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    © Universität Bielefeld!

Future strategy

  • Wissenschaftliche Bibliotheken 2025 (PDF, Status January 2018, in German - decided by Section 4 „Wissenschaftliche Universalbibliotheken“ in the German Library Association e.V. [dbv])
  • BITS 2025 (Information pages of the Bielefeld IT Service Center)

Library Profile

Bielefeld University Library represents with its collection of about 2 mill. books and journals not only the central library of Bielefeld University which was founded in 1969, but also one of the most important general libraries of the whole region of East Westphalia-Lippe.

About 95 % of the collection is presented on open shelves and arranged by subject in the reading rooms. With opening hours until 01.00 throughout the week, 22.00 on weekends and more than 2,000 reading room workplaces, Bielefeld University Library is one of the front-runners among German libraries. For registered users electronic texts are available online, anytime, worldwide.

  • Innovation is our Tradition.
  • Service is our Commitment.

"!" is the brand mark of Bielefeld University Library. "Innovation is our Tradition" and "Service is our Commitment" represent our corporate philosophy.

"!" represents the holistic service concept of Bielefeld University Library. It combines a comprehensive choice of information resources tailored to suit user requirements with innovative, user friendly services and focuses on evolving web-based working methods in academia, which are increasingly influenced by e-science and e-learning. Along with attractive learning and working spaces within the library, additional benefits for the provision of information are created which are regularly reflected in excellent ratings.

The main remit of the library is to provide University members with literature and information for academic teaching and research. The services are also open to the general public, including public authorities, businesses, hospitals and schools of the region. E-science and e-learning have strongly altered information needs. The enhancement of our services in close dialogue with the faculties and departments is a continuing concern. Bielefeld University Library considers itself as a driving force of a prospective service concept that encompasses all ICT-related departments of Bielefeld University.

Our service catalogue "Dienstleistungskatalog" provides a concise summary of all services of Bielefeld University Library.

Our latest enhancements:

  • Search Engine BASE
  • Discovery Service
  • Library Learning Space
  • Publication Services
  • RFID-Technology
  • Mobile Services and Social Media

The library works on modular systems for optimizing the e-library, particularly in the field of search engine technology and academic publishing as well as e-learning, bibliographic, fulltext databases and development of digital collections. For these projects the library cooperates with national and international partners and receives funding from the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft), the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of Science and Research. Recently the University Library has been furthering the following projects:

  • Research Data Management
  • Automated Enhancement by OAI-Metadaten
  • Enhanced and Compound Publications
  • Publication Fund
  • Repository Infrastructure
  • Digitization of Journals of the Enlightenment
  • Holdings (print): 2,320,000 volumes
  • Holdings (digital): 600,000 titles
  • Journals: 25,800 licensed and digitized electronic journals. 1,200 print journals (subscriptions)
  • Reading room workplaces: 2,340 individual and collaborative workstations, 160 of them equipped with PCs
  • Library visits per year: 1,290,000
  • Active registered users: 26,500
  • Total number of loans incl. renewals: 1,010,000

Source: Deutsche Bibliotheksstatistik (2019)


  • Establishment of the library


  • Implementation of the first online cataloguing system in Germany (IBAS)


  • Public access to the online cataloguing system


  • Conduction of the 74th Deutscher Bibliothekartag


  • Launch of the first German university library catalogue on CD-ROM, use of PC networks


  • Introduction of the document delivery system JASON developed by the library, cooperation of North Rhine-Westphalian university libraries


  • Development of the first German library project for a cooperative electronic information supply (IBIS)


  • Beginning of digitization of printed publications and their provision on the Internet; development of the mass storage and document management system BIEBLIS


  • Introduction of JASON-Subito developed by the library. It allows online ordering of North Rhine-Westphalian periodical articles throughout Germany. Online access to journals available in full text versions (i.a. by consortial agreements with publishers)


  • Launch of the Digital Library NRW, developed by the library in 1998 - 2000


  • Conduction of the 91st Deutscher Bibliothekartag


  • Development of a netbased integrated learning and teaching environment (online learning) based on Blackboard. Introduction of an online interlibrary loan system


  • Introduction of a university publications server (BieSOn) based on OPUS


  • Launch of the Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE) on the basis of FAST Data Search Software


  • Development of an e-scholarship repository which makes the research results of Bielefeld University accessible for the global scientific community
  • Participation in the European Commission project DRIVER (Digital Repository Infrastructure Vision for European Research), which aims at cross-linking scientific repositories of European universities and research institutions (project period 2006 - 2009).


  • The e-scholarship repository, now called BiPrints, is put into operation. Start of the enhancement of the scholarly publishing services


  • Migration of the library catalogue in co-operation with Heidelberg University Library. It is now based on search engine technology and makes use of Web 2.0 tools.
  • Launch of the OJS journal platform for the publication of scientific (open access) journals


  • The publication data service PUB (Publications at Bielefeld University) which is based on the LUUR system and has been developed jointly by the universities of Lund and Ghent, is put into operation. PUB facilitates the creation and administration of personal publication lists which can easily be integrated into the personal website of the Bielefeld academic staff. Moreover, PUB represents the beginning of a fundamental modernization of the university's research information system.


  • The university publication server BieSOn and the e-scholarship repository BiPrints are merged into PUB and serve as subcollections of PUB. They are now called PUB Theses and PUB OA (Open Access).
  • Implementation of RFID technology: Self-service stations for borrowing, renewing and returning library items are installed.
  • Opening of!: Professional peer-learning counselling.


  • Launch of Weblog and Twitter channel.
  • Implementation of an article search module (EBSCO Discovery Service / EDS) in the library catalogue.


  • Complete integration of Library Catalogue, EBSCO Discovery Service and Search Engine BASE under one interface - the!
  • Introduction of a revision tool developed by the library and the company Bibliotheca, which considerably improves the revision quality (finding misplaced books, etc.)


  • Start of the modernization of the Main University Building. 7 departmental libraries moved to Building X.
  • Update of all PCs with uniform interface for library and university computing centre services.
  • Integration von Forschungsdaten im Publikationsdatenservice PUB.
  • Research data linked to PUB - Publications at Bielefeld University.
  • Library catalogue with more than 500,000 online publications.
  • 10 years search engine BASE.


  • New service concept of the university library.
  • Self-service units in all departmental libraries.


  • Consolidation of the Coordination Centre for Research Data.


  • Bibliometric service and consulting.
  • Start of integration of ORCID iDs as a unique identifier for authors in various publication and reference systems.


  • The library's future strategy: UB 2025
  • Development and launch of the Kompetenzzentrum Forschungsdaten (Competence Centre for Research Data)
  • Development of a digitization-on-demand service for the digitization of works from the library's print collection
  • Start of the digitization of the children's and juvenile book collection Aiga Klotz.


  • Establishment of the departmental library of medicine
  • By joining the DEAL Wiley consortium, all 1600 Wiley journals will be accessible to university members
  • Cloud-based library management system: University library in the first group of users


  • Accelerated expansion of digital services based on Corona measures (e.g., additional content accessible online, booking system for workstations, conversion of consulting and training to digital formats)
  • Relaunch of the website
  • Joining the DEAL-Springer consortium will make all 1900 Springer journals accessible to university members
  • Conduction of Open Access Days 2020


  • Introduction of a web-based library management system
  • Conversion of the based on the open source software VuFind
  • Development of the subject library medicine
  • Establishment of the Competence Centre for Research Data completed and consolidated


  • Data and digital expertise concept
  • Centralisation of library services in the Library Services Centre (BDZ). It comprises the areas of three teams: Digitisation and Document Delivery, Digital Services and Information.


  • Modernisation of discussion rooms
  • Criteria for the publication fund adopted


  • DEAL contracts for Springer, Wiley and Elsevier for the first time

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