The library: A meeting place for creative minds

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Book and screen - studying means being versed in using both. Picture: David Hartfiel

All information about Unibib

A place where new ideas are formed and historical knowledge is stored. Knowing how to make the most of the University Library (UB) will help you get ahead in your studies.

The coronavirus has had a considerable impact on many different areas, including the University Library. Last year, it was unfortunately not possible to look for books in the library yourself, or to arrange to meet others there for studying or sharing ideas. Browsing on the laptop is increasingly taking the place of browsing through bookshelves, instead of meeting in person, students and teaching staff are meeting online. Some things never change, though: You’ve already been given your FAUcard which functions as a library card, opening the door to a treasure trove of books. Before you can borrow your first book, however, you need to activate your library user account at Your library ID is on the back of your FAUcard below the barcode. One working day after activating your account you can start using the University Library.

Effective research

The University Library contains more than five and a half million printed books and a great many e-books. To make sure you know how to find what you’re looking for, we would strongly recommend attending the course on effective library research. This one-hour session will introduce you to the secrets of our University Library. You will learn how to find books quickly in the catalogue, to understand the classification system, and find out which books you can borrow or read online – everything you need to know for your studies. If you have any specific questions about the library, for example on interlibrary loans or databases, you can have a look at the University Library’s YouTube channel.

You’ll find many of the books you’ll need when starting out at university in textbook collections. They are available at the four main libraries, as well as in some of the over 130 institute libraries in Erlangen and Nuremberg. They contain several copies of textbooks and basic literature according to subject. A lot of them are available for borrowing directly off the shelf. However, a large proportion of the library’s stock is stored in closed stacks. You have to first order these books and journals: just enter your library ID and password. You will receive an e-mail as soon as the book is ready for you to collect. Essays for written assignments can be found easily using the search function for essays and more in Primo.

Studying at home

You can read the UB’s many e-books and e-journals at any time from almost anywhere. To access them from outside the University you must set up a VPN on your computer.

You can borrow printed books for up to four weeks. If that’s not enough, you can renew them several times via the catalogue. To be on the safe side, the library will send you an e-mail reminding you of the date your books are due back. However, not all books are available to borrow and take home. Only books from the Main Library, the three branch libraries and some of the institute libraries can be borrowed. Books from the reference libraries can only be borrowed over night or over the weekend, if at all.
If the library doesn’t have a book that you need, you can request an interlibrary loan from another library in Germany. This means you have free access to a few more million books for your studies.

Self-study facilities

In addition to providing books for you to borrow, the University Library is also the ideal location to study. Using a reservation system, you can easily book your favourite spot in the library from the comfort of your own home.
When you have written assignments to do you may want to make use of the document delivery service FAUdok which allows you to have journal articles sent directly to your desk. And because the range of media and services on offer is so huge and can be confusing for new students in particular, the library is available to help via several different channels. At the major branches there are information desks which offer individual support and advice. You can also phone the librarians or go to the library’s website to find answers to any questions you may have about the library and how to use it. Individual consultations are also available via Zoom in VideoChat, the virtual information desk. The University Library is always open for you and your ideas!


Cover Magazin frisch 2021

frisch! at FAU is the magazine for freshmen. In it, you’ll find everything you need to know about starting your studies. From service facilities to reports on faculty projects and extracurricular activities at the university to alumni interviews, it’s all here.

FAU Magazine Frisch (June 2021/ German)

As a first-year student, you received a copy together with your enrollment folder. Individual copies are also available at FAU, for example in the dining halls and various student offices. You can also read the magazine online.