Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

General information



Information and counselling


Campus delivery service


Interlibrary loan

Databases, electronic periodicals, e-books



Where do I find books and periodicals?

The Duisburg-Essen University Library holdings are distributed according to subjects among the libraries and are based on an open access shelving system.

Our shelf classification is an enumerative classification. The notation scale is ranging from AAA to ZZZ (three letter code), partly with a fourth letter for further specification.

The shelf classification on the net leads you directly to the hitlist in our catalogue.


Where can I work in the library?

In all branch libraries, various types of workplaces are available. They are accessible during the opening hours of our libraries.

You will find group study rooms and zones in all branch libraries, too. The rooms have various sizes and are suitable for smaller groups.


Can I copy, print or scan in the library?

Print stations, copiers and scanners are available in all branch libraries. Click here for detailed information.

Microfrom scanners are available to read microfilms and microfiche and to make copies.


Are there any PCs available in the library?

In all libraries, a large number of PCs is available.

You can use the electronic resources of the University Library (catalogues, databases, electronic journals, e-books), without limitation.

In order to call up external non-library related sources, you require an authentification. This is done by entering your library card number or, alternatively, your university identification (= Uni-Kennung) provided by the CIM and respectively the password.

Please note our detailed information about the PCs in the library.


Can I use my own laptop to enter the net?

Broad areas of the university on both campi are equipped with a wireless local area network (WLAN). In all our libraries you can use your own laptop from any user work place to access the Net by wireless LAN connection. Required for this purpose is a card of the usual standard.

Please note our detailed information about WLAN use.


Where do I find further computer rooms of the CIM at the university?

On both campuses, the CIM offers workstations for University members. Their use is possible after authentification with the university identification (= Unikennung) and passwort provided by the CIM.

You can find an overview of the locations of the workstations on the webpages of the CIM (services public workstations):


Who can use the library?

The library is open to all university academic staff and students, while membership for external users is also possible. Please note our detailed information on registration.


How do I obtain a library card?

Students and members of the Duisburg-Essen University use their student card or service certificate as a library card. Before you first use it in the library, the card must be activated. Please present your student card along with your identity card to get it activated.

External users or university members without a service certificate can receive a library card during the opening hours of the lending desk if they present a valid identity card or a passport together with a recent registration of residence (not older than 6 months).

Please note our detailed information 


I have moved to a new address. Where do I notify?

Please contact the lending desk in the LK Library (Duisburg campus) or the lending desk in the Humanities and Social Sciences Library or Medicine Library (Eseen campus) and present your passport/identity card and/or official registration. Your address will then be altered immediately.


My library card has been disabled. What can be the reason?

Various reasons can lead to the withdrawal of borrowing privileges. It is possible, for example, that your account has unpaid charges amounting to 25 euros.

If your student's card is simultaneously your library card, please verify whether it has been enabled or, in case of loss, whether your card has been reported as lost. To have a card re-enabled, please contact staff at the lending desk in the LK Library (Duisburg campus) or staff at the Humanities and Social Sciences Library or Medicine Library (Essen campus).


What is my user number?

Your user number or card number is printed on your library card.

For students of the Duisburg-Essen University, the student ID also serves as your library card. As your user number, please enter your matriculation number and additionally all other letters and numbers printed on the card. Please note that the letters "ES" or "DS" are followed by the number "0" and not by the capital letter "O".

Alternatively, UDE members can use their university identification (= Unikennung) to log in to Primo or to authenticate at the PC workstations.


What is my password?

When newly registering, you choose your password yourself.

For student members of the Duisburg-Essen University the date of birth automatically is the first password. It has to be entered in the following way: DDMMYYYY.

For security reasons, you should alter your password after you have registered successfully.

You will receive the password to your UDE identification (= Unikennung) directly from the CIM.


I have forgotten my password. What do I have to do?

For privacy reasons the library has no access to current passwords. If you have forgotten your password, please contact the lending or information desk in one of the branch libraries. You will need to show your library card in order to have your password reset to your date of birth. Afterwards you can alter your password yourself.

Please contact the CIM if you have forgotten the password to your your UDE identification (= Unikennung).


How do I contact the library?

Get in contact:

by e-mail:

by phone:
Duisburg: +49 (0) 203 379 2010
Essen: +49 (0) 201 183 3727

during the opening hours in our branch libraries

Please note our information about directions and ground plans.


How do I get help with literature research?

Our staff in information services will help you with all your questions during service hours Monday to Friday from 8am until 7pm. Information desks are located in the entrance areas of all branch libraries.

In addition, we offer training courses on-site as well as several online tutorials

If you have specific questions, please take the chance for individual counselling or make an appointment with one of our subject librarians


Does the library offer training courses and conducted tours?

We offer training courses and conducted tours at certain dates but you can also make individual appointments.

If you do not know which course will be right for you, please contact information services. Our staff will be happy to advise you.


What sort of media can I borrow?

Loanable are all media (books, CD-ROMs, DVDs, etc.) with an uneven number (e.g. 01, 03, 05, 07, 11, 21, 31, 33, 41 etc.) Periodicals, whatever the type, and important reference works are non-loanable.


How many media can I borrow at one time?

There is no limitation, you can borrow as many media as you want at one time.


How do I borrow media?

In the Humanities and Social Sciences Library, the MNT Library (Essen campus) and the LK Library (Duisburg campus) you borrow your media by using our self-issue machines.To do so, you will need your library card and your password.

In the other branch libraries, you can borrow your media at the lending desks.


Where and when can I return media?

Borrowed media can be returned in the particular branch library. It is not necessary to present a library card and not important who borrowed the media.

You have the following options to return borrowed media:


What are the loan periodes? How do I know when a book is due?

Generally, you can keep a book for 28 days.

At the lending desk you will receive a receipt with information about the loan period. You can obtain additional information about borrowed titles and time limits via your user account by entering your personal registration (user number and password) at any time.

If you have added an e-mail address, we will remind you of the date of return and renewals in good time by e-mail before the loan period expires.

Advance reminders are a gratuitous, additional library service and do not release the borrower from the obligation of checking the loan periods of the borrowed books in order to avoid loan periods from being exceeded.

You can also subscribe an iCal calender and manage your due dates in your own calender system (e.g. Outlook, Google, iPhone, iPad).


Can I renew the loan period? How do I renew and how often can I do it?

It is possible to renew a loan period up to five times, provided nobody else has already reserved the title(s). If a loan period has already expired, you can not renew online.

Please note our detailed instructions for renewals of loan periods.

Renewals can not be submitted by phone. Alternatively you can make a written application for renewal by e-mail, letter or fax:

Duisburg campus: Essen campus:
Duisburg-Essen University Library,
Duisburg campus 
Lotharstr. 65
47048 Duisburg

Fax: +49 (0) 203 379 2066

Duisburg-Essen University Library,
Essen campus
Universitätsstr. 9 - 11
45117 Essen

Fax: +49 (0) 201 183 3231

Please provide your complete name and your user number!

Please note:
Between 0:05am and approximately 1:00am your account is not available for renewals due to backup operations.


What are the charges if the loan period is exceeded?

According to the scale of charges and fees in the University Library of the Duisburg-Essen University from April 9th 2010, charge fees are levied if a loan period is exceeded.

The following rates are valid per item:

  • 1. - 10. calender day: 2.00 €
  • 11. - 20. calender day: 5.00 €
  • 21. - 30. calender day: 10.00 €
  • from 31st calender day: 20.00 €


How can I reserve a book?

Media currently out on loan can be reserved online via Primo.

Please note our detailed information about placing a reservation.

As soon as the media are available for use, we will inform you by letter or by e-mail, provided we know your e-mail address. There is a postal charge for notifications of reserved media or interlibrary loan orders sent by letter. If you receive notifications by e-mail, no postage has to be refunded.

The media will be provided for one week at the lending desk in the particular branch library.

Please note:
Between 0:05am and approximately 1:00am your account is not available for  reservations due to backup operations.


Why is it sometimes not possible to reserve a book?

Please consider that reservations can be made only for items actually out on loan! Check, therefore, whether there are any other copies currently not out on loan.


How can I obtain a book or periodical from the stockroom?

Dissertations, large-format works, books and journals which are rarely used or which need to be protected are to be found in a closed stockroom and are not directly accessible.

Lendable media and reference copies can be ordered via Primo and can be collected at the lending desks.

Please use the following form to order journal volumes and special editons (= "Zeitschriftenstücktitel") directly:
Ordering of journal volumes.

Please note our detailed information about our stockroom and stockroom orders.


How can I cancel a reservation or a stock room order?

Already placed reservations can be cancelled in your account:

  • Start the Primo catalogue.
  • Click on "Sign in" in the upper tool bar.
  • Enter your user number and your password.
  • Use the link "My Account" to check on your user account.
  • Click on the link "Requests", and you will receive a list of your requests and your reserved items.
  • Click on the link "Cancel" in the column "Actions".

Please note that stock room orders can not be cancelled!


What if I can not find a book on the shelf?

The Duisburg-Essen University Library is a library with open access. Books that are not located where they should be on the shelves may currently be in use at one of the work places, in the reading area, at the photocopiers, etc. If a copy does not turn up after a repeated search, you can have it registered as missing at the information or lending desks. As soon as the title is identified as "missing" in our catalogues, you can order it through interlibrary loan.


What happens if a book ist not available in the Duisburg-Essen University Library?

Can I make an acquisition request?

You can make an acquisition request in case a certain book is not to be found in the library holdings. Please use our acquisition order form.


What are semester collections?

Semester collections are set up at the request of university lecturers to support a particular course and contain books and, sometimes, also folders with periodical articles and book extracts and the lecturers' own materials. Usually they are kept at least for one term and are located in the particular branch library. These items are non-loanable.

Whether a book belongs to a semester collection is displayed in Primo in the location menu. You will find the number of the particular semester collection in the column "Status".

Photocopies and scans are allowed; lending is not possible, however.

As an alternative, or in addition to a conventional semester collection, university lecturers have the possibility to set up an electronic semester collection, where digital periodical articles or book extracts can be made available to the course participants via the net. In most cases a list of recommended literature is attached, followed by relevant Internet links on the subject and items of the course. Here is the list of the currently active semester collections.


Where can I find semester collections?

Duisburg campus:

Semester collections are located near the information desk on the 1st floor of the LK Library as well as in the BA and MC Library.

Essen campus:

You will find the semester collections on the 1st floor (room A) of the Humanities and Social Sciences Library and near the lending desks in the MNT and Medical Library.


What are service reference collections?

To meet search and teaching needs, university lecturers are offered a special university-internal library lending service. Media can be loaned out unrestrictedly to the lecturer for the duration of his or her service. Media that are part of such collections are listed under a fictitious date in the catalogue (30/12/99).


How do I get hold of literature situated at the other campus?

Can I order books from Duisburg to be delivered to Essen (and vice versa)?

Users of the Duisburg-Essen University Library can order lendable and avaiable media from the libraries on the other campus:


Can I return borrowed books at any library, even at the other campus?

Media can be returned in the Humanities and Social Sciences Library, the LK Library or the Medical Library whether they were ordered via campus delivery service or borrowed personally.

If items have reached the five-time renewal limit and you want to borrow them again please contact the lending desks either in the Humanities and Social Sciences Library or the LK Library during our service times (mon-fri 8:00 - 19:00; sat 10:00 - 14:00). Books from the Humanities and Social Sciences Library can also be borrowed again in the Medical library.


How does the internal article delivery service work?

University staff members and students can order journal articles which are only available in the libraries on the other campus or in closed stockrooms. External users are excluded from this delivery service.

Journals which are marked in Primo with an order link can be ordered.

Please note our information about the internal article delivery service as well as our detailed instructions about placing an order.


What do I need to use Primo?

Primo can be searched without charge and without any personal registration via the internet. To view your own user account, for renewals, reservations etc., it is necessary to enter your user number and your password.


Why haven't I got access to my account?

Please verify whether you entered your password und user number completely and correctly. It is essential to enter any letters that prefix the card number (ES, DS, EE, DE, EA, DA etc)

Should you no longer know your password, please have a new password entered by presenting your user card at one of the libraries.

If your student ID or your service certificate is also your user card, please verify whether it has been enabled or if you perhaps have reported your card as "lost". If so, please contact the lending desk in the LK Library on the Duisburg campus or the Humanities and Social Sciences Library or Medicine Library on the Essen campus in person.


Why can't I call up Primo?

All communication with Primo happens through encoded data transfer. To indicate a secure HTTP connection, the Hypertext Transfer Protocol over Secure Socket Layer or HTTPS is used.

By calling up an encoded webpage through https your browser checks if the regarding web server has been authenticated as a reliable server from a accredited certification authority and if a significant security certificate is used. Some browsers will accept the library catalogue certificate directly and categorize it as reliable.

Other browsers, for example Firefox, require a manual installation of the security certificate to avoid further alerts.

Please note our detailed information about manual of the security certificate.


How do I identify where a medium is located?

For one of the Duisburg Libraries the location information of a book begins with a "D", and for the Essen Libraries it begins with an "E".

In the hitlist you can see how many copies of the requested medium are to be found at each location, und how many copies are out on loan.

Please use our catalogue manual if you need any help.


How do I find literature on certain subjects?

The holdings of the Duisburg-Essen university library are located on open shelves according to a classification system.

In Primo you will find the link Aufstellungssystematik (= Classification system) in the upper menu. Select your subject (e.g. Psychology) and, by clicking on a particular subdivision, you get to individual notifications. By clicking on the notation, for example "HUP" you are directly linked into the catalogue with a hit list.

You can search the catalogue by initiating a simple keyword search and, in case of suitable hits, note the code (such as "HUP"). By selecting the search box "Notation" from the pull-down menu and having a search carried out for the "HUP" subcode, you will also obtain a complete overview of the titles available.

In comparison with just browsing the shelves, a topical search via the catalogue has the advantage that you will find all the titles belonging to a certain subcode, even the books that are currently out on loan and can be reserved.

Introductory information and advice on topical searches can also be found on our web pages to the various subjects.


Why can't I find any shelf-marks for some entries in the catalogue?

Shelf marks of some publications are not listed at the usual location in the hitlist.

In case of an edition containing of several volumes (= "Mehrbändiges Werk") switch, first of all, to the full display. Click on "Link to component record(s)" which can be found next to the title on the right.

The shelf-mark of a journal can be viewed in the displayed line "holding". Alternativly, you can choose the coloured symbols underneath the titel to check on availability of printed or electronic versions.

Recently ordered titles can also be found in Primo without any shelf-mark. You will be given further information, e.g. bestellt (= ordered), storniert (= cancelled), vergriffen (= out of print).


What does the status reveal about a book?

In the holding statement you will find the columns Status, Borrowed until and Shelf on the right, next to the shelf-mark.

Loanable items are identified by means of Lending collection (= loanable).
In this way you can identify special features, e.g. Reference collection (= non-loanable), Missing, Stock room (= stock loan) etc.

Borrowed until
If the book is currently checked out by another user, you will see the due date.

If the book is currently on the shelf, you can find the exact location by clicking on the arrow symbol.



How does interlibrary loan work?

For the purposes of research, education and advanced training, you can order books and articles from books or journals which are not available at the Duisburg-Essen University Library via interlibrary loan from another library..

To do this, you need a user card and a password. Please place your order online.

We will notify you free of charge by e-mail if you have added an e-mail address to your account.

Lendable items will be kept for your for 14 days.
The loan period is fixed by the supplying library. It is usually 45 days and starts on the day the book is provided for you.


What are the charges of interlibrary loans? 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 or journal articles through interlibrary loan?

Please choose the link interlibrary loan.Enter your user number (= "Benutzernummer") or your UDE identification (= "Unikennung") and password and click on "Login" (= "Anmelden").

Book ordering is the default setting. If necessary, choose the menu item "Journal article" (= "Zeitschriftenartikel") and start your search.

Please note the following detailed information:


Can I cancel a request?

You can not cancel an order yourself once it has been submitted.

If you have mistakenly ordered a book twice or do no longer need it, please contact central information.
In case of a cancellation, the flat-rate charge is due anyway.


How can I have access to licensed resources from home as a university member?

The licensed services and products (databases, electronic journals, e-books) can be used by university members without limitations and independently of the provider beyond the campuses.

To do this, you need access via VPN (Virtual Private Network) which can be generated in different versions.


Why can I not access a certain database, an electronic periodical or an e-book?

Please keep in mind that a lot of databases, periodicals and e-books are available only to members of the UDE due to license agreement reasons. In our lists, licensed resources are marked with a a yellow dot.

Journals and databases with free online access are identified with a green dot.


What do I need to use resources on CD-ROM?

To use a number of the databases and full texts on CD-ROM, you need an additional search software that has to be installed on your local computer as a browser plug-in. The so-called ICA Client is offered as a free download for various operating systems.

Please see our information and installation instructions.