HAFL Library

The HAFL Library is part of the BFH library and a member of the Swiss Library Service Platform SLSP/swisscovery. It is open to the public.

Opening hours

Served opening hours



for HAFL members with BFHcard around the clock


  • on all national holidays incl. bridge days
  • We, 31.7. to Fr, 2.8.2024


More than 400 new ebooks on the topics of environmental, agricultural and natural sciences are available to HAFL Library users. Environmental technologies, geoinformatics and sustainability are just a few key topics offered in the new collection. 

The ebooks, in English, come from the international science publisher IGI Global. All ebooks can be searched via swisscovery

swisscovery is the national search platform of academic libraries in Switzerland.

In our short course you will learn ...

  • ... how to use swisscovery efficiently
  • ... how to borrow books and how to download e-books.

Dates 2024

  • Thursday, 18 January, 12 noon (German)
  • Monday, 19 February, 5 pm (German)
  • Tuesday 20 February, 12 noon (French)
  • Wednesday, 20 March, 12 noon (German)
  • Tuesday, 23 April, 5 pm (German)
  • Friday, 17 May, 12 noon (German)
  • Tuesday, 21 May, 12 noon (French) 
  • Wednesday, 19 June, 12 noon (German)

Info on the short courses

  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Registration: not necessary
  • The short training sessions will take place via MS Teams

Information about swisscovery can be found at bfh.ch/slsp
If you have any questions, please contact bibliothek@bfh.ch

Contact us if you would like to have a short course on a different date or in English.

Note on data protection

You can participate in the training, which takes place virtually via MS Teams, using the link above. Only your dial-in and registration data will be transmitted via MS Teams. Sound and image data will only be processed if you allow this in your settings (microphone, camera). The Bern University of Applied Sciences does not store any personal data that can be seen from the event; in particular, no recording is made. In addition, the BFH has chosen MS Teams, a program for which compliance with the standards required by data protection law is assured. The responsibility for the operation of the software lies with the provider. Details on the processing of personal data can be found in the provider's data protection information. By participating, you consent to the processing of your personal data.

As a learning and information center, we offer assistance in searching for, acquiring and processing specialized information. We regularly offer courses for members of BFH.
We also teach scientific methods, information literacy, literature search and reference management on bachelor and on master level.

You can also contact us if you have any questions regarding the reference and information management tool Citavi at BFH: citavi.hafl@bfh.ch.

Do you need a scientific journal article, but the BFH library doesn't have a subscription to the journal? Write to bibliothek@bfh.ch and we'll get the article for you! 

The BFH library endeavours to license exactly the journals you need for your teaching and research at BFH. However, it is impossible for us to cover all the scientific literature available on your topic. However, we can now obtain journal articles for you if we do not have a licence for the entire journal. 

Send us as many details as possible about the article, preferably a DOI or a URL. We will deliver the article to you free of charge and as quickly as possible. 

This service is only available to BFH employees. 

In swisscovery, the new acquisitions of the HAFL library can be displayed by month.

For October 2022 enter in the search field: NELE71202210
2022 stands for the year, 10 for the month

Borrowing + access to online resources

With us you will find literature on

  • Agricultural sciences
  • Food sciences
  • Forest sciences

The physical media are generally freely accessible and can be borrowed (prerequisite: swisscovery account). They can be searched via swisscovery.bfh.ch.

Media can be returned via the return box in the lobby of the library.

The electronic media or online resources are accessible to students and employees of the BFH in the BFH network, i.e. in the WLAN «bfh», or via VPN. For other visitors, they are available at the research stations in the library.

Documents that cannot be ordered via swisscovery (SLSP Courier) can, for example, be ordered via the interlibrary loan service of the ETH-Bibliothek Zurich (service subject to a charge).

Photography and video equipment can be borrowed from the HAFL library. The HAFL video team has put together a broad selection of materials.

Only HAFL staff and students can borrow the equipment. Equipment must be reserved in advance via ausleihe.hkb.bfh.ch.
Items can be picked up from (and returned to) the library during opening hours.

All items can be borrowed for up to 7 days without restriction. A longer loan period can be requested at the library or Daniel Dünner.

Daniel Dünner is responsible for technical questions or questions about the equipment.

  • 30 quiet workspaces
  • 5 PC workspaces for literature search
  • TV set with VHS/DVD recorder
  • Beamer

The collections of the BFH Library (books and ebooks, periodicals and ejournals, DVDs, etc.; except for the library of the Abegg Foundation) can be searched using swisscovery.bfh.ch.

The library team is happy to receive subject-relevant acquisition suggestions from staff and students: biblio.hafl@bfh.ch


The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) is the recognised regional standards body in Europe for telecommunications, broadcasting and other electronic communications networks and services. It develops worldwide standards in these areas and supports European regulations and legislation by creating harmonised European standards.
The standards are available free of charge and can be downloaded as PDFs.

IEEE Xplore

IEEE standards are international technical standards for electrical engineering, electronics, information and communication technology and computer science.


Successor solution to the e-Norm database. In addition to references, it contains the full texts of all ISO standards as well as current Swiss standards:

  • Electrosuisse
  • INB Interdisciplinary standards section (SNV)
  • SIA

The full texts can be saved and printed as PDF. They may not be passed on to third parties. Log in with your SWITCH edu-ID.

SNV-Connect also offers the Standards compendium 2022 (read only).


Standards of the Swiss association of road and transportation experts.

Students can register free of charge (Mitgliedschaft für Einzelpersonen > Beitrittsgesuch). This gives them access to the complete digital body of VSS standards and publications.


Archive access to over 100 Swiss newspapers. Not (completely) included are Der Bund, Die Berner Zeitung, Neue Zürcher Zeitung and Tagesanzeiger.


Newspapers and magazines worldwide, including several Swiss publications, as well as company information and press photographs. Alerts are not possible.


Orbis contains comprehensive information on companies worldwide. Use it to research individual companies, search for companies by profile and analyse companies. Also contains market research reports from Marketline.

Regional Business News

Contient des publications commerciales régionales des États-Unis.


Swissdox is managed by SMD Schweizer Mediendatenbank. It is a media archive as well as a press database. Swissdox contains Swiss daily and weekly newspapers, magazines and journals, press agencies, online media as well as newspapers that are no longer published from 1780 until today.

Literature search support

The browser extension Lean Library leads you directly to electronic full-text content offered by your BFH library.

Download Lean Library

  1. Open leanlibrary.com/download 
  2. Install browser extension
  3. In the settings select the library: Berner Fachhochschule
  4. Begin your search for academic literature. The Lean Library pop-ups lead directly to the full-text.

For best results, always activate the VPN.

Lean Library is available for 

  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Safari
  • Opera
  • Microsoft Edge

Use on mobile devices:
iOS operating system from Apple: Academic Browser
Android from Google: under development 

Try Lean Library after download 

  • If the article you are looking for can be found on different platforms, Lean Library will take you to where you have direct access. >> test link
  • If the e-book you are looking for is offered by the BFH libraries, Lean Library will take you directly to the free download. >> test link
  • If you need a password to access a source, Lean Library will inform you accordingly. >> test link
  • If you wish to search the swisscovery library system using a specific search term, click on the desired search term with the right mouse button on any website and select "search@BFH".

Search directly in swisscovery with Lean Library

Lean Library enables you to initiate a search on the swisscovery search platform from any website:

  • highlight one or more terms 
  • right-click with your mouse
  • choose “Search@BFH” in the drop-down menu
  • proceed to search in swisscovery

If you have any questions, contact us: bibliothek@bfh.ch

The Moodle course BFH Literature Search gives BFH students an introduction to researching scientific literature.

  • Why Google is not enough
  • From the research question to the search terms
  • Scientific literature and its differences
  • Tips for the search
  • etc. 

You can decide based on various criteria whether or not you should use a resource when preparing your research paper. The following checklist provides a basis for decision making:

Depending on the type of publication, you can choose the appropriate search tool:

  • You will find books and e-books using swisscovery. For e-books the section “Consult online” directs you to the full-text. The design of the button or link for downloading can vary greatly: “Full-text”, “PDF”, “Read”, etc.
  • You can find periodical articles using specialized subject databases.
    The periodicals themselves can be accessed via swisscovery if the database does not include the full-text (see the paragraph “Finding periodical articles”)
  • The library also provides search tools for norms, images, statistics, newspapers, etc.

Always look for the “search@BFH” button. It often leads directly to the text you are searching for.

Install LeanLibrary, a browser extension, to support your research.

Activate your BFH VPN, even when using Google or Google scholar, for ex., as this can in some cases lead directly to the full-text.

Searching in Subject Databases

Journal articles can be found primarily in bibliographic subject databases. You will often find direct access to full-text PDFs here as well. Depending on the database, the design of the download buttons or links can vary greatly: «Full Text», «PDF», «Read», etc.

Sometimes the DOI or «digital object identifier» directs to the full-text.

Also pay attention to the «search@bfh.ch» button, as this can also direct to full-text.

Finding journal article full-text

In some bibliographic databases you will find neither full-text access nor PDFs, only citations for the articles you need. In this case, go to the swisscovery search platform.

Search in swisscovery using the title of the journal instead of the title of the article. Then use «Tweak your results», go to the heading «Resource Type» and choose «Journals».

If the electronic version of the journal is available, you will be directed to the journal full-text by clicking on the “Available Online” link and you can then find and download the article PDF. In some cases, you may need to enter a password again (“Passwords”).

If the journal is only available in print, you can copy or scan the article at the library where it is located.

If the BFH Library does not have the journal you need in its collections, broaden your search to include all of swisscovery, i.e. all member libraries (drop-down menu next to the search box). You can often order the journal issue for loan. 

Some swisscovery member libraries allow you to order copies or scans for a fee. Alternatively, use the service Orders for Copies of the University Library of Bern.

Offer for BFH employees

You need a journal article, but the BFH library doesn't have a licence? Send us as many details as possible about the article and we will deliver it to you: bibliothek@bfh.ch

Using reference management software you can 

  • enter your literature references,
  • organize them,
  • import references from swisscovery and specialised catalogues,
  • export references into text documents.

In the Moodle course Literature Management, BFH students and employees receive instructions and training dates for the reference management software Zotero. 

Writing is not a question of talent. Writing is a question of practice. Especially when it comes to writing scientific texts.

In the Moodle course "Schreiben – écrire – writing" BFH students can find instruction in the art of academic writing and helpful suggestions for getting started with the writing process. The course is intended to introduce you to the topic and can later be used for reference purposes, as needed.


The HAFL Library is part of the BFH library.