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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 collection that can be borrowed free of charge or consulted on the library premises.

A librarian puts newly borrowed books into a bag. She stands at the circulation desk of the BiG. (Photo: Sina Guntern/EMC)
BiG lending desk (Photo: Sina Guntern/EMC)


  • To borrow library items, you need to register in order to receive your free user card. 
  •  You can only register if you are permanently resident in Switzerland.
  • If you are not permanently resident in Switzerland or if you would like to join on behalf of an institution, please refer to the information in our Terms of Use
  •  Institutions may appoint an individual (who must provide a private address) to borrow items from the library.

Once they have registered, institutions can also borrow items using the BibliOpass user card. Please provide your existing user ID.

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.

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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