History of the Library

The origin of the library can be traced back to January, 1921, when the University College was formally opened at College House in Colombo.  The nucleus of the library, housed in one of the rooms, was a collection of 2,500 valuable books on history, literature and oriental studies donated by Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam in memory of his late son A. Padmanabha.

When the need to continue science teaching was impressed upon the university, three of the Science Professors taking along with them the collections of the departments.  The Science Library existed in part as a general library and in part as departmental libraries until 1984, when all the departmental libraries and the general collection were merged to form the Science Faculty Library and re-located in the 4th and 5th floors of the Chemistry building.  When the Chemistry Department wanted the building back, the library was shifted to the building vacated by the Physics Department where it still remains today.

Library System

At present, the library system of the University of Colombo consists of the Main Library and Faulty libraries of Medicine and Science with a collection of around 400,000 volumes, access to several reputed electronic databases and, subscriptions to international & local journals.  The Main Library and the branch libraries play a critically important role in supporting research within  the university and offer a range of services to undergraduate and postgraduates students, academic staff members, researches and other professionals.

Science Library

Now the Science Library is fully automated and entire collection of books in the library was bar-coded and each student of the Faculty of Science is issued a bar-coded library card.

The Science Library is now equipped with an on-line library catalogue system (OPAC), in place of the old card catalogue system.  This on-line library catalogue system allows the search of library material (books, journals, CDs) by author, title, key words, ISBN number and even by the subject.  The user can also get information with regard to the current loan status of the material being searched.

The E-resource centre of the Science Library is very popular among the students. Any student in the Faculty of Science can reserve a terminal for the duration of 01 hour at one time to access e-resources.

How to Register in the Science Library?

Fill the registration form and submit to the Science Library.

Library Collection

The Science Library consists of approximately 30,000 books and periodicals. Number of books is added to its stocks every year. The collection covers all aspects of subjects such as Pure Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology, Computer Science, Nuclear Science, Biotechnology and Applied Sciences.

The Permanent Reference Section
Scheduled reference materials such as Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, Handbooks, Past Question Papers, Dissertations, and a number of selected important textbooks are deposited in the Permanent Reference Section, which is near the circulation desks. Materials in this section are released only for the purpose of taking photocopies.

Reference Section
Reference collection of the science library is made of important text books recommended by the teaching faculty and essential reading materials which are limited in number. Reference books are issued for overnight and weekend use. Borrowed material should be returned back to the library before 9.30a.m in the following working day.

Lending Section

The Lending  Collection  of the  Science  Library is kept open  from  Monday  to Friday from 8.30 to 3.00p.m. Books are loaned for a period of two weeks.

Sri Lanka Collection

The “Sri Lanka Collection”  is established  in  the  Science  Library by   collecting all the publications related to Sri Lanka.  This collection consists of books written by Sri Lankan authors, written on Sri Lanka, books written in Sinhala  language and Sri Lankan publications.

Rare Collection
The Rare Collection supposes to be a collection of materials with a preservation value. Books that are printed during centuries earlier, books written by famous authors, books and other forms of printed materials that are found out of print, books written with rare subject approach, books with historical value are preserved in this collection. The collection is available on closed access basis and strictly allowed for reference only. No photocopies are permitted from this section.

Leisure Reading Collection
Visit the new Leisure Reading Collection at the Science Library. This year  nearly 200 titles were selected for this Collection.  This collection will continue to grow as new titles are added  annually.  The collection includes fictions, mysteries, religious books, biographies, romances, and many more. If you wish to donate books to this collection please contact the librarian.

Current Journals
The Science Library receives nearly 13 printed journal titles and these are located in the periodical section. Bound/ unbound copies of periodicals are not available for loan, yet available for obtaining photocopies of required information.

Bound Journals
Current five years-bound journals are housed in the science library, the back issues of bound journals are housed in the 5th floor of the main Library. Requests to use them should be made to the Senior Assistant Librarian in Periodical/Journal section in the 4th floor of the main library. Bound periodicals could be obtained only for the purpose of obtaining photocopies. The section closes at 6.00p.m.

Loan Limits


1st Year

 2nd Year

 3rd Year

 4th Year


01 book

 02 books

 03 books

 03 books


 01 book

 01 book

01 book

 01 book


 02 books

 03 books

 04 books

04 books

Fine Schedule

A fine of Rs.5/- per day is imposed in respect of each lending book not returned by the due date.

A fine of Rs. 15/=  per day is imposed for each reference book not returned by the prescribed time.

Students who lose their Barcoded Library Card is called upon to pay a fine of Rs.100/= and Cloak Room token Rs.25/=.

Opening Hours

1st Half of the Semester

Monday – Saturday

8.30a.m. To 7.00 p.m.

2nd Half of the Semester

Monday – Sunday

8.30a.m. To 7.00 p.m.

During Study Leave & Examination Period

Monday – Sunday

8.30a.m. To 8.00 p.m.

During the Vacation Period

Monday – Friday

8.30a.m. To 4.00 p.m.