The strength of the libraries at Bern University of Applied Sciences lies in their specialisation. Together they offer over 250,000 books and other physical media. More than 17,000 subscribed e-journals, around 100,000 purchased e-books and 70 licensed databases are available for online use.

The libraries are committed to promoting information literacy. Their cooperation is coordinated by a specialist group and supported by a coordination unit for electronic resources.

SLSP Swiss Library Service Platform

New Library Catalogue from December 2020

The BFH libraries, which are currently split across two separate library networks (NEBIS and IDS Basel Bern), will be merged on a new platform together with over 500 other libraries. The GoLive of the new, nationwide library system is scheduled for December 2020.

The project to build the Swiss Library Service Platform (SLSP), which has been running for several years, will not merely unite the BFH libraries on one platform.  At the same time, over 500 university libraries and other scientific libraries across the nation will be migrated to the new SLSP platform. The GoLive is scheduled for 7 December 2020. The changeover will lead to the following adjustments for users.

New catalogue and new search interface

The majority of BFH libraries today are part of the NEBIS network – their users will find that the new SLSP search interface looks familiar. For users of the HKB Music Library and the Sports Media Centre at Magglingen the changes will be greater. The libraries will provide all users with appropriate information and support.

Login with edu-ID

The changeover requires all library uses to re-register. 

  • No more separate login
  • Users log in with their Switch edu-ID, which they either already have or which they set up before registration.
  • Registration will be possible before the changeover in December.
  • Existing library cards remain valid. The barcodes can be entered in the new system.

Data in the Netherlands

The data of library uses will be stored on a server in the Netherland. Therefore, the authorisation for the transfer of the necessary personal data will be required at the time of registration.

SLSP courier

Up to now only the libraries in the NEBIS network were able to offer users the possibility to order media from other libraries and collect them from their own. The HKB Music Library and the Sports Media Centre at Magglingen are pleased to offer this service as well from December 2020.

For external users this service will be subject to a fee whereas for members of BFH the costs will be covered by the BFH libraries

Replacement of the old library system

The replacement of the old library system will take place in stages. Borrowing media will probably be possible until a few days before the GoLive in December. Other processes such as recording and modifying catalogue data will be stopped by late October, and new media cannot be incorporated after that. The NEBIS lending network will probably discontinue its service by mid-November. From then on, orders can only be placed for collection on site or by postal dispatch (if offered). Reserving media on loan will no longer be possible.

The BFH libraries will inform you in due course about the further procedure and about any steps you will be required to take.

12 Libraries

Terms of use

The following libraries have their own terms of use:

We depend on your help to provide the information and media you require quickly and efficiently and make our services as effective as possible. Please note the following terms of use. Feel free to contact us with further input or suggestions.

General terms

1. Scope

The following terms of use apply for the following NEBIS libraries at Bern University of Applied Sciences.

  • Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering, Biel (BFH-AWCE-BI)
  • Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering / Engineering and Information Technology (BFH-AWCE-EI_BU)
  • Business (BFH-B)
  • Health (BFH-H)
  • Engineering and Information Technology, Biel (BFH-EI-BI)
  • Social Work (BFH-SW)
  • University of the Arts Multi-Media, Berne (BFH-BUA-ME)

These libraries are part of NEBIS, the Network of Libraries and Information Centers in Switzerland and the IDS library network.

2. User authorisation

Bern University of Applied Sciences libraries provide information and literature for BFH students and employees involved in research, teaching and study. They are also available to other interested parties. Use of BFH libraries is free, although there are charges for specific services. See appendix for fee details.

3. Registration

You must register to borrow items and use other services. You can register using the online form in the NEBIS catalogue. Registration is not required for anyone with an IDS library card. 

When the user account is set up, the following data is saved electronically by your home library: last name, first name, date of birth, address, telephone number, e-mail address, matriculation number, user group. This data is used within IDS for registration purposes. 

Your personal user number and password can be used for ordering, reserving and borrowing items in all other IDS libraries. You can view your saved data in your personal user account at any time.

4. User ID and user account

User ID is required for borrowing items. It is personal and non-transferable. Valid official ID is required. Students and BFH employees can show their BFHcard, which is classed as a user ID.

If you lose your user ID, you must notify your home library or ETH Library Customer Service.

Users must advise their NEBIS library of any change of address details or amend them in their user account.

If you lose your password you can request a new one. Contact your home library or Customer Service at the ETH Library and provide details of your name, user number, address, telephone number and date of birth.

5. Copyright issues and further use of media

Use of library media is governed by the copyright guidelines and is exclusively for personal use. Transfer to third parties and commercial use is prohibited.

Users are responsible for clarifying any copyright issues. BFH declines all liability in the case of copyright infringement.

6. Internet use

Public workstations are primarily provided for information on online offerings provided by BFH libraries and research for scientific, specialist, professional or educational purposes. 

All users are required to observe legal provisions with regard to the Internet. With respect to liability, misuse and the consequences of misuse we refer users to the Guidelines on the use of IT resources at Bern University of Applied Sciences.

7. Liability

Media should be handled with care. The cost of repairs or replacement shall be borne by the responsible party.

The last user is fully liable for any damage or loss of borrowed documents. Existing damage or missing inserts (data carriers, transparencies, cards etc.) must be reported immediately, at the latest on the return of the material.

Use of media is at the user's own risk. BFH does not accept any liability.

8. Conduct within the library

The conduct of users within the library areas must not impinge upon the rights of other persons, impact library operations or cause damage to equipment, facilities etc.

Users are obliged to comply with the instructions of library staff. Failure to do so can result in the user being asked to leave. Repeated or severe infringements of the terms of use can result in exclusion from library use.

[November 2015]


9. Terms of borrowing

Library items are generally available for borrowing. However, certain items can only be used on site.

Items can be borrowed at the library lending desk, using the web self checkout where available or ordered online through the library catalogue and collected with your user ID.

Items that are already borrowed can be reserved online over the NEBIS catalogue.

Ordered or reserved items can be collected from the lending desk for seven working days. 

Borrowed items must be handled with care, protected from damage and returned in sound and complete condition. Notes or markings of any kind are classed as damage (see section on liability).

10. Sending media and copies

For a fee, BFH libraries can send out items from their own inventories.

Items can be ordered from other libraries through the NEBIS library network for collection in your home library. The libraries within the NEBIS library network can be located at The terms of use of the library supplying the item apply.

Chargeable services such as sending copies and inter-library loans are not offered by all BFH libraries. 

11. Loan periods and renewals

The standard loan period is 28 days for books, 14 days for non-books (e.g. DVDs) and 3 days for journals. The loan period is shown in the user account.

Unless the borrowed item is requested elsewhere, renewal is automatic at the end of the initial loan period for a further loan period. Limited to two extensions.

When the automatic renewal expires, the loan period can be renewed by the user in the user account on three further occasions. When the maximum loan period expires, the item must be returned. If the item has not been reserved, you can borrow it again from the lending desk.

Items can be reserved by other users at any time; they will be recalled on expiry of the current loan period.

Items should be returned prior to absences longer than the loan periods of the borrowed items (military service, holidays, study abroad etc.)

12. Reminders

The user is responsible for adhering to loan periods. Reminders that are not received (by post or e-mail) are not accepted as grounds for late returns. This ruling is final.

As soon as the loan period has been exceeded or an item is required elsewhere, the following correspondence is sent by post or e-mail and the following fees are charged:

  Notification or recall

no charge

After 10 days

1st reminder

CHF 10.- per item

10 days later

2nd reminder

additional CHF 10.- per item

10 days later

3nd reminder

additional CHF 15.- per item

The third reminder is sent by post and the user account is then blocked. If the item is not returned it is entered as lost. The replacement costs and administrative fee are charged to the responsible party. 

Reminder fees can be paid by invoice (except at HKB Multi-Media Library). If an invoice has not been issued, the fee can be paid at the lending desk in cash.

Libraries are not obliged to provide details of reminder fees and other fees for an extended period; data is not filed for longer than three months.

13. Returning items

Borrowed media must be returned to the home library or one of the libraries in the NEBIS library network.

Outside the respective library opening times, items can be deposited in the return box as applicable. Items may  also  be returned by post.

Borrowed items must be duly returned by the user. The return date is the date when borrowed items are booked back in the system.

The user is liable for any postal delays, damage or loss.he user is liable for any postal delays, damage or loss.

[November 2015]

Fee table

Notification or recall

no charge

1st reminder

CHF 10.- per item

2nd reminder

additional CHF 10.- per item

3rd reminder

additional CHF 15.- per item 

Compensation for damage

repair costs as incurred

Compensation for loss

cost of replacement plus CHF 50.- administration fee

Debt recovery and enforcement fees

as necessary


CHF 12.- per item

Photocopies (if available)

PDF per email (Switzerland): up to 20 pages: CHF 7.-; CHF 0.20 per extra page
Paper copies (Switzerland): up to 20 pages: CHF 10.-; CHF 0.20 per extra page

Private individuals:
PDF per email (Switzerland): up to 20 pages: CHF 12.-; CHF 0.50 per extra page
Paper copies (Switzerland): up to 20 pages: CHF 15.-; CHF 0.50 per extra page

[November 2015]