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Information for Newbies

The Library

Located in the Main University Building (UHG) and Building X the library is divided into groups of departmental libraries very close to the faculties. The entrance to the libraries is always located on the first floor. Each entrance (Area) has a unique letter (e.g. Area U). Sometimes the floor is given, too (U1 = Area U, first floor). Each departmental library (abbreviated "FB") has a unique number (e.g. FB 11 = Departmental Library Law).

Site map of the departmental libraries

Virtual Tour through "your" departmental library (in German)

Opening Hours

You can work in the library until 1 am, on weekends until 10 pm. Borrowing and returning books is possible until shortly before midnight, on weekends until 10 pm.

Opening hours in detail

Essential Information to Get Started

  • The UniCard (Student ID) is also your library card and allows you to borrow items from the library or use services like the interlibrary loan. Please bring your UniCard with you each time you visit the library. Further info on the UniCard
  • Baskets to carry work materials, laptop or books comfortably within the library are provided at the entrance of each departmental library
  • We will answer all your questions about using the library, searching for literature, borrowing, interlibrary loan orders, accessing e-media, library cards, or fees at the Service Desk of the Library Service Center (BDZ)
  • You are welcome to bring your coat, bags or backpacks into the library. You can also leave them in the lockers in front of the library (deposit: 2 euros). Please deposit oversized luggage in the lockers
  • All beverages (except alcohol) in resealable bottles or other all-around closed and resealable drinking containers may be taken along and drunk from. Drinks in open or non-reclosable containers, such as coffee cups or beverage cans, remain not permitted
  • Please keep quiet within the library

For all library rules please look up the regulations (in German).​

Studying and Working


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For undisturbed and concentrated studying choose the individual study zone or the PC workstations of the departmental libraries.

Study Environments

Our study environments are a combination of relaxing and studying. Cosy furniture create a pleasing ambience for reading, studying and chilling.The study environments offer zones for group work as well.

Learning zones

If you are looking for silence we recommend the designated quiet zones.

Silent areas

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Discussion rooms are available in the departmental libraries for concentrated work in teams. From Mon – Fri, 8.00 – 18.00 only for students of Bielefeld University after reservation. Reservation is not necessary / possible after 18.00 and on weekends

Some discussion rooms are equipped with SMART Boards (electronic board with PC-feature) or LCD television for presentations etc.



Copying, Printing, and Scanning

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Scanning is possible free of charge at the book scanners in area C, D, T, U (UHG) and in Building X in the library. The exact locations can be found on the page Study Environments. A UniCard or login is not required for use. You can save the scanned documents on a USB stick or transfer them directly to your smartphone or tablet via the free Scan2Pad app from the App Store (for iOS devices) or the Google Play Store (for Android devices).

The BITS (Bielefeld University IT Service center) offers the possibility to print for free at the BITS PC rooms (UHG, V0-218 und and 101) on 3 printers in the BITS room V0-224 (Mon – Fri 7–22, Sat, Sun 8–22).

Copy machines are not available in the university.


You may use WiFi free of charge in the entire university building. The sole requirement is an BITS account.

Using the University's WiFi network

Borrowing and Renewal of Items

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White call number labels on the spine mean that these items circulate, yellow labelled ones do not. The loan period amounts to 15 or 30 days.

Finding Resources

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You may take the items from the shelves. To borrow and return media, please use the self-service units. In addition, the circulation terminals are staffed by library personnel from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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The self-service units, recognisable by the green-lit surface, can be found in the foyer of the departmental libraries in areas D, E, T, U, V, and in the library in Building X. Self-service units for returning can be found in the foyer of the departmental libraries in area D and U, as well as in the library in Building X.

When borrowing / returning items on self-service units you will receive a receipt, which you should check for correctness and keep carefully.

You have the option to renew a book in your loan account, when there is no reservation for it - simply press the button "verlängern". The renewal must be made on the last day of the loan period at the latest otherwise overdue fees will occur.

There is a total loan period measured by calendar days. Within this period, renewals are possible as long as the item is not reserved elsewhere. With each renewal, the loan period is extended by a further 30 or 15 days, but not beyond the total loan period.

Loan period 30 days: total loan period 180 days
Loan period 15 days: total loan period 85 days

Regularly check the loan deadlines and return your books in time, otherwise fees will be incurred.

We will answer your questions about borrowing, returning or fees in our FAQ or in person at the Service Desk in the Library Service Center (BDZ).

Searching for Literature

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The! is the most important tool when you search for literature in the library. Here you will find printed books and journals, audio books, DVDs, etc. from the library's holdings and numerous e-books and e-journals, which you can use online at the PC workstations or as a member of the university from home.

The University Library also offers a large number of search options in catalogues, subject databases and search engines.

Assistance in using the catalogue or subject databases and search engines is available from the Service Desk in the Library Service Center (BDZ).

Assistance and Tuitions

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Our library personnel at the Service Desk of the Library Service Center (BDZ) (area U0 - entrance via U1) will be pleased to answer any questions on library matters. You can also ask questions via live chat or e-mail support ("mailbox"). You are welcome to arrange a consultation as a video conference with us by e-mail.

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For subject-specific support in literature research, please contact the subject librarians.

Subject librarians / Academic services

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The Library offers a variety of tuitions to show you how to develop searches and how to use the reference management program Citavi – on site or online via Zoom.

Training and Tutorials

Reference Management

The library provides students, faculty and staff of the university with the reference management program Citavi. Bibliographic information, call numbers and links to full texts can easily be imported.

Reference Management

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