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Inter-library lending

Users of the Library Am Guisanplatz BiG can order documents from other libraries via interlibrary loan. This service is free of charge for employees of the Federal Administration and the Armed Forces, provided the order is sent by e-mail to the interlibrary loan team. Registered users outside the Federal Administration can benefit from this service in a limited form.

Dienstleistungen_Fernleihe 2_Pexels
(Photo: Pexels)

If you are an employee of the Federal Administration and would like to borrow a document free of charge from a swisscovery library or from another institution, the BiG interlibrary loan team will do the research in Switzerland and abroad and carry out the order for you. 

Note: If you order documents for lending or digitisation directly from other libraries via swisscovery, you are fully responsible for the costs incurred (lending, courier, reminder fees) in accordance with the fee regulations of the owning library. These will be invoiced directly to you by SLSP. 

Conditions for inter-library lending:

  • You have a SWITCH edu-ID and have registered on SLSP (Swiss Library Service Platform).
  • You can provide precise bibliographic information about the publication you seek.
  • You have checked that the publication is not held at the BiG.

Delivery times

  • Orders for print media (books and print copies) from Swiss libraries are usually delivered within three to ten working days. For electronic copies (PDFs) the delivery time is two to three working days.
  • For orders from libraries abroad, the delivery time can vary greatly and take up to several weeks, depending on the country and the library concerned.

Lending period, renewals

  • The lending period depends on the library which lends the items. Items can usually be borrowed for a month, and may be renewed.
  • If you order an item that may not removed from the library, you may consult it on the premises.
  • If you wish to renew an item, please notify the inter-library lending staff before the lending period expires. 


You can return items in person at the front desk or send them carefully packaged by post to the BiG. Users are responsible for lost or damaged items. 

To order items via the inter-library lending service, you need to be registered on SLSP (Swiss Library Service Platform) with a SWITCH edu-ID.

The following charges apply for documents not ordered on SLSP:

Switzerland: CHF 12 per item

Europe:   CHF 24 per item

UK and overseas: CHF 36 per item

Charges are invoiced via SLSP.

NB: The BiG cannot order items that are available via swisscovery.

  • Libraries and documentation centres in Switzerland and abroad can borrow items from the BiG via the inter-library lending service.
  • An institutional account on SLSP is required.
  • Works published before 1914 and valuable works in our special collections may not be borrowed via the service. However, a reproduction of the work may be requested.


You can order online or by email.

Delivery time

Items are delivered within three to ten working days.


The BiG charges one IFLA voucher for each document sent abroad. 

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

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Library Am Guisanplatz

User Services
Papiermühlestrasse 21a
CH-3003 Bern

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