Swiss Library Service Platform

The BFH libraries will switch to the new, nationwide library system swisscovery on 7 December 2020.

Transition to the new swisscovery library system

As a library user, from 7 December 2020, you will have access to virtually all of the academic media holdings in Switzerland via a single search platform known as swisscovery. swisscovery is set to replace current library networks and search portals, including NEBIS and IDS/swissbib Basel Bern.

Restricted services during migration

To ease the transition to swisscovery, temporary restrictions are to be introduced in all libraries:

Sunday 15 November 2020, evening: 

Reservations suspended: it will no longer be possible to reserve items that are out on loan.

  • All reservations in IDS Basel Bern will be deleted on 1 December 2020. We recommend that you make a note of any titles you have reserved, as this information will no longer be accessible once deleted.

  • NEBIS loan network orders suspended. You will not be able to order any further items on interlibrary loan.

  • You will still be able to order and collect items locally.

  • You will still be able to order items for postal delivery.

  • You will still be able to return items (including those borrowed on interlibrary loan via the NEBIS loan network).


Wednesday 2 December 2020, from 12 noon until Sunday 6 December 2020:

Borrowing suspended

  • You will no longer be able to borrow, order, copy or return items.

  • Your loan history, your favourites (bookmarked titles and saved searches) and the reserved items listed in your user account will not be transferred to the new system. They will remain visible in NEBIS user accounts until the end of March 2021.


Monday 7 December 2020, 10am:

swisscovery launch

  • You will be able to borrow, order and return items once more.
  • In order to be able to continue to use your library, you must register again.


New registration

To continue to use your library, you will have to re-register

Log in using your SWITCH edu-ID and indicate that you consent to your personal details being shared with the new library system. 

  • Have your current library card ready so that you can enter the number. You will find the number you need below the bar code on the back of the BFH card. 
  • If you do not yet have a SWITCH edu-ID, you can create one during the registration process. Members of BFH can register ‘without AAI’.
  • Find help with registration on the SLSP website.
  • Businesses and institutions should contact directly. 

Returning borrowed items

Please return any items you borrowed prior to 2 December 2020 under the old system by their due date. If there are any items you still need, you can borrow them again using the new system.

Further information

What will happen to my data?

When you register, SLSP will 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.

swisscovery lists more than 30 million books, series, journals and non-book materials as well as more than 3 billion electronic articles.

swisscovery is operated by the Swiss Library Service Platform (SLSP), which was founded by 15 university libraries. To date, 475 libraries across Switzerland have joined.

When the system goes live on 7 December 2020, around 150 libraries, including the libraries at BFH, will begin to use the national SLSP Courier service. HKB’s music library and EHSM’s Magglingen sports media library are pleased to announce that they will also offer this service from December 2020.

FAQ swisscovery

library system swisscovery

What is swisscovery?

swisscovery is a new library system that links academic media collections throughout Switzerland. The portal lists more than 30 million books, series, journals and non-book materials as well as more than 3 billion electronic articles. As of December 7, 2020, it will be easier for you to search, borrow and return items from all collections. Services and fees will be standardised.

swisscovery is operated by the Swiss Library Service Platform (SLSP). The SLSP was founded by 15 universities. To date, 475 further libraries across Switzerland have joined.

What is BFH swisscovery?

BFH swisscovery is a search platform that covers the libraries of the Bern University of Applied Sciences and the Magglingen sports media library at EHSM. Searches can be extended to the holdings of all 475 participating libraries.

User account

How do I register for BFH swisscovery?

You can register here:

Please note:

  • If you do not yet have a SWITCH edu-ID account, you can create one during registration.
  • Have your current library card ready so that you can enter the number. You will find the number you need below the bar code on the back of the BFH card.

Once you have registered for swisscovery, you can use your SWITCH edu-ID login for all SLSP libraries (you no longer need a separate account for each library or network).

Why doesn’t my old library account work any more?

The old library accounts are not valid in swisscovery. To continue to use the library services, you must re-register. You will need a SWITCH edu-ID account.

Can I keep my current library card?

Yes. You can enter your library card number when you register. If you use the BFH card as a library card, you will find the number you need below the bar code on the back.

Can businesses register too?

Businesses, institutions and libraries are not able to create a SWITCH edu-ID account. Contact SLSP directly via

I do not live in Switzerland. Can I still register?

Users without a Swiss postal address can still create a SWITCH edu-ID account. Please note that, depending on your place of residence, the SLSP libraries may only be able to provide limited services

Where can I see my loans in swisscovery?

As of December 7, 2020, you will be able to see your loans in your account in your library’s swisscovery portal.

Can I still see my loans from the NEBIS network or from IDS Basel Bern/swissbib Basel Bern and, if so, where?


You will be able to see your loans at until March 2021. Make sure to use your nebis login information.

IDS Basel Bern/swissbib

You will be able to see your loans at until March 2021. Make sure to use your your IDS login information.

Why can I no longer renew the loans in my current library account?

For technical reasons, it is no longer possible to renew these loans. Please return your active loans by December 2, 2020. You can then borrow the items again in swisscovery if required.

Do I have to present ID at my library counter once I have registered?

You do not have to present ID. When you register, your identity will be verified using your mobile number.

Why can’t you just transfer my orders and my loan history to swisscovery?

Unfortunately, for technical and data protection reasons, we are not able to migrate details of items on reserve or loan histories to the new system. You will be able to re-reserve items in swisscovery starting December 7, 2020.

I have moved. Who do I notify about the change of address?

No one. It is your responsibility to update your personal details in your SWITCH edu-ID account. The library staff cannot do this for you.

Borrowing + Courier

How do I borrow books?

Starting on December 7, 2020, you will be able to discover all of the media held by the libraries participating in SLSP via your library’s swisscovery portal.

What are the borrowing regulations? (standard)

The following standard regulations apply to the borrowing of books:

  • 100 loans
  • 28-day loan period
  • 5 automatic renewals (provided the item has not been reserved by another user)

Different rules may apply to other types of media.


What is the SLSP Courier?

The SLSP Courier connects academic libraries throughout Switzerland and replaces previous courier services such as the IDS Courier and the NEBIS loan network. The SLSP Courier enables you to have books transferred from one library to another within 48 hours for a fee of CHF 6 per item ordered. Certain institutions waive this fee for their members. The libraries at BFH, including EHSM, cover these costs on behalf of their students and staff.

Which libraries use the SLSP Courier?

When you order an item, you will see whether a library uses the SLSP Courier service.


Reminders + fees

Reminders + fees


New, standardised fees will be introduced with the transition to the new swisscovery system. They will be similar in scale to the current fees, although reminder fees will be virtually halved.

Reminder fees

Every reminder sent is subject to a charge. The fees are cumulative.

  • Recall: 1 day overdue (free of charge)
  • First reminder: 7 days overdue (CHF 5 per item)
  • Second reminder: 14 days overdue (CHF 5 per item (running total CHF 10))
  • Third reminder: 21 days overdue (CHF 10 per item (running total CHF 20))

The swisscovery fees and those of the individual libraries are posted on the library websites.

Changes to terms of use

The launch of the new swisscovery search platform will prompt certain changes in the libraries’ terms of use. Please see the individual libraries’ websites for details.

You can find a list of all BFH libraries here: