University Library

The University Library is now open for a limited number of people.

Monday - Friday: 8:30 am – 10 pm

Saturday, Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm

To regulate access, a traffic light system is used to determine the number of users and record contact data. Access is only possible for those with a unversity chip card or a University Library card.

As our digital resources and services will continue to be available for you, please refrain from visiting the library if you can and make use of this offer to deal with your request.

s our digital resources and services will continue to be available for you, please refrain from visiting the library if you can and make use of this offer to deal with your request.

Questions about visiting the University Library

What can I do from home?


I still have some question

You can reach us via WhatsApp +49 (0)1575-9087230 or by phone from Monday to Friday between 9 am and 4 pm under +49 7071 29-72846.

You can also send us your questions by e-mail: informationspam


Traffic light system FAQs

How does the traffic light system work?

Using the traffic light system, we determine the number of people entering the library. Card terminals are set up at the entrances for this purpose. When entering and leaving the building, place your university ID or library card on these terminals.

The traffic light shows the current access status:

  •    If the light is green, you are allowed to enter the library (sufficient places available, upper limit not reached)
  •    If the light is yellow you may enter the library (library is already very full, but the upper limit is not yet reached)
  •    If the light is red, you are not allowed to enter the library (library is full, upper limit reached): Please wait until a seat becomes available again and the traffic light is yellow or green. Please make sure that you keep the required minimum distances while waiting.

The current access status is available on the website of the University Library. You can find out whether the traffic light is green, amber or red and how many of the maximum permitted seats are already occupied.


Why is the library using the traffic light system?

The University Library has the goal of enabling the use of the workstations and services as effectively and as flexibly as possible. In contrast to an online booking system, you can come to the UB at any time without prior registration. The space is better utilized, because a vacant place can be filled immediately.

Which library cards are valid for entry?

The traffic light system accepts the following chip cards: student card, employee ID, university card, university card/UKT, personalised guest card, University Library user card.

University chip cards without a photo (like anonymous guest card, personalised institute card) may not be used to access the University Library, as contact data tracking is not guaranteed.
If available, please use your personal chip card or get a library card. 

Unfortunately, the employee card of the University Hospital does not work with our traffic light system. Please use the so-called university card/UKT or a University Library user card.

Can I work in the library without a card?

Access to the University Library is currently only possible with the aforementioned ID cards, as we use them to record your contact details and determine the number of visitors. Access is therefore not possible without a card.

How can I get a library card?

External users can apply for a library card by e-mail. Please send scans of the application form and your identity card (front and back) or your passport with your confirmation of registration (Meldebescheinigung - not older than 6 weeks) to ortsleihespam

You can find the registration form here.

The library card costs 10 Euro once, for students of the university region Tübingen it is free of charge.  All further information as well as the payment modalities will be sent to you by e-mail after receipt of the documents. You accept our library regulations with your application for a library card.

What personal data is collected through the traffic light system?

When you place your card on the terminal, only the card number of your card is recorded and it is noted when you entered or left the library. Only if we are requested to provide information in the context of contact tracing, we will also use other information stored at the university regarding the card number (name and address; phone number, if available).
The data is collected on the basis of §§ 14 and 6 of the "Ordinance of the State Government on infection-protective measures against the spread of the SARS-Cov-2 virus" (Corona-VO). The University of Tübingen is obliged to collect and store your contact data for the purpose of providing information to the public health department or the local police authority according to §§ 16, 25 IfSG. Your data will be stored for four weeks after submission.


Can I leave the library for a short break?

If you leave the library to take a break, we ask you to always clear the workspace and take your things with you. If the traffic light shows "red" when you return to the UB, access is unfortunately not possible.


Is there a time limit for my stay in the library?

You can stay as long as you want within the opening times. The building will no longer be cleared and closed twice per day.

I have lost my university/library card. Can I still work in the library?

Please inform the respective departments of the university about the loss of your ID immediately so that you can get a replacement card as soon as possible. Unfortunately, you cannot be admitted to the University Library without your identification card.

I only want to return books. Do I also have to go through the traffic light system?

Books can only be returned in the Lending Center (1st floor). Please enter the library like all other users who wish to stay longer in the library.


When I left the UB I forgot to put my card on the traffic light system

You will be automatically booked out when the library is closed. Please note that in this case you will not be able to re-enter the library when the traffic light is red. If the traffic light is green, you can re-enter the library.

Questions about visiting the University Library

Which safety rules apply when I enter the University Library?

The general rules of distance and hygiene apply:
access to the building is only allowed with a mask or other mouth and nose covering; please keep a distance of at least 2 meters to all people in the building; wash your hands regularly.

Please wear your  mouth-nose covering within all areas of the University Library. You are, however, allowed to take off the mouth-nose-covering as long as you are sitting at a work place. If you are unable to wear the mouth-nose-cover for medical reasons: the hygiene concept of the university assumes that short distances within the university buildings are nevertheless possible while wearing a mouth-nose-cover.
In the event that this is not possible at all, a stay in university buildings is only permitted during periods of low activity. In this case, please be at the University Library only before 10 a.m. and have your medical certificate ready. Observe the rules of distance with special care.




Are all areas of the University Library accessible?

No, individual workstation areas such as the group work rooms in the Ammerbau, Historical Reading Room in the Bonatzbau, workstations in the passage from the main building to the Bonatzbau and seats in the foyer are not available at present.

Further restrictions are possible depending on the current status of the infection.

Please also note the barriers that we have installed to secure the distance between the areas of use.

External Users - New registration

External users can apply for a library card by email. Please send scans of your completed user registration form and your identity card (front and back) or your passport with confirmation of registration from the Einwohnermeldeamt (no older than 6 weeks) to ortsleihespam

You can find the registration form here.

The library card has a one-time costs of 10 Euro. We will inform you of the payment modalities by e-mail.

After your application has been processed, you will receive your library card number by email which you can then use to register as a new user in the online booking system of the University Library. To do so, use the function "Create a new user account" which you can find below the Log in button and enter your card number in the field "Ausweisnummer".

You can then book a time slot for your stay at the University Library.

You will receive your library card on your first visit to the Issue Desk in the Ausleihzentrum by presenting the original documents. With the application for a user card you accept our library regulations (Benutzungsordnung).

Which services are available within the University Library?

You can borrow and return books, copy, scan or print files using the multifunctional printer/copiers provided and use our individual computer workstations.

Unfortunately, group work is not possible under the given circumstances. The group study rooms are therefore not available.

Where can I get information or other help in the University Library?

Please contact the staff at the service counters only, as we have installed hygiene barriers there. The counters in the Lending Center and in the Ammerbau are staffed throughout our opening hours.

Interlibrary loan

As of Friday, 26.06.2020, the University Library can once again accept interlibrary loan orders for books and copies of articles from all users.
For detailed information on the requirements, the procedure and the costs of interlibrary loan please see our information page.

Please note that to pick up an interlibrary loan order you have to reserve a time slot for your visit using our booking systems.

I would like to work in the Manuscript Reading Room or in the University Archives

You can make an individual appointment with the Manuscript Reading Room (handschriftenspam or the University Archives (uatspam Please send an e-mail in advance.

Registration via the booking system is not necessary.

Are the office hours of the Student Department at the Information Desk, the Genius Bar and other services still on offer?

No, unfortunately not at this time.

Is the “Raum der Stille” accessible?

As the passage to the Bonatzbau with its workspaces is currently closed, the Raum der Stille is not accessible at the moment.

I am dependent on a workspace in the UB because I cannot work at home due to family or other social reasons. What do I do when the traffic light is red?

Please always enter the library via the main entrance using the traffic light system. If all seats are occupied and the traffic light is red, please contact informationspam or 07071 / 29-72846 or WhatsApp +49 (0)1575-9087230 if you wish to use the family study room.

Is the cafeteria open again?

No, the canteens and cafeterias will remain closed for the time being.

What can I do from home?

Termination of enrollment

In order to terminate your enrollment, you need confirmation from the University Library stating that you no longer have any library items checked out and also no outstanding fees. You can find the form here. Please send the completed and signed form to ausleihzentrumspam Should you not have access to a scanner, you can also send a good quality photograph of the signed form to the above address. If you still have any items checked out, please return them to the mail room at the University Library (Monday-Friday, 8:30-12:30) or send them by post to: 

Universitätsbibliothek Tübingen 
Wilhelmstr. 32 
72074 Tübingen 

Please pay any outstanding fees via bank transfer. You can find our account information here

We will then close your library account and forward your form to the student administration office. 

Acquisition requests

We will check whether items you urgently need can be obtained as e-books and will accept acquisition requests we receive when you use the form on our homepage. 

Many older scientific publications and historical collections may already be available online and can be found through the Karlsruhe Virtual Catalog (KVK). (Restrict your search by ticking the "Digital media only" box.)

Document delivery

We still want to provide you with access to the print version of articles from journals and edited volumes, even while the library is only offering limited services. For information on access options see our page on document delivery options.

We are also expanding our delivery services: 

  • Effective immediately, the “Tübinger Aufsatzdienst (TAD)” --our electronic delivery service for journal articles for which there is only a printed copy in Tübingen-- is now also available to students. You can submit your scanning request for journal articles via the catalogue, using your university email address when you order.

  • If you need an article from an edited volume, you can send your request via email to magazinspam Your message must include: title, author(s) and page numbers of the article as well as the title and the call number of the volume in which it was published. Please understand that we have to set a limit of 50 pages and one article per volume for these requests.

Please note: we have no access to the holdings of the specialist libraries. Please contact the colleagues there directly if you need anything.

Before sending the scan order, please check whether or not the journal or the anthology is already available electronically in our Catalog plus. Unfortunately, we have to decline scan orders for articles available online. If you have any questions regarding searching for journals and other media in the Catalog plus, please contact informationspam We will be happy to help.

Current Contents

You wish to keep up to date with the content of important journals? Use the "electronic current contents service" Paperboy (Platform language is German) for contents in the subjects Law, Economics, Sports Science, Classical Philology, Physics (will be expanded).

Access to our digital collections

Within the entire campus network (university workstations, wi-fi) you have unrestricted access to our licensed digital resources. 

If you need access from outside campus, you have to set up VPN (Virtual Private Network) access. Information on setting up a VPN connection to the university network can be found on the pages of the ZDV. The best way of setting up VPN access is through your operating system’s integrated tools. In case VPN acccess does not work, many publishers also provide access via Shibboleth. Usually, publishers clearly mark this option on their webpages with links such as “Log in via Shibboleth” or “Institutional Login.” 

Should you encounter any problems with setting up VPN access, please contact the ZDV support team at supportspam

You can search our digital collections using our Catalog plus and other systems (EZB  for finding electronic journals and DBIS for discovering subject-specific databases). If you are searching in Catalog plus, use the function “Narrow Search” and select “Online Resource” under “Types of Media.” During the Corona crisis, some publishers are also offering additional online resources. You can find the current list here.

Open access and freely available digital media

There are many freely available scholarly publications and digitized cultural resources listed in our Catalog plus.

Further research possibilities are:
Karlsruhe Virtual Catalogue (KVK) [limit your search to the category "Digital media only"]:

BASE (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine) offers indexed documents (over 150 million from more than 7,000 sources), 60% of which are freely accessible: [see language choice top right]

The Open Access Button, a free tool which sources BASE among other resources (all of the aggregated repositories in the world, hybrid articles, open access journals, and those on authors' personal pages) allows you to legally and freely read millions of articles:

DBIS [Choose your subject from the "Fachübersicht" on the left of the page]

According to Subject:

Open educational resources from and for universities are available in the Central Open Educational Resources Repository (ZOERR):

If you have any questions regarding resources in the respective subject areas, please contact one of our subject specialists:
Subject Specialists:

Subjects and fields of interest:

For information on the University Library's Open Access services, please visit our "Publishing" section.

Offers from publishers

Problems accessing licensed collections

Should you encounter any difficulties accessing our online licensed collections, please email us at emedienspam

External users and online resources

Library users who do not belong to the university (external users) can reserve a time slot to visit the library again from 29th June 2020 onwards and once again have access to our electronic media in the library.

You can still access freely available journals outwith the library by using the EZB. The available journals are marked with a green traffic light.

In addition, some publishers are making parts of their publications freely available during the Corona crisis. You can find a list of these contents marked "frei im Web" here:

Publishing dissertations

Dissertations can still be published. You can hand in your dissertation and supporting documents for the online publication process without any personal contact at the University Library's mail room, Monday to Friday from 7:30 - 12:30.

You may also send these by normal post:

Universitätsbibliothek Tübingen 
IT-Abt. – Publikations- und eLearningdienste (P&E) 
Wilhelmstr. 32 
72074 Tübingen 

If you have questions regarding dissertations and online publications, please email us at edl-publspam

Workshops / Tours

Since we are currently unable to offer our regular tours and workshops, we are providing you with opportunities for learning online about selected topics. We are still working on adding to the list. This semester, you can also sign up for our online class “Informationskompetenz Online” (IK Online). The class is taught in German and covers topics such as searching for and evaluating information, citation management and information security. If you pass, you can earn 3 ECTS-points. For more information on IK Online see here

You can find information on using ILIAS here.

Decentralized libraries at the university

Together with the University Library, individual, decentralized libraries (faculty, institute and seminar libraries) of the University of Tübingen have also re-opened. Further specialist libraries will gradually follow.
The libraries provide information on access modalities such as changed opening hours, registration requirements or hygiene rules on their own websites. Please check these requirements in good time before you visit the library.

Those libraries which have not yet reopened will continue to offer special services such as scanning services or emergency loans. Please also inform yourself about this on the websites of the libraries.