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Inter-library lending

Publications that are not held in the BiG collections can be ordered by registered users from another library in Switzerland or abroad via the inter-library lending service. Other libraries can also order publications from the BiG holdings.

Dienstleistungen_Fernleihe 2_Pexels
(Photo: Pexels)

The inter-library lending service allows you to order items that are not held at the Bibliothek am Guisanplatz (BiG). The staff will conduct a search for you in Switzerland and abroad and send you the item you seek free of charge.

Conditions for inter-library lending:

  • You have a valid BiG user card.
  • You can provide precise bibliographic information about the publication you seek.
  • You have checked that the publication is not held at the BiG.


You can order online, by email or in person at the BiG front desk.

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.

Libraries and documentation centres in Switzerland and abroad can borrow items from the BiG via the inter-library lending service.

  • 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.


We charge 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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