standards Institute in the nation’s capital, Port Moresby (see also Inter-Library Loans staff to assist)

11.11.0       REFERENCE

Materials in this collection are made up of Dictionaries, handbooks, Directories, Bibliographies, Indexes, Codex, Compendiums, Yearbooks, Encyclopaedia Britannica and so on.  These are quick reference tools and can only be used in the library building.

Reference books are identified by the prefix R e.g. R 020.321 P973, HARROD’S LIBRARIANS’ GLOSSARY AND REFERENCE BOOK

11.12.0       CDs

There are more than 1,000 CDs held by the Library at the Circulation desk. The prefix ER (Electronic Resource) is used to describe this collection on the Athena Catalogue. CD’s can be borrowed and used in the building on personal computers.

11.13.0       MAPS 

Maps cover the territorial areas of every province in the country, Papua New Guinea. Other maps on certain University designs are also kept and access to these is through staff at the Circulation desk. Maps can only be used in the building.

11.14.0       PHOTOGRAPHS

Photographs also form an important part of the library collection. There are selections of photographs from individuals like the Leahy collection, McRuff , on architectural works of the Sepik region and general photographs of the Lae region during and after 2nd world war.  These are kept in the Papua New Guinea Collection and special conditions apply to their use. Some photographs are being digitized and the project is ongoing. See staff at the Circulation desk for assistance.

12.1      CLEARANCE

This exercise is done whenever required. It is signed by designated staff whose signature bear witness of the record for accountability purpose. Clearance forms will only be signed and stamped if library records are clear of any outstanding item (s)


  • NO buai , soft drinks and food are allowed to be consumed in the building
  • No spitting in bins
  • No animals allowed with owners, keep them safe at home
  • No weapons are allowed in the building,
  • Charging of phones is prohibited
  • Mobile phones should be turned low in the building
  • Charging of laptops is allowed
  • Any valuables taken into the library remain the sole responsibility of the individual.
  • Handle books with care, as they will be used by many after you
  • Clean hands are preferred to dirty hands when handling library materials


Inform staff at the Circulation desk immediately of any change of address and title


The display is usually on for new books. Anyone interested in the title (s) displayed can reserve the item by writing their name and particulars of the item (s) on the ‘New Books’ form on the display glass case. Selection is in order or preference according to the list.


Exhibitions are an activity carried out by the Library on any special occasions. This is a good opportunity for those who want to showcase their wares for the public to view, especially anything educational or has cultural and traditional values. Major exhibitions have taken place in the library in past years and the opportunity is given each year for companies or individuals to host a display in the library foyer.  Anyone interested can contact Library Management on phone 4734351.

17.1      LOST ID CARDS

Report lost ID’s without delay to staff at the Circulation desk. Staff will place a ‘block’ message on the patron’s file to disallow further use of the account till the rightful owner finds the card or arranges for a new one and reports it.


Phone: (675) 473 4358 / (675) 4734351
Email: or