Bielefeld University Library

Library profile

University Building Bielefeld University Library is organized as one central on-site library, divided into groups of subject libraries covering all academic disciplines represented at Bielefeld University. Due to the special integrated concept of Bielefeld University that brings all faculties into one large university building, collections and reading rooms of the library are located very close: the library occupies almost the entire first floor of the building with the seminar rooms and offices of their faculty on the floors above.

Bielefeld University Library holds about 2 million books and other media items, the majority of which is for open access in the reading rooms. There is one closed stack to hold books that are in low demand.

Photo: Working in the Library The main remit of the library is to provide students and scholars of the university with literature and information for academic teaching and scientific research. With opening hours until 1 am in the morning throughout the week and 10 pm on weekends, Bielefeld University Library is in second place among German university libraries and very popular among the students of the university.
The university library is also open to the general public (including public authorities and businesses) of the region to complement the library services offered by the public libraries of the City of Bielefeld.

Bielefeld University Library is associated with the development of new, in particular digital, services. The library carries out projects to explore and develop tools and systems that improve access to the increasing number of electronic resources. For a number of projects the library is working in partnership with commercial system suppliers to adopt their products in order to meet the specific requirements of academic libraries. Among the wide range of activities, the development of BASE (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine) is the one, which is most widely known in the international community.

Bielefeld University Library is the host of the International Bielefeld Conference series, a conference that offers every two years a major strategic discussion forum for library managers from all over Europe and beyond.

Director: Dr Michael Höppner

Some Statistical Data for 2007
  • Holdings: 2,163,053 million volumes, 2,786 licensed databases
  • Journals: 4,378 print journals (subscriptions), 7,684 licensed electronic journals
  • Reader workplaces: 1,700, incl. 150 public PC-workstations for users
  • Library visits: 1,853,409
  • Active registered users: 29,910
  • Total number of loans incl. renewals: 1,210,326

History and Innovations

Establishment of the library
Implementation of the first online cataloguing system in Germany (IBAS)
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 digitisation 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
Combination of Digital Library NRW services and the library's local website in order to offer integrative services in corporate design
Development of a netbased integrated learning and teaching environment (online learning) based on Blackboard and a university publications server (BieSOn) based on OPUS. Introduction of an online interlibrary loan system
Launch of the Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE) on the basis of FAST Data Search Software
Development of an eScholarship repository, contains the university's peer-reviewed research publications
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.

Our Services
  • Metasearch (Digital Library NRW): simultaneous search in numerous catalogues and databases followed by an availability determination
  • Library catalogue with both electronic and printed documents indexed
  • Search engine BASE: integrated search in heterogeneous scientific resources worldwide
  • Search for journal articles in the JADE database containing more than 40 million entries
  • About 16,000 both licensed and freely accessible electronic full text journals
  • About 2,300 both licensed and freely accessible databases
  • Digitized imprints
  • Interlibrary loan online, various document delivery services
  • E-Learning ("Stud.IP")
  • Discussion rooms with smartboard equipment (in cooperation with Service Center Medien and Hochschulrechenzentrum)
  • Scholarly ePublishing: eTheses server (BieSOn)
  • User training on information literacy (catalogue and library usage, efficient search for literature and information on the internet, database introductions, document delivery, guided tours in the library)
  • 3D virtual library tour, info clips on library related essentials
  • Interactive tutorial on online searching
  • "Ask a Librarian" and FAQ
  • Newsletter, RSS-Feed
Photo: In the reading room The library has outstandingly long opening hours. It is open 111 hours per week, 357 days per year:
  • Monday to Friday 8:00 hrs - 1:00 hrs
  • Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 9:00 hrs - 22:00 hrs

  • More than 95 % of the collection are directly accessible in the departmental libraries, arranged in classified order on open shelves.

    Latest update: June 2008

    Bielefeld University Library - latest update: 04 Jul 2008