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The following is a series of frequently asked questions by persons interested in using Calvin McKain Library at the University of Technology , Jamaica . If you have any further questions, which are not listed below, please mail them to us.


1. How can I learn to use the library?
The Library offers structured orientation programmes at the beginning of each academic year designed to assist students to use the library’s resources. These sessions include a tour of the library facilities, introduction to the Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) and an overview of the resources and services available. Please contact Ms Janet James for further information. However, if you were unable to attend these sessions arrangements can be made to accommodate you.

2. How do I find books on the shelves?
Using the OPAC, you may search by author, title, subject or keyword(s). An Important feature to note on the catalogue entry is the: Call Number - which indicates the book’s location, e.g.? HF5415.13.K5.
NB: The OPAC may be accessed remotely or on campus, using any smart device example tablets.


3. What do I need to check out Library material?
You need a valid student, faculty or staff UTech ID card to borrow materials from the library. General Lending materials may be borrowed for 28 days for students and 1 semester for full-time faculty members. Short-term loans may be borrowed for 7 days for students (non-renewable) and 10 days for full-time faculty members (renewable once). Reserve Overnight materials may be borrowed for 13 hours.


4. How much is the fine for overdue material and Reserves?
Fines are applied according to the loan type. Items loaned for 28 days attract a fine of $30.00 per day. Short-term loans (7 days) attract a fine of $50.00 per day. Reserve Overnight materials attract a fine of $50.00 per hour.


5. What if I need a book/information and the library does not have it?
The Library has an Inter-library loan facility through which we can borrow books from other libraries. Likewise there is also a document delivery service, which allows us to acquire journal articles and other documents for our clients. When necessary we will request permission from other libraries for our clients to use their facilities. (Please note this may attract a cost). Interlibrary loan request forms are available at the library. ”.


6. How do I request an item that is on loan to another user?
You can request an item that is on loan by placing a hold on that item through the OPAC. You will be advised when the item becomes available and be given a time to collect it from the Client Services Desk.


7. Can I get documents scanned and photocopied in the Library?
Photocopying is at a cost of $5.00 per page (Black and White Only). Photocopying of final year projects and thesis is not permitted.
NB. Photocopying are guided by the Copyright Act.


8. Does the Library provide access to computers with Microsoft Office ?
The Library has computers, which are available for database searching as well accessing Microsoft Office suite. PCs are available for use in the Cyberlab, the Caribbean Reading Room, Reading Room II and the Faculty Reading Room


9. Does the Library provide assistance with database searching?
Structured sessions are organized for database searching. Individual and group sessions are available throughout the year on request. Please contact Ms Janet James for further information.


10. Can I access databases from home?
Yes, if you are a registered UTech student, faculty or staff you can access some databases from home. If you have internet access, all that is required is your Utech, Ja. credentials. Please contact the Library if you are experiencing any difficulty using the databases.


11. Why do I need a user ID and PIN number?
All members of the University Community must have a User ID and PIN to log onto the OPAC to perform certain transactions. These include:
  • Checking your library account
  • Requesting holds
  • Requesting information
  • Searching the databases.

12. How do I get a PIN?
User ID's and PINs are generated by the Library system when a new user record is created. You are given the option to change the PIN once you have received it. Simply log on to CALCAT, Select My Account and select User Change PIN.


13. I have forgotten my PIN, how do I get a new one?
You can visit the library and request that your Pin be reset.


14. I am a graduate of the university; can I use the Library facilities?
Graduates who are members of the Alumni Association can use the library facilities at no cost. Read Only Privilege applies.


15. I am not affiliated to UTech, can I use the library facilities?
Persons who are not members of the University community may apply for special client privileges. You must state clearly the desired period of use and purpose. Approval may be granted by the University Librarian subject to space and other constraint. Special Clients are required to pay a fee.
NB – Special Clients are not allowed to borrow materials to take outside of the library. Read Only Privileges applies.


16. Can I bring my laptop to the library and connect to the Internet?
You are allowed to use your laptop in the library, however students can only access the internet through the university’s wireless connection, as no ports are provided for internet connection.


17. How do I find out what the library has in its collection?
The best way to find the materials in the library is to use CALCAT, the library online catalogue that is part of the website. You can use CALCAT to find books by author, title, subject headings, and keyword.


18. How do I find a journal article or magazine on a specific topic?
To identify articles written about your topic, you will need to use the journal, and newspaper databases that are available through the Knowledge Portal on CALCAT ( You can ask a librarian to help you select which database to use.


19. Do libraries have anything besides books and journals?
Calvin McKain Library has information in other formats such as CD-ROMs, maps, DVDs, and videocassettes. If you have difficulty finding these materials in CALCAT, the library catalogue, be sure to ask the library staff for help.


20. Can I access past papers from home?
Yes, if you are a registered Utech Ja., student, faculty or staff you can access all past papers from home. All that is required is your Utech Ja., credentials. Please contact the library if you are experiencing any difficulty getting access to the past paper platform.

If the answers to your questions are not found here, please email us at

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