The strength of the libraries at Bern University of Applied Sciences lies in their specialisation. Together they offer a wide range of physical media and online resources such as electronic books and journals as well as databases.

COVID certificate requirement

From Monday, 20 September 2021, the COVID certificate requirement applies in the BFH libraries. For more information, see:

All libraries of the Bern University of Applied Sciences, with the exception of the library of the Abegg Foundation, participate in the Swiss Library Service Platform SLSP. Its research platform swisscovery provides access to almost the entire academic media holdings in Switzerland.

Research Platform

swisscovery search portal

This ist the link to the search portal:

swisscovery is operated by the Swiss Library Service Platform (SLSP). All BFH libraries (except the library of the Abegg Foundation) are members.

To continue using your library, you must register again. You can find all information on

For access to multidisciplinary or subject-specific databases, please consult the website of the relevant specialist library or contact them directly.

Any questions? Check the FAQ on online resources.

The online journals available at the BFH are currently being entered into swisscovery. Until they are fully listed there, please continue to consult the Electronic Journals Library.

Questions? Have a look at the FAQ on online resources.

12 Libraries

Terms of use

The following libraries have their own terms of use:

General terms

1. Scope

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

  • Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering, Biel/Bienne (BFH-AHB/TI-BI)
  • Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering / Engineering and Information Technology (BFH-AHB/TI BU)
  • Business (BFH-W)
  • HAFL Library (BFH-HAFL)
  • Health (BFH-G)
  • HKB Music Library

  • Engineering and Information Technology, Biel/Bienne (BFH-TI-BI)
  • Social Work (BFH-S)
  • University of the Arts Multi-Media, Berne (BFH-HKB-ME)

These libraries are part of the Swiss Library Service Platform (SLSP) and of the search platform swisscovery, which is operated by the SLSP.

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 fee table).

3. Registration

Registration is required to borrow media and use other services. Private users register with their SWITCH edu-ID account. If you do not yet have a SWITCH edu-ID account, you can create one during registration. You can find help with registration at: Businesses and institutions should contact directly.

By registering, you authorise the SLSP to import your personal details (name, address, telephone number, email address) from your SWITCH edu-ID account into the new swisscovery search portal. You can change your personal details at any time in your SWITCH edu-ID account or your institution/university profile. The changes will be transferred automatically to swisscovery. Library-specific details such as loans, orders and fees are recorded directly in swisscovery.

You can delete your user account at any time, provided there are no outstanding transactions showing (loans or fees). Simply delete your SWITCH edu-ID account or contact SLSP.

Transaction data is regularly anonymised and swisscovery deletes accounts that have been inactive for 10 years.

You will find more information about data protection on the SLSP website.

By registering, the user accepts the terms of use.

4. Library card and user account

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

If you lose your library card, you must announce it immediately to your BFH library. Users must update their personal details (such as address details) themselves in their SWITCH edu-ID account.

If you have forgotten your password you can request a new one at

5. Copyright issues and further use of media

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

Users are responsible for being informed about 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. Any cost of repairs or replacement shall be assumed by the responsible party (see fee table).

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

[April 2021]


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 swisscovery and collected with your library card.

Items that are already borrowed can be reserved online.

Ordered or reserved items can be collected from the lending desk within seven library opening days of the date from which it was made available.

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

Through SLSP Courier, items can be ordered with costs from other participating libraries for collection in a BFH library. The terms of use of the supplying library apply. For students and staff of the BFH, the BFH libraries will pay the fees for teh SLSP Courier, provided thatthe ickup loacation is a BFH library.

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

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 for journals. The loan period is shown in the swisscovery 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 five extensions.

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 upon 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 are not accepted as grounds for late returns. No correspondence will be entered into in this regard.

As soon as the loan period or return deadline has been exceeded, fees are charged (see fee table).

The third reminder also results in the blocking of the user account. If the item is not returned it is entered as lost. The replacement costs and administrative fee are charged to the responsible party (see fee table).

Reminder fees can be paid by invoice. 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 kept for longer than three months.

13. Returning items

Borrowed media must be returned to the supplying library or to the library where the item was collected.

Outside the respective library opening times, items can be deposited in the return box if such a system is available. 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 to be booked back in the system.

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

[April 2021]

Fee table

Notification or recall

no charge, after 1 day

1st reminder

CHF 5.- per item after 7 days

2nd reminder

additional CHF 5.- per item after 14 days

3rd reminder

additional CHF 10.- per item after 21 days

Compensation for damage

repair costs as incurred

Compensation for loss

cost of replacement plus CHF 30.- administration fee

Debt recovery and enforcement fees

as necessary


CHF 12.- per item

SLSP Courier

CHF 6.- per item
(no charge for BFH members if pickup location is a BFH library)

Copies (if available)

PDF per email (Switzerland):  CHF 5.- per 20 pages
Paper copies (Switzerland): CHF 7.- per 20 pages

[April 2021]