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Checking out library materials from the reading rooms and from the stacks

The Law Library of Freie Universität Berlin is - for most part - a reference library. It has over 520 workstations available to any user. One-third of the library’s collection of approximately 800,000 media units is publicly accessible, in the reading rooms on the ground floor and upper floor (the online catalog lists the location in the ground floor reading room (Lesesaal Erdgeschoss) or on the upper floor (Obergeschoss) or in the stacks (Magazin)). Two-thirds of the library’s holdings are available to anyone for ordering via the online catalog or, in the case of books from the scan catalog, with a lending card from the stacks and can then be checked out to the reading room or for home use. Materials from the stacks are provided at the counter on the ground floor.

Current editions of works for which there is especially high demand are available at the checkout desk and can be checked out to the reading room (Lesesaal) for a period of two hours (white stripe marking; online catalog lists "Lesesaal-Aufsicht" as the location, type of use "Handapparat LS" (reading room reserves)).

If you wish to use a book that has been checked out, you can reserve it to be checked out to the reading room in the online catalog.

Special rules will allow students of Freie Universität Berlin to check out up to four books from the reading room over any day or period of days when the library is closed. The checkout period for this arrangement, called a Sonderausleihe, is from 11:00 a.m. on the day before the closure to 11:00 a.m. on the day after the closure. Please note the further remarks [here].

Reading room materials subject to limited checkout rules (marked in the online catalog “Ausl. nur an wiss. Pers.,” or “checkout for academic staff only”) can only be checked out by academic staff affiliated with the Department of Law.

Individual copies of books in especially high demand also form part of the library’s reference collections; these copies cannot be checked out, even by academic staff (red or blue stripe marking).

Two-thirds of the library’s holdings are available to anyone for ordering via the online catalog or with a lending slip (Ausleihzettel) from the stacks [online catalog shows location: “Magazin”] and can then be checked out to the reading room or for home use. Orders can be placed via the online catalog or from the Primo library portal. To order a book from the stacks or reserve an item that has been checked out, you need to sign in to the online catalog or Primo using the user code shown in your student or user ID.

There ist a separate process for works listed in the scan catalog.

The textbook collection (Lehrbuchsammlung) is a service offered by the library system of Freie Universität Berlin. This service is set out to provide students of the Freie Universität Berlin, law practicioners (Rechtsreferendare) from Berlin or Brandenburg and students of the Fernuniversität in Hagen with current volumes of the most important text books and reference literature. For students of law, current textbooks and recent commentaries in all of the major disciplines of law are available in particular. These holdings can be accessed using the PRIMO discovery platform at the Freie Universität Berlin.

This literature is marked with green labels for the call numbers and can be found in the reading rooms of the law library, at Van't-Hoff-Str. 8, together with the individual copies of textbooks which are reseved for use within the reading rooms (yellow label).

To check out materials to the reading room or for home use, users need a user ID and local permission to use the library. For students of Freie Universität Berlin, a valid student ID serves as the user ID, and the student ID number is the user ID number. Other users can apply for a user ID at the front desk. The application form is available online and can be filled out first and then submitted to the checkout desk so that the user ID can be issued right away.

The user ID number or student ID number is also the log-in name (Benutzerkennung) used to log in to the online catalog and to the computers at the user desks in the reading room (‘thin clients’). In the online catalog, you can check your user account to see when materials are due, renew materials that you have checked out, see what materials you have reserved, your orders via interlibrary lending (Fernleihe), and any fees that may be due. You can also change your password and, if you are a student, enter a new e-mail address for notices from the lending system. The computer terminals offer access to all databases licensed for Freie Universität Berlin and for independent research on the Internet.

If you have questions regarding the terms of use or registering with your user ID number, please contact the library information service (Bibliothekarische Auskunft). If you have forgotten your password or lost your ID, please see the staff at the desk.

Books from the reading room that are checked out for longer periods (such as to teaching staff and scientists affiliated with the Department) can also be reserved by users who do not have general permission to check out materials from the reading room collections (such as students and external users), in the online catalog of Freie Universität Berlin, for short-term checkout in the reading room for that day.

Books that have already been received, but are still being processed (books in process - im Geschäftsgang) can be reserved by anyone for brief review in the reading room.

These materials are provided, checked out, and returned at the front desk.

A request for all users of the online catalog or the Primo library platform of Freie Universität Berlin who have an e-mail address: Please be sure to give us your current e-mail address for notices from the online catalog so that we can save postage. Giving us your e-mail address also has a number of advantages for you in using the libraries and the catalog of Freie Universität Berlin.

Your advantage: This way, you receive automated notices such as hold notifications for books you have reserved, books you have reserved during processing, or books you have reserved for short-term checkout. You also receive e-mail reminders when materials checked out from the University Library or a department library are due. Our advantage: You save us the postage costs associated with sending these notices by mail.

Students of Freie Universität Berlin can enter or update their e-mail addresses themselves. To enter your e-mail address online, please access the online catalog and click the red “Login” field at top left. When you enter your student ID number and password (see brochure for more information), you will be routed to your account in the library system. You can use the same line where you can change your password to enter an e-mail address. Don’t forget to log back out when you are finished.

If you are not a student of Freie Universität Berlin, you can simply give your e-mail address to the staff at the desk, who will enter the address for you. For more information on the online catalog, please see the brochure [here].

Books from local reference libraries of teaching staff and scientists of the law school is entered in the online catalog with “Hb” as the location (local reference library of a chair or division). It can only be requested at the desk for review in exceptional cases, e.g. if there are no other copies in the collection or available in other libraries (the online catalog notes “Einsicht auf Anfrage,” or “review upon request”). Library staff will contact the relevant division and then inform the user of the possibility of reviewing these materials.

Doctoral students at the Department are permitted to check out up to 20 books to workstations reserved for them. These materials are shown in the online catalog with the relevant due date. Even users who do not have permission to check out materials can reserve these materials, thereby preventing them from being renewed, so they can read the works themselves afterwards, at least in the reading room (reservation for short-term checkout).

Please do not take any books from the desks reserved for doctoral students on your own. In urgent cases in which you cannot wait for the materials to be due for return, please see the staff at the desk in the entry area. From there, staff members can promptly contact the users of the relevant workstations reserved for doctoral students.

The workstations reserved for doctoral students themselves should always be left in clean and tidy condition so that other users can work there if the doctoral student in question is not at the library.

CD-ROMs can be checked out by anyone at the front desk and read on their own computer.

Due dates can be displayed for every book in the user account in the online catalog of Freie Universität Berlin. Due dates never fall on days when the library is closed (holidays, inventory), so there is no risk of unjustified warnings, and it is always possible to return books with no problem. If you give us your e-mail address (students of Freie Universität Berlin can enter their e-mail address themselves in their own user account), the system will send you a reminder e-mail shortly before materials are due. These reminder mails are provided as a service of the library system of Freie Universität Berlin. This service does not relieve you of the obligation to keep track of due dates for materials you have checked out yourself and to return materials on time. If you do not receive a reminder mail, that does not mean you are exempt from any overdue fees that may apply.

If you do not return materials on time, fees will apply according to the fee rules for the libraries of Freie Universität Berlin (Gebührenordnung für die Bibliotheken der Freien Universität Berlin).

After searching without success for an item in the online catalog platform Primo at Freie Universität Berlin, users can immediately forward their search query to the Cooperative Library Consortium Berlin-Brandenburg (Kooperativer Bibliotheksverbund Berlin-Brandenburg (KOBV) - http://digibib.kobv.de/) as part of their search and place an online order. The link under the question “Search in libraries in Germany (interlibrary loan)?” will take you to the interlibrary loan form.

For users who are not employed in the Freie Universität Berlin, interlibrary lending is subject to a fee. For more information, please see the pages of the University Library, where you can also find information on international interlibrary lending if necessary.

The library information service (bibliothekarische Auskunft) of the law library will be happy to assist you with any questions you may have. This means that you can place your order on site, using a computer at the library, or from elsewhere via the Internet. Interlibrary lending materials must be picked up and returned at the University Library (39 Gary St).

For details regarding using the library, please see the applicable rules on using the law library, which implement the framework rules on use (Rahmenbenutzungsordnung) of Freie Universität Berlin.

Some of the law library’s holdings that were acquired before 1990 and have not yet been listed in the online catalog are currently only listed in the law scan card catalog (IPAC). These works can be searched via the IPAC in the online catalog of Freie Universität Berlin [here].

At present, these works can be checked out via lending slip (Ausleihzettel).

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