Bielefeld University Library

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Guided Tours to Bielefeld University Library

Library profile

University Building Bielefeld University Library represents with its collection of about 2 mill. books and journals and its permanently growing choice of scientifically relevant electronic fulltexts not only the main library of Bielefeld University which was founded in 1967, but also one of the most important general libraries of the whole region of EastWestphalia-Lippe. About 95 % of the collection is for open access and arranged by subject in the reading rooms, which occupy almost the entire first floor of the building. With opening hours until 1 am throughout the week and 10 pm on weekends, Bielefeld University Library is one of the front-runners among German libraries.

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. The services are also open to the general public, including public authorities, businesses, hospitals and schools of the region.

For many years, Bielefeld University Library has committed itself to its primary goal of optimizing existing library services and implementing new, user-oriented ones. The library works on modular systems for optimizing the e-library, particularly in the field of search engine technology, scholarly publishing, e-learning, bibliographic and fulltext databases as well as the 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.

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

Director: Dr Michael Höppner

Some Statistical Data for 2011
  • Holdings: 2,200,000 volumes
  • Journals: 4,000 print journals (subscriptions), 20,000 licensed electronic journals
  • Reader workplaces: 2,050 (about 1,900 WLAN compatible workplaces, 165 custom-built computer workplaces)
  • Library visits: 1,700,000
  • Active registered users: 33,000
  • Total number of loans incl. renewals: 1,300,000

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.
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.
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.

Our Services
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: November 2011

    Bielefeld University Library - latest update: 13 Apr 2012