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Library Essentials

New to NUS? Welcome to Library Essentials!

Top 10 must-knows for freshies to survive NUS (library version)

Note: Also for the NUS library newbie who has yet to venture into library grounds since entering NUS 😊

#1: NUS-ID

Throughout your life in NUS, you will need the NUS-ID for just about anything digital in NUS:

  • NUS-ID makes up your NUS email address e.g.
  • The password is alphanumeric e.g. abc123%&# which you can reset anytime here.
  • You need it to access your lecture notes on Canvas, library subscribed journals or past year exam papers, e-forms, just to name a few
  • Any issue with the NUS-ID or password, contact NUS IT Care.

#2: Student or staff ID

  • The student or staff ID is your student or staff number on your card e.g.
    • A0987654K
    • 500001
  • The PIN is an alphanumeric password, recommended 6 characters long e.g. 123abc which you can set anytime here
  • You need the card for the library e.g. borrow or renew books, check library account, request for physical materials
  • You also need it to take your exams and gain access to restricted spaces e.g. NUS computer labs
  • Any issues with your student/staff card, contact NUS Libraries

To sum it up:

#3: Library PIN

A commonly asked question when you want to borrow a library book: what is my library PIN?? It is the PIN associated with your NUS card ID (see #2). Set your library PIN here.

Note: do not mistake Library PIN with Smartcard PIN which you only need for restricted card entry access.

#4: NUS Card (electronic)



Do you know that you have an electronic version of your student or staff card? You can find it on uNivUS app. Forgot to bring your physical student or staff card to enter the libraries? Use your eCard!

#5: Study spaces at the Library

NUS Libraries has a selection of library spaces for you to choose from, all armed with power points, air-con and Wi-Fi. Remember to check the library’s opening hours to not be disappointed. Discussion rooms also available for booking if you need some privacy!

Central Library:

  • Collaborative and group study spaces: Level 1, 3, 4
  • Quiet study spaces: Level 5 and 6*

24-hour study spaces in NUS Libraries (you need to be a current NUS student/staff and have your physical NUS card on hand):

  • Medicine+Science Library Quiet Study Area at Level 2*
  • CJ Koh Law Library’s Angsana Room

*Seats can be reserved via Chope@NUS

#6: Readings

Locate your course reading materials and stay on top of class workloads. Common reading materials include:

  • Compulsory textbooks that your lecturer placed at the library’s Reserve Books & Readings (RBR) – use student/staff ID to borrow. Watch this short video!
  • Journal articles you can find online – use your NUS-ID to access
  • E-textbooks you can find online – use your NUS-ID to access
  • Scanned book chapters or news articles that your lecturer placed on Canvas (known as Course Readings) – use your NUS-ID to access

Find out more about the reading list!

#7: Loan entitlement

Know how many books you can borrow at any one time here, including RBR and other materials.

#8: Borrowing and returning books

The process of borrowing books is pretty straightforward. Just know that if you borrow an RBR item, you must return it to the place you got them from, not the bookdrop!

#9: Printing spots in NUS Libraries

Library Level
Central Library 4 and 5
CJ Koh Library (Bukit Timah Campus) 1
Medicine+Science Library 2 and 3
Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library 1 (Book Collection)

More details on photocopying spots, network printing and printing costs can be found here.

#10: Past year exam papers

Need more be said? Click here for a simple guide.

#11: Bonus - if you need more help

Drop by the library reception desk to ask for help, email us at, or look around our library FAQs and other useful library links for help. Help beyond library stuff? Just an email away!

What kind of help? Who can I approach?
Writing and oral presentation NUS Libraries Writers’ Centre
Wellness Health & Wellbeing
Assistive technology equipment Student Accessibility Unit
Email accounts, access, NUS Card NUS IT Care
Library loans, discussion room booking Email Library Loans at
Financial aid Office of Admissions
MS Office, NUS VPN and other needful software NUS IT Services
Citation and referencing Library Guide on Citation Styles
Nifty tool recommendations for research NUS Libraries Online Tools

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