Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

We have the answers!

Where do I find books?

The holdings of the Duisburg-Essen University Library are distributed among six branch libraries according to subject content and are freely accessible there.

The system of classification is an enumerative system. The notation frame ranges from AAA to ZZZ (three-letter code), plus a fourth letter for further subject specification if necessary.

You can search for specific topics and media via our Primo catalogue.

Primo help, tips & tricks

Where do I find journals?

Printed journals can be found in all subject libraries, arranged in subject groups. With a few exceptions, journals cannot be borrowed.

In addition, there is access to approx. 40.000 electronically licensed and approx. 66.000 electronically freely available journals.

More about journals

Where can I work in the library?

Individual study places are available in all branch libraries. The study places are accessible during the entire opening hours of the branch libraries.

Group study rooms and areas can also be found in all branch libraries. The rooms vary in size and are suitable for small group work.

More learning spaces at the UDE

Can I copy, print or scan in the library?

Copiers and scanners are available in all branch libraries.

Microfrom scanners are available for reading microfilms and microfiche and to make copies.

More about printing, copying, scanning

Are there any PCs available in the library?

Numerous PC workstations are available in all branch libraries.

You can use the PC workstations to access the electronic services licensed by the library.

Authentication is required to access external, non-library sources. Please authenticate yourself by entering your university ID (= Unikennung) or your user number and the respective password.

More about PC workstations

Can I use my own laptop to enter the net?

Large areas on both campuses are equipped with a wireless network (WLAN). This means that you can access the internet in all branch libraries with your own laptop via a wireless connection.

If you have problems with the WLAN, you can contact the e-Points in the Humanities and Social Sciences Library and the LK Library.

More about WLAN

Where do I find more computer rooms at the UDE?

The Centre for Media and Information Services (ZIM) offers PC workstations for UDE members at both campuses. Use is possible after authentication with the university ID (= Unikennung).

Further information can be found on the ZIM website:

How do I contact the library?

You can reach us by phone, in the videochat, by email, via our social media channels or even on-site in the branch libraries:

by email:

by phone:
+49 203 379 2010  (Duisburg)
+49 201 183 3727  (Essen)

in person:
during the opening hours of the branch libraries

How to reach us

How do I get help with literature search?

The staff at the information desk will be happy to help you with any questions you may have. You will find the information desk centrally in the entrance area of all branch libraries.

The staff at the information desk will be happy to help you with any questions you may have from Monday to Friday between 8:00am and 7:00pm. You will find the information desk in all branch libraries located centrally in the entrance area.

We also offer courses, online seminars & virtual tours as well as various tutorials.

For more comprehensive enquiries, please use our offer of individual advice or make an appointment with the responsible subject specialists for specific questions on your subject area.

Are there courses and guided tours?

We offer courses and guided tours both on fixed dates and by individual appointment.

If you are not sure which training course is right for you, ask the information staff for advice.

Courses, online seminars & virtual tours

Who can use the library?

All members of the UDE are admitted, but external users can also register.

How do I get a library card?

Students and UDE staff members use their student or service ID card as a library card for borrowing media.

External students and UDE staff members without a service card can obtain a library card during our service hours by presenting a valid identity card or passport together with a certificate of registration (not older than 6 months).

Please also note the following information:

I have moved. How do I change my address?

You cannot change your address in your library account yourself.

UDE students and staff members
can enter their changed address in the HIS online portal of the UDE. The library obtains its address data from this portal.

Other library users
are kindly asked to go to the lending desk in one of our branch libraries and present their identity card and/or a certificate of registration (not older than 6 months) to verify their address.

Opening and service hours

My library card is blocked. What could be the cause?

Various reasons can lead to a blocking of your library card. For example, it is possible that your account is still debited with outstanding fees of more than 50.00 €.

If your student or service card is also your library card, please check whether you have reported your card as "lost" in case of loss. To cancel a block, please contact the circulation desk in the subject libraries during service hours.

What is my user number?

Students and UDE staff members
can only use their university ID with the corresponding password to log in to Primo.

To borrow books at the self checkout, please scan your student or staff ID card or enter your university ID manually.

External users
will find their user number on their library card.

More about login and library account

What is my passwort?

Students and UDE staff members:
You will receive the password for your university ID together with the ID from ZIM.

External users:
When you register for the first time, you set your own password.

More about PIN & password

I have forgotten my password. What can I do?

Students of the UDE,
UDE staff members (with university ID in the library account):

You use your university ID to log in to Primo. If you have forgotten the password for your university ID, please contact the ZIM hotline or the e-Point.

UDE staff members (without university ID in the library account),
external users:

You use the number of your library card to log in to Primo.
If you have forgotten your password, you can reset it yourself.

Call up Primo and click on "Login". Select "Login as: Other:r Library User:in" and click there on "Do you need help or have you forgotten your password?". Here you will find the link "Forgot your password".

In the following dialogue, enter the number of your library card or the email address you entered during registration. Click on the "Send" button and look in your email account for the email with the subject "Reset password". Follow the further instructions.

Why do I need a PIN and how do I get it?

You need the PIN for borrowing media at the self-check-out stations and for cashless payments of fees at the pay stations.

To borrow items, first scan your student, service or library ID card. Alternatively, UDE members can enter their university ID manually. You will then need your PIN for authentication.

The preset PIN corresponds to your date of birth in eight-digit form (DDMMYYYY). You can change the PIN in your library account in Primo.

More about PIN & password

What media can I borrow?

All media (books, CD-ROMs, DVDs etc.) with an odd location number (e.g. 01, 05, 07, 11, 21, 31, 41 etc.) can be borrowed. Important reference works, as well as journal issues and volumes, are excluded from the loan.

How many media can I borrow at the same time?

There is no limit to the number of media that may be borrowed at the same time.

How do I borrow media?

In these branch libraries, you borrow your media yourself at our terminals for self checkout:

  • LK Library (Duisburg campus)
  • Humanities and Social Sciences Library (Essen campus)
  • MNT Library (Essen campus)
  • Medical Library (Essen University Hospital).

You will need your user number (i.e. the number of your library card) or your university ID and your PIN.

In the branch libraries BA and MC, you can borrow your media at the lending desks.

Where and when can I return media?

Borrowed media can be returned to all branch libraries without presenting the library card. It is irrelevant who borrowed the media and from which campus they originate.

More about returning media

How long is the loan period? How do I find out when the loan period ends?

The loan period is initially 28 days. You can borrow the media for up to one year in total, but you must regularly extend the loan period.

You can find out about borrowed titles and loan period dates at any time via your library account.

We will send you an email 10 days before the loan period expires to remind you of the return date and to renew your loan in good time. Once a month, you will receive a complete account overview by email.

The pre-reminders and the account overview are free additional services and do not release you from the obligation to check the loan periods of the borrowed books in order to avoid exceeding the loan period.

Via your library account in Primo, you can also subscribe to the dates of the end of the loan periods as a calendar in iCal format.

Can I extend the loan period?

Yes, you can extend the loan period of an item for up to one year.

The only condition is that the item has not been reserved by another user. The loan period can also be extended if it has already been exceeded.

You can extend the loan period yourself via your library account in Primo.

Loan renewals cannot be requested by telephone.
Alternatively, you can request the extension

Duisburg campus: Essen campus
Universitätsbibliothek Duisburg-Essen,
Campus Duisburg
Lotharstr. 65
47057 Duisburg

Fax: 0203 / 379-2066  

Universitätsbibliothek Duisburg-Essen,
Campus Essen
Universitätstr. 9 - 11
45141 Essen

Fax: 0201 / 183-3231

Please be sure to include your full name and user number/university ID.

More about loan renewals

What are the fees for exceeding the loan period?

According to the Schedule of Fees and Charges in the University Library of the Duisburg-Essen University from April 9th 2010, overdue fees are charged if a loan period is exceeded.

If borrowed items are not returned in time, the following rates are due for each item:

  • 1st reminder notice (from the 1st day after the due date): 2.00 €
  • 2nd reminder notice (from the 11th day after the due date): additional 3.00 €
  • 3rd reminder notice (from the 21st day after the due date): additional 5.00 €
  • 4th reminder notice (from the 31st day after the due date): additional 10.00 €

How can I reserve media?

You can reserve borrowed media for yourself online via our Primo catalogue.

As soon as the media are made available to you, you will receive notification by email, provided you have given us your email address.

The media are available for you to pick up for seven days.

More about reservations & orders

How come sometimes I can't reserve media?

You can only reserve copies that have actually been borrowed. Therefore, first check whether there are other copies that are not borrowed.

Some holdings, such as reference holdings, cannot be reserved.

How do I get a book or journal from the stockroom?

Dissertations, over-formats, rarely used books or journals worthy of protection are in the closed stacks and are not directly accessible.

Books on loan and reference copies can be ordered via the Primo catalogue.

Periodical volumes and special volumes, so-called periodical piece titles, can be ordered directly if required:

Order form: order journal volumes from the stockroom

Info on the special location stockroom

How can I cancel a reservation or order?

You can delete reservations and orders via your library account in Primo:

  • Call up Primo and log into your library account.
  • In the section "Orders + Reservations" you will find a list of your orders.
  • Select the link "CANCEL" next to the respective title.

What if a book is not on the shelf?

Books that are not in their place on the shelf may, for example, be in use at one of the study places, in the reading area, at the photocopiers, etc., as they can be taken from the shelf by anyone interested.

If a copy cannot be found after repeated searches, you can report it missing at the information desk or the circulation desk of the subject library concerned. As soon as the title is marked as "missing" in the catalogue, you can order it from another library via interlibrary loan.

Can I suggest media for purchase?

Titles that are not in the holdings of Duisburg-Essen UB can be suggested for purchase.

To the purchase suggestion form

What are semester collections?

Semester collections are set up at the request of UDE lecturers to support courses and contain books from our holdings from both campuses. They exist for at least one semester and are set up as reference stock in the respective branch library.

In the Primo catalogue, you can tell whether a book is in a semester collection by the "Status" column and the note "Sem.App" as well as by the branch library and the number of the semester collection.

Copies and scans can be made on site, but lending is not possible.

As an alternative or supplement to the conventional semester collection, UDE lecturers have the option of setting up an electronic semester collection. Here, for example, digitised journal articles or book excerpts can be made available to the participants of the course. Usually, there is also a list of recommended literature, relevant links to the topic and materials from the seminar.

List of currently active semester collections

Where do I find semester collections?

Duisburg campus:

  • LK Library: 1st floor, near the information desk, see floor plan
  • MC Library: near the information and lending desk, see floor plan

Essen campus:

  • GW/GSW Library: 1st floor, room A, see floor plan

What are reference collections ('Handapparate')?

For the special needs of research and teaching and the official requirements, UDE teachers and lecturers are offered special borrowing options.

Media can be loaned to UDE lecturers indefinitely for the duration of the employment contract and are not available to users. Media borrowed for reference are marked accordingly in the Primo catalogue and given a fictitious deadline date.

What do I need to use the Primo catalogue?

Primo can be used for literature research free of charge and without personal registration.

Login is required to view your library account, renewals, reservations, etc.

Students and UDE staff members whose university ID is already linked to the library account log in via Shibboleth with their university ID and the corresponding password.

Other library users and UDE staff members whose university ID is not yet linked to the library account log in with their user number and password.

Go directly to Primo

Why can't I access my library account?

Please check that you have entered your user number/unique identifier and your password completely and correctly. It is essential to enter the letters (EE, DE, EA etc.) before the numbers.

Forgot your password - what now?

How do I know on which campus the media is available?

The location of the book or journal is preceded by a "D" for a branch library at the Duisburg campus and an "E" for a branch library at the Essen campus.

How do I find literature on specific subject areas or topics?

The holdings of the UL are arranged in the branch libraries according to a system of arrangement based on content and subject-related aspects and are freely accessible there.

In the Primo catalogue, you will find a link to the classification system in the upper navigation. Select the desired subject area there (e.g. psychology) and via the main groups of the subject (e.g. social psychology) you will get to the individual system point (e.g. HUP, role behaviour). Selecting the notation (system point) "HUP" leads directly to a hit list in the catalogue.

Alternatively, you can also search for any keyword in Primo and note the system location in the case of matching hits (in the above example, HUP). If you now select the search field "Notation" from the pull-down menu in the advanced search and search for the system location HUP, you will also receive a complete overview of the titles available there.

The thematic search via Primo or the classification system has the advantage over browsing the shelves that you will find all the titles for a system location, i.e. also the titles that are currently on loan and that you can reserve.

Contact persons & information on your subject

Why can't I find a shelfmark for some titles?

For some publications, the shelfmark is not always displayed in the usual place in the location information.

For multi-volume works, please switch to the full display first (by clicking on the title). Click on the link "Show related volumes", which is located at the bottom under the heading "Links".

In case of journals, you can find the shelfmark in the full display in the "Holdings" line. Alternatively, you can select the coloured symbols below the title to get an overview of the printed or electronic availability.

Newly ordered titles are also displayed in the catalogue without shelfmarks. You may receive further information, e.g. ordered, cancelled, out of stock or similar.

What does the status reveal about the media?

In the stock display, you will find the columns Status and Borrowed until to the right of the shelfmark. If you are logged in to Primo, you can find more detailed information here.

The status shows whether and for how long you can borrow a medium.

Borrowed until:
If the title is currently on loan, you will see the end date of the loan period here.

Can I order media for collection at the other campus?

Users of the Duisburg-Essen University Library have the option of ordering borrowable and available media from the branch libraries of the other campus free of charge:

Can I return borrowed media at the other campus?

Borrowed media can be returned to all branch libraries, regardless of whether they were ordered via the campus delivery service or borrowed personally. You do not need to present a library card when returning items and it does not matter who borrowed them.

You can re-borrow media at the other campus during opening hours.

How does the internal article delivery service work?

UDE students and staff members can order articles from journal volumes that are only available at the other campus or are in the closed stockrooms via the internal article delivery service. External users are excluded from this delivery service.

Articles from journals marked with an order reference in the Primo catalogue can be ordered.

More about the internal article delivery service

How to order an article

How does interlibrary loan work?

For the purpose of research and teaching, education, further education and professional work, you have the possibility to order books and articles from books and journals that are not in the holdings of the UL via interlibrary loan.

To place an interlibrary loan order, you need your university ID or your user number and the corresponding password. You place the order online yourself.

We will notify you via email as soon as the ordered item arrives.

The loan period is determined by the supplying library, is usually 28 days and begins on the first day of provision.

FAQs zur Fernleihe

What does interlibrary loan cost? How do I pay?

For each book or article order, a flat-rate charge of 1.50 € is levied (exceptions).

The flat-rate charge for ordering a book, a book article or periodical article are debited to your user account automatically.

In addition, there may be extra charges if an article of more than 20 pages is delivered from a library outside NRW. The default setting adds up to 8.00 €. You can decline completely or choose a higher limitation.

The information about extra charges can be found on page one or two of your order. If the charged amount is within your chosen setting, the additional charges will be added to your user account.

How do I order media via interlibrary loan?

Call up the interlibrary loan, enter your university ID or your user number and the corresponding password and click on "Login":

Please also note our information:

Can I cancel orders?

You cannot cancel orders that have already been placed.

If you have accidentally placed an order via interlibrary loan twice or no longer need the title, please contact the information desk by email (

The flat rate for expenses incurred must also be paid in the event of cancellation.

How can I access e-resources from home?

Licensed services and products (databases, electronic journals, e-books) can be used by university members without any restriction and independently of the provider from outside the campuses.

This can be realised by authentication via Shibboleth or VPN access.

Access from home or on the go

Why can't I use e-resources?

Please note that a large number of databases, journals and e-books are only available to UDE members for licensing reasons.

In our listings, offers requiring a licence are marked with a yellow dot. Freely available journals and databases can be recognised by a green dot.