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The Library Am Guisanplatz is a publicly accessible institution belonging to the Swiss Confederation. It has over a million items in its holdings, which can be borrowed or consulted on the library premises.

A librarian puts books into a bag. She is standing at the BiG lending desk. (Photo: Sina Guntern/EMC)
BiG lending desk (Photo: Sina Guntern/EMC)

The Library Am Guisanplatz BiG has more than a million media items. These can be borrorwed or consulted on the library premises. The Alexandria search portal ( is linked to the Swiss Library Service Platform SLSP and so gives access to the majority of academic works held in Switzerland (490 libraries).


  • You can register on the SLSP. Please note that a SWITCH edu-ID account is required for registration.
  • Follow the process to the end. The first confirmation message for account creation only concerns the SWITCH edu-ID account. Then log in again with this account to link it to SLSP.
  • Anyone can register, but you can only take books out of the library if you are permanently resident in Switzerland.
  • Employees of the Federal Administration or the Armed Forces are advised to register with their professional address. After registering, send an e-mail to to be assigned to the appropriate client group.
  • Institutions (legal entities) can find more information in our User regulations.
  • Institutions may appoint an individual (who must provide a private address) to borrow items from the library. Institutions can register on the SLSP

Ordering and borrowing items

  • Once you have registered, you can order items online at
  • Books can usually be borrowed for up to 28 days (14 days for periodicals); it is possible to renew items up to five times.
  • Items are sent by post (or federal courier) to the user’s address or can be collected from the front desk during the library opening times. 

The following items cannot be borrowed:

  • Works published before 1914
  • Works in the non-lending collection
  • Works in the special collections
  • Works classified as not available for lending.


  • Items that are already on loan can be reserved at
  • If an item has been reserved, it can no longer be renewed.

Consulting items on the premises

  • Items in the non-lending collection may only be consulted in the reading room.
  • Items in the open-access holdings may be borrowed without restriction.
  • If you would like to borrow an item from the underground stacks, please ask at the front desk.
  • The non-digitised special collections can only be consulted on the premises. Please ask at least half a day in advance.

 Returning items

  • When the lending period is over, you can return your item(s) either directly to the front desk, by post or by federal courier.
  • Please note that there is no box in which to put returned items.


  • Fines are issued in accordance with the current fees and schedule of charges. Bills are issued directly via SLSP. No payments are accepted on the premises.

Notifications and reminders

Automatic notifications and reminders are sent…

  • when the end of the maximum lending period has been reached
  • when the item you have borrowed is reserved by another user (recall).

For more information on our lending terms and conditions, please ask at the front desk or contact us at


Library Am Guisanplatz User Services
Papiermühlestrasse 21a
CH-3003 Bern
+41 58 464 50 99

Contact form

Library Am Guisanplatz

User Services
Papiermühlestrasse 21a
CH-3003 Bern

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