Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs


What are the requirements to be able to use the library?

Faculty members of the University of Freiburg or other Freiburg universities and colleges with a proven research interest may be granted access to the library as day guests without submitting a prior written request. Detailed information on the admission possibilities can be found on the page Faculty members (FR).

Other persons (especially students) who have a scientific interest in using the library must submit a writ­ten re­quest in advance. You can expect to receive a reply from us within 1 to 2 working days.

Foreign guests planning a longer research residency (more than 5 days) are kindly asked to refer to the information on the webpage Research stay.

How long is my permission to use the library valid/how long can I use the library?

A day permit is valid for one day. The user may choose the day within the time period specified in the email granting access to the library.

The user will be informed of any exceptions, i.e., a longer period of admission, in the email granting access to the library. For stays of several days, a library card will be issued upon arrival at the Institute.

What do I do if I find more books that I would like to use after submitting my request and before visiting the library?

All you need to do is write a brief, informal email to . Be sure to list the literature you need as well as your TB number (see subject line in the email granting access to the library).

What do I have to consider before my visit?

The library is open to external users (day guests) during the Institute's opening hours. Day guests are asked to arrive during the library's service hours.

When you visit the library, you will be asked to show a printout of the email or letter of admission granting access to the library that you have received. Day guests with a library card must bring their library card to each visit.

If you wish to scan the pages of books, please bring a USB flash drive with you in order to save your scans. Day guests do not have the possibility to print out scanned material at the Institute.

Directions to the Institute are available here.

Can I make copies or scans? What do I have to consider?

Please note that reproductions may only be made in accordance with copyright law and to a legally permissible extent.

Our book scanners can be used to scan the pages of books and journals. The scanners work without a copy card and are available free of charge. A USB flash drive with sufficient storage space can be used to save scans. External hard drives, memory cards, etc. cannot be used. The use of a personal mobile scanner is allowed. It is not possible for day guests to make copies or print out the scans at the Institute.

Are computers available for work? Is WLAN available?

No, there are no computers available for day guests. However, you are welcome to work with your own laptop – the workspaces are equipped with electricity. Day guests do not have WLAN access.

Are lockers available?

Lockers are available for the storage of valuables. They can be used without coins or chips.
The key is available at the reception desk.

How can I research which literature is (already) available in the library?

Our On­line­ cata­logue indicates our holdings, including literature on order.

Books and journals with a green icon and a check mark beside “Holdings” are already available; those with a yellow icon and an exclamation point are not yet in the library.

In order to make the seach for literature in non-Latin script easier, we have been including the original script of all titles in our catalogue since 2012 (with the exception of Arabic script).

Please take note: Articles in books and in journals are not listed individually.

Can I “browse” for literature in the library myself?

We kindly ask you for your understanding that it is only possible to view books that you have listed on your request form and that are not available at other libraries in Freiburg. Our library is primarily designed to serve the provision of scien­tific literature to researchers and foreign guests at the Max Planck Institute.

Faculty members of the University of Freiburg and other Freiburg colleges and universities are subject to different regu­la­tions, which may also apply to day guests with permission to use the library for several days.

Can I also borrow books and journals?

Loans outside of the Institute are not possible. Our policy is such that all users should be able to access the books they need when they visit the library.

Can I order books from the library by means of inter-library lending or order copies of articles?

A book may only be borrowed via inter-library loan or copies of articles sent in exceptional cases. We advise you to contact your university or college library, not us, as need be.

Where can I get help if questions or problems arise?

We are happy to help you if you have any questions or problems! Just call the library hotline at +49 761 7081-333 or send an email to .

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