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Reading Rooms - Circulation

Law Library of Freie Universität Berlin

Law Library of Freie Universität Berlin
Image Credit: Julia Oesterreich

Upper floor reading rooms

Upper floor reading rooms

Upper floor reading rooms

Upper floor reading rooms

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)).

Students of the Freie Universität Berlin, law practitioners (Rechtsreferendare) from Berlin and Brandenburg and students of Fern-Universität Hagen may check out literature from the legal textbook collection (Lehrbuchsammlung) in the reading rooms of the law library. The books are marked by green labels for the call numbers.

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.

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).

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).

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 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.

Recent issues of law journals are kept in the journal reading room on the ground floor of the law library ("Zeitschriftenlesesaal"). The individual issues in this reading room are indicated in the online catalog as well as the annual volumes in the main reading rooms.

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).

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.

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 Monday to Friday between 8.00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. 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.

We ask you to be quiet in the reading rooms and in the computer labs. If you prefer to use ear plugs or if you need them for concentration in learning you will find a set near the front desk. There are five discussion rooms available for communication and discussion of legal texts, rehearsal of oral exams or presentations.

All over the law library we ask you to switch your cellular phone to silent mode. Please leave the library quietly for phone calls.and smoking. Smoking is not permitted in rooms or buildings of the Freie Universität Berlin.

Food and beverages are not permitted in the law library with the exception of plain water in plastic bottles. There is also an exception for the use of the family room by families in the back of the law library.

There is a cafeteria in the basement of the building, a vegetarian mensa (university restaurant) in the Building Van't-Hoff-Str. 6 and a large mensa close by.

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