The FAQ offer support using ETH Library and its services.

Access and circulation

ETH Library is a public library open to everyone from the age of 16 and companies residing or based in Switzerland. With the exception of individual services, you can register and use it free of charge.

  • Members of ETH Zurich: You are automatically registered. Your ETH card also doubles up as a library card.
  • External customers: You need to register before you can use ETH Library's resources. Complete the registration form (external link). You will then receive your library card at the circulation desk.

If you are using ETH Library for the first time, we will gladly inform you about the usage rules, loan periods, services etc. Get in touch with us by email: info@library.ethz.ch or by telephone: +41 44 632 21 35

Further information is available under Register.

Your ETH card also serves as your ETH Library card.

  • You do have a library account: The data in your library account is synchronised with the information in your nethz account (external link) and updated overnight. Messages such as recalls etc. are sent to your ETH Zurich office address or ETH Zurich email address (@ethz.ch). Your address changes only need to be updated and managed in one place.
  • You do not have a library account: A library account is opened for you automatically. Messages such as recalls etc. are sent to your ETH Zurich office address or ETH Zurich email address (@ethz.ch).
  • Members of ETH Zurich: Please contact your local IT-support group or the service desk of the IT Services of ETH Zurich (external link).
  • NEBIS/IDS customers: Please send your complete name, address, phone number, date of birth and your user account number to service@library.ethz.ch or to your home library (external link) (the library that you have set up as your pick-up location). Afterwards, you will receive a provisional password that you can change in your user account.
  • Libraries.ch customers: you can reset your password yourself and receive further instructions via email.

Yes, you can. Normally, the nethz login is no longer valid and the ETH card has to be handed in.

You will receive a new library card and login at ETH Library's InfoCenter.

You can borrow up to 99 documents at once.

ETH Library and ETH-Bibliothek HDB are storage libraries. If you wish to borrow a document from these two loca-tions, you need to order them via ETH Library's Search Portal (external link). You can then collect the documents from the circulation desk or one of the member libraries in the NEBIS circulation network. (external link).

Documents from ETH Library's Special Libraries can also be searched for and borrowed on site:

The Collections and Archives sometimes have special reference modalities

Further information is available under Ordering, borrowing, renewing.

Documents bearing the status "ready for collection" can be picked up at the desired location, which you will have selected when ordering the document. You can pick up books that are ready for collection until the deadline stipulat-ed.

The collection deadline can be extended, if there are no reservations. To do so, please contact:

  • the circulation desk by email: ausleihe@library.ethz.ch or by telephone: +41 44 632 21 75
  • the library where the documents are ready for collection

You can check the status of your document under "Orders" in your user account (external link).

  • Members of ETH Zurich: Notifications are automatically sent to your email address (…@ethz.ch). Enter your mobile number in your personal profile under the rubric "Communication data" at www.adressen.ethz.ch (external link) and certify this entry to receive notifications by text message.
  • External customers: You can enter your email address or mobile number in your user account under "Personal settings" in order to receive free notifications via email or text message as soon as your documents are ready for collection

How long it takes for a document to be ready for collection depends on the location and place of collection.

If collecting from ETH Library, the following delivery times usually apply:

Yes, this person needs to present your library card upon collection.

You can collect or return documents from any libraries in the NEBIS loan network. The List of NEBIS libraries (external link) contains information on which libraries are involved in the loan network.

Good to know: The courier service of ETH Library and Zentralbibliothek Zürich is an exception. Documents from the other library can be collected and returned.

The first two renewals take place automatically. You need to carry out any further renewals yourself via your user account (external link). To do so, select your "Loans", then "Renew documents selected".

Good to know: Documents that have already been reserved by other customers (reservation) can no longer be renewed.   

Electronic resources

All of our licensed electronic resources can be accessed via a search on ETH Library's Search Portal (external link).

You will also find a list as an overview on the webpages of databases, e-journals (external link) and e-book suppliers.

  • Members of ETH Zurich: Access is possible within the ETH-Zurich network and from your private terminal devices via VPN (pdf, 289 KB).
  • External customers: Access is only possible on ETH Library's premises via the public workstations. Please also consider the E-Lending (electronic loan of e-books) service.

Further information is available under Using electronic resources.

Please check first whether you are in ETH Zurich's network and authorised for access. If you search in ETH Library's Search Portal (external link), the link "Online access" in the result list will give you additional information if and in which period of time ETH Library licensed the desired resource.

If you are still unable to open the electronic resource, please contact the InfoCenter by email: info@library.ethz.ch or telephone: +41 44 632 21 35.

Fees and reminders

Fines will be due for late returns:

  • 10 working days after the loan deadline, you will receive the 1st reminder with a fine of CHF 10 per document
  • After a further 10 working days, you will receive the 2nd reminder with another fine of CHF 10
  • After a further 10 working days, you will receive the 3rd reminder with a fine of CHF 15 and your user account will be blocked

Fines from the current month can be paid in cash at:

The following month, any open fines will be billed by ETH Zurich with a payment slip.

You will receive the bill complete with a payment slip the following month.

The fees are managed with a different system to your user account. All paid and unpaid fees and fines remain visible on your account for three months before the information is removed from your account.

For further queries, contact the fees office via email: gebuehren@library.ethz.ch or telephone: +41 44 632 67 29.

All reminders and fees are listed under this rubric for a period of three months, even if the document has already been returned. Please check your current loans under "Loans".

For further queries, contact the fees office via email: gebuehren@library.ethz.ch or telephone: +41 44 632 67 29.

Interlibrary loans, document delivery

Via interlibrary loans, we procure and supply documents or copies from documents that are not available on ETH Library's Search Portal (external link).

Detailed information is provided under Interlibrary loans.

In the case of delivery of copies, we provide you with copies of articles and chapters from documents taken from ETH Library's holdings.

Detailed information is available under Delivery of documents and copies.

Only one article or chapter per order will be sent. The article or chapter must not exceed 100 pages or constitute more than 30 per cent of the overall document.

No complete documents will be copied.

The cost depends on the individual ETH Library customer group.

Detailed information is provided on the Fees (pdf, 200.40 kB)

Infrastructure and work stations

Further information on internet access is available under Locations, addresses, opening hours and Network connectivity remote (VPN, iPass, Wi-Fi, Data Roaming) (external link)

You can photocopy / scan / print at the following locations:

You can photocopy at the following locations:

For ETH members there are also numerous ETH print service stations at ETH Zurich, wich are not located on the ETH Library premises.

Further information on the ETH Print Service (external link)

Yes, there are two login options for members of the public:

To borrow documents, you can use the login data from your NEBIS user account or libraries.ch.

With libraries.ch, you can also use the e-lending service. Besides registering with libraries.ch (external link), this also requires a NEBIS user account.

You can also use the public workstations with libraries.ch. All you need to do is register with libraries.ch.

Lockers are available at

They cost CHF 30 per semester to rent. A day locker can be used free of charge.

Please contact the circulation desk at ETH Library, by email: ausleihe@library.ethz.ch or telephone: +41 44 632 21 75, or the respective special library.

Further information on lockers is available under Study spaces, infrastructure.

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