Universität Bonn

University and State Library

Usage Regulations

of the Bonn University and State Library (Official Announcements, No. 65, December 21, 2022)

By virtue of § 2, para. 4, § 29 para. 2 and § 77, para. 4 of the NRW Higher Education Act (Gesetz über die Hochschulen des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, Hochschulgesetz, HG) of September 16, 2014 (Legal and Regulatory Gazette of North Rhine-Westphalia, p. 547) as last amended by Art. 1 of the Act Concerning Membership of the University Clinics in the State Employers’ Association (Gesetz betreffend die Mitgliedschaft der Universitätskliniken im Arbeitgeberverband des Landes) of June 30, 2022 (Legal and Regulatory Gazette of North Rhine-Westphalia, p. 780b), the Senate of the University of Bonn has issued the following Usage Regulations for the Bonn University and State Library:


The Bonn University and State Library (USL) invites the University’s researchers and students and all citizens to use and experience USL as an open, friendly, modern and attractive communication space. The USL continuously improves its services based on the dynamically changing needs of its users, including the appropriate use of participatory formats. It takes inspiration from changes in the digital world and views a willingness to transform itself as a central part of its mission. The USL is committed to the open science ideal. By protecting and guaranteeing reliable information, it supports one of the basic elements of a democratic and pluralistic society.

I. General information

(1) The USL is a central operating unit of the University of Bonn. It consists of the Main Library and the Medicine, Natural Sciences and Agriculture (MNL) Branch Library. In addition to its main use for research, teaching and study, it is also used for vocational and general education.

(2) The USL supports research, teaching and study by providing literature, information and other services. It fulfills this responsibility together with the libraries of the academic institutions at the University of Bonn. In addition to making holdings, information resources, technologies, software and data available, it also creates the spatial, technical and organizational conditions required for effective, modern use of these resources in accordance with the needs of its users. User access and use should be as unobstructed, low-threshold, convenient, self-determined and self-responsible as possible.

(3) The USL also serves as a North Rhine-Westphalia state library for the Cologne administrative district (§ 52 of the Cultural Code of North Rhine-Westphalia (Kulturgesetzbuch Nordrhein-Westfalen, KulturGB NRW)).

A public-law user relationship exists between the USL and its users.

(1) The USL is obligated to maintain data protection.

(2) It processes the personal data of its users based on Art. 6, para. 1 sub-paragraph 1(e) of the General Data Protection Regulation in conjunction with § 3 of the NRW Data Protection Act (Datenschutzgesetz NRW) and these Usage Regulations to the extent required to legally fulfill its responsibilities. External service providers also perform cloud-based processing.

(3) The following personal data (personal master data) is collected during registration:

  • First name, last name, salutation, gender, date of birth
  • Address(es), telephone number(s), email address(es)
  • University members: University ID (Uni-ID)
  • University of Bonn employees and visiting scientists: Office address, contract term
  • Students: Student ID number
  • Cross-registered students, auditors, “FFF” students, students of the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences: Appropriate supporting documents
  • Minors (subject to § 7, para. 4, sentence 2): Consent and declaration of guarantee from the legal representatives

(4) A unique persistent user number, library card number and initial password are assigned and stored during registration.

(5) The date of registration, library location where registration takes place, preferred language, library card validity period, membership in a user group, date of last use, any balance of fees and a borrowing block, if applicable, together with the reason for the block are also stored.

(6) The web page https://www.ulb.uni-bonn.de/en/data-protection provides information on the data that is processed when services are used.

(7) Data related to a particular instance of use is deleted as soon as that use has been completed. If data is subject to a legal retention requirement, it is deleted as soon as the retention period has ended.

(8) Personal master data is deleted as soon as the user relationship has ended and the USL and other University of Bonn units no longer have any claims under the user relationship.

(9) The library management system and University SAP system exchange information on fee receivables and payments.

(10) In accordance with § 77 para. 4 sentence 3 HG, the USL also uses the services of the North Rhine-Westphalian Library Service Center (hbz) in the areas of media, information and communication management and technology. The USL Bonn transmits the personal data of its users to the hbz to the extent required to use hbz services. This applies in particular to the processing of interlibrary loans and other library ordering and search services.

(11) The USL transmits the personal data of its users to the ZB MED (German National Library of Medicine) – Information Center for Life Sciences in Bonn for ordering, reserving and borrowing from the holdings of the ZB MED.

(1) The USL is obligated to protect copyright. It provides its services exclusively in compliance with copyright law. Users are prohibited from using or applying USL items or documents obtained from or with the help of the USL in a manner that is not in compliance with copyright law.

(2) When using digital media that the USL has made available based on a license agreement concluded with the provider, users must take note of and comply with the license terms.

(3) If a breach of paragraph 2 leads to third party claims being asserted against the USL due to a violation of the Copyright Act (Urheberrechtsgesetz) or breach of the license agreement, the party at fault shall indemnify the USL against all claims.

The USL is committed to equal participation for all members of society. It provides appropriate accessibility accommodations for users with disabilities and takes their special needs into account. The Representative for Students with Disabilities or Chronic Illnesses or Office of Disability Resources will be involved if necessary.

(1) The USL determines the opening hours in consultation with the Rectorate. The right to impose restrictions and closures for special reasons remains reserved.

(2) The opening hours will be announced appropriately. They shall, in particular, be made available on the USL website. The same applies, where possible, to restrictions and closures.

II. Authorization for use

(1) Authorization is required to use the USL.

(2) Members of the University of Bonn and the Universitätsgesellschaft Bonn – Freunde, Förderer, Alumni e.V. are entitled to authorization.

(3) Other natural persons living or working in Germany may apply for authorization.

(4) Minors can be authorized if their legal representatives approve the authorization application in writing and provide a personal guarantee for the fulfillment of all obligations arising from the user relationship. Minors who are already enrolled at universities in North Rhine-Westphalia do not require the approval and guarantee specified in sentence 1.

(5) Authorization may be time limited, limited to use within the library premises or otherwise restricted for objective reasons.

(1) An application (registration) is required for authorization.

(2) The information required to identify the person concerned, determine the permissions received when authorization is granted (assignment to a user group) and assert the USL’s rights must be provided for registration. The information must be supported by a valid identity card or passport together with official confirmation of residence; a student ID must be provided as proof of student status. An email address that the USL can use for electronic notification of the user when services are used must also be provided.

(3) The USL must be informed without delay of any changes to the information provided in accordance with paragraph 2. If this is not done, the person concerned shall bear any costs that would have been avoided if the information had been provided in timely fashion.

(4) The USL shall determine the details of the registration procedure and notification in accordance with paragraph 3, in particular the communication channels to be used.

Authorization is granted by issuing a library card.

(1) Library cards remain the property of the USL. They are not transferable to other persons.

(2) Library cards are generally valid for one year. They can be extended by one year at a time. University of Bonn employees with permanent employment contracts receive library cards that are valid until the end of their employment; University of Bonn employees with fixed-term employment contracts receive library cards that are valid until the end of their employment contract.

(3) Care must be taken to prevent the loss of library cards. The USL must be notified of the loss of a library card without delay, no later than the next day the library is open following discovery of the loss, so that the card can be blocked. The card holder shall be liable to the USL for any damages caused by misuse of the library card that was culpably (intentionally or negligently) enabled by the card holder.

The authorization expires when the library card validity period ends. Authorization can also end due to barring from use under § 12. Obligations arising from the user relationship that have not been fulfilled shall continue to apply. This applies, in particular, to the obligation to return items and pay fees.

(1) Anyone who repeatedly violates the Usage Regulations or instructions by library staff or authorized security personnel concerning proper library use or misuses their authorization to commit criminal or serious administrative offenses may be barred from use. In serious cases, in particular the use of threats, incitement to violence or causing serious danger, barring takes place after just a single instance of misconduct. The barring can be time limited or limited to individual uses if such a restriction appears to be sufficient for maintaining order and safety.

(2) The decision on barring is made by library management.

(3) An expulsion (request to leave the USL, at most for the rest of the day) does not constitute barring from use and can also be imposed by library staff or authorized security personnel.

III. Visiting the Bonn University and State Library

Access to the USL can be restricted to valid library card holders. Turnstiles can be used for this purpose.

Individuals and groups use the USL in a wide variety of ways for obtaining and exchanging information, working and learning, meeting and communicating. Respectful coexistence and mutual consideration is required for the interests of all users to be realized as far as possible. Everyone must behave in such a manner that others are not harmed, endangered, obstructed or disturbed more than avoidable.

The workplaces in the reading room are for concentrated individual work. The following are therefore prohibited:

  • Conversations, including telephone calls
  • The use of audio or audiovisual media for entertainment (including when headphones or earphones are used)
  • Eating and drinking (except drinking water carried in closed bottles)

The same applies to designated quiet workplaces outside the reading room.

Obstructing workplaces by placing or leaving working materials, learning materials or personal items is prohibited. Library staff may clear obstructed workplaces.

(1) Dangerous objects may not be taken into the USL.

(2) Objects that could be used to steal or damage library materials may not be taken into the reading room or open stacks. Lockers are provided for storage where space permits; the use of lockers is managed by the USL.

(3) Animals may only be brought onto the premises in justified exceptional cases (e.g. necessary assistance dogs).

Approval from library management is required for photographs and audio and video recordings in the USL.

(1) Instructions by library staff or authorized security personnel for proper library use must be followed.

(2) A library card must be presented upon demand by library staff. Library staff can demand that official photo ID be presented in order to verify the identity of the person presenting the library card.

(3) Inspection of bags and other containers must be permitted when entering and leaving controlled areas of the USL; library items must be shown without demand when leaving.

IV. On-site library use

(1) The reading room can be used for working with items from the USL holdings or other forms of quiet work. If there is a risk of overcrowding, use of the reading room can be restricted to University of Bonn members and users who depend on a workplace in the reading room to work with items from the holdings of the USL or an external library.

(2) Items from the reading room collection can be used in the reading room without borrowing. The user must obtain them from their location and return them to their location after use before leaving the USL.

(3) Some items from the reading room collection must be obtained from the service desk. They can be checked out by providing a personalized item as security (e.g. student ID) and must be returned after use before leaving the USL.

(4) Items from the stacks can be checked out for use in the reading room. The user must obtain items from the open stacks and present them for check-out; items in the closed stacks must be ordered. Items are checked out at the reading room desk and must be returned after use before leaving the USL. Items must remain in the reading room until they have been checked in again. Check-in takes place when the borrower initiates the process, but must take place by the end of the borrowing period.

(1) Manuscripts, handwritten manuscripts, bequests, old prints (up to the year of publication 1850) and other materials classified as requiring special protection may only be used for research purposes and only in a special reading room (Curtius Reading Room). The provisions of § 20, para. 4 apply analogously to the ordering, check-out and check-in of these materials.

(2) The use of individual materials may be subject to conditions or prohibited for legal, conservation or other objective reasons. If a secondary analog or digital format exists, use of this format generally has priority. Library management determines the details in this regard (see the “Information Sheet for the Use of Handwritten Materials and Valuable Prints”).

(3) Textual or photographic reproductions of handwritten materials or other unique or particularly rare items may only be published with the approval of the USL as the holder of the item. The USL requests a free copy of such publications. The USL’s right under § 4, para. 6 of the NRW Cultural Code (Kulturgesetzbuch, KulturGB) remains unaffected.

(4) Providing permission for publication does not preclude publication by the USL or providing permission for publication to third parties.

V. Borrowing for use outside the library

(1) Items can be borrowed for use outside the USL provided they are not subject to lending restrictions under § 23.

(2) The USL can limit the number of volumes that may be borrowed by a user at the same time. It can bar users from borrowing if and as long as they do not fulfill their obligation to return items or pay fees. The USL relies on experience gained from lending operations to make the determinations specified in sentences 1 and 2. The determinations can be different for different user groups.

(3) Borrowers must obtain items from the open stacks and textbook collection themselves and present them for check-out. Items in the closed stacks must be ordered and will be checked out at the lending desk.

(4) A valid library card must be presented to borrow items.

(5) Borrowing is performed electronically in the borrower’s library account in bonnus, the University of Bonn literature search portal.

(6) The borrower receives a check-out slip that also indicates the borrowing period. Objections to the check-out must be raised immediately; if they are not raised immediately the borrower bears the full burden of proof for his or her objections.

(7) Borrowed items may not be given to third parties. The borrower is liable for all resulting damages if this requirement is violated.

(8) The provisions of this section apply analogously to non-standard items that the USL has available for borrowing.

(9) The provisions of this section do not apply to items that are lent for use as exhibits or as originals for reproduction (with the exception of convenience copies). A written lending agreement is required in these cases. No right to conclude a lending agreement exists.

(1) The USL can exclude individual groups of holdings, types of items or items from lending or restrict their lending for reasons of availability, preservation, handling or other objective reasons.

(2) Items in the textbook collection may only be borrowed by University of Bonn or Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences students and University of Bonn auditors.

(1) The borrowing period is generally 28 days.

(2) The borrowing period can be extended twice by 28 days provided the item has not been reserved. Borrowers use their library account in bonnus to perform extensions.

(3) For University members that are professors, retired professors or academic staff, the borrowing period is automatically extended once by 11 months, provided the item has not been reserved.

(4) The USL can also demand that an item be returned before the end of the borrowing period if it is needed for official purposes.

(5) Except for items in the textbook collection, borrowed items may be reserved for borrowing in bonnus. No information about the borrower will be provided.

(6) The user reserving the item will be notified as soon as the reserved item is available. The notification is sent by email. The reserved item will be held for pickup by the user for a period of 10 days from the date of notification.

(7) Different lending terms (borrowing period, extension and reservation options) may be specified for individual groups of holdings or types of items.

Users who order items must present their library cards for pickup. If a user authorizes another person to pick up an item, the person must present written authorization from the user who ordered the item and that user’s library card.

(1) Borrowed items must be returned no later than the last day of the borrowing period.

(2) If an item whose borrowing period has been extended is reserved, the borrowing period is generally shortened to a period of ten days following the reservation. The end of the new borrowing period is shown in the borrower’s library account in bonnus. The borrower is notified by email at the same time.

(3) Items must be returned to the library location where they were borrowed.

(4) A return slip will be provided after the returned items have been checked in. The borrower must check the return slip for accuracy and completeness and raise any objections immediately. If objections are not raised immediately, the borrower bears the full burden of proof for his or her objections. The return slip must be kept for at least 4 weeks as proof of return.

(5) The borrower bears the risk of delays and losses if items are returned by mail. Late fees and replacement fees may be incurred.

VI. Interlibrary loans

The USL participates in the German and international interlibrary loan services. Interlibrary loans are processed in accordance with the current interlibrary loan regulations (Leihverkehrsordnung) for German libraries or the interlibrary loan provisions formulated by the International Federation of Library Associations.

(1) If items required for research or educational purposes are not available in the USL or other publicly accessible local libraries, a German or international interlibrary loan order can be placed through the USL to obtain the items from non-local libraries.

(2) Users must place interlibrary loan orders electronically. The electronic order forms provided for this purpose are to be used.

(3) If delivered items must be returned, the USL acts as the borrower for the lending library. In addition to the specific requirements of the lending library, use of the items is also subject to the provisions of these Usage Regulations. In particular, the lending restrictions in § 23 apply, even if the lending library does not impose any restrictions. The borrowing period is based on the lending library’s specifications or, in the absence of such specifications, on these Usage Regulations. Upon request by the borrower, the USL can attempt to extend the borrowing period with the lending library.

(4) If copies are ordered or delivered, the user submitting the order is considered to be the orderer.

(5) Interlibrary loan orders are subject to a fee. The fee is incurred when the order is placed, regardless of whether the order is successful. Further details are governed by the scale of charges for the University of Bonn library system.

VII. Other provisions

(1) The PC workstations in the USL are intended for scientific research and other scientific work. Internet access is therefore limited accordingly.

(2) The PC workstations are to be used for scientific purposes only. Time limits can be set for use of the equipment if there is a high level of demand.

(3) Requirements—both USL and University IT requirements—for the use of equipment, programs and services must be strictly observed. Manipulating hardware or software or installing software is prohibited. Users who violate these requirements are liable for all resulting damages.

(4) The USL is not liable if data is lost or data or storage media are damaged during use of the PC workstations.

(1) The USL provides information about its holdings, information about its own and other library services and bibliographic information. Factual information can be provided if material and human resources permit.

(2) All information is provided with no guarantee.

(3) The responsibilities of the USL do not include:

  • Providing answers to legal or medical questions
  • Estimating the material value of books and other objects
  • Literature or data compilations

(1) Copying from books and journals is permitted if it does not violate the Copyright Act and appears to be possible without physically endangering the item in question. A prohibition against copying issued by the USL, or in the case of items obtained by interlibrary loan, by the lending library must be observed.

(2) In addition to using the photocopiers installed in the USL, photographing or scanning using a smartphone is also permitted.

(1) The USL can provide users with reproductions (scans, printouts) of items in its holdings if copying by the users themselves is not permitted for conservation reasons or, on a case-by-case basis, if there are special reasons for using the human and technical resources of the USL to prepare the reproduction.

(2) Outside users may order reproductions of unique or particularly rare items in the USL holdings without being authorized users.

(3) Reproductions prepared in accordance with paragraphs 1 and 2 are subject to a fee. Preparation of the reproductions may be made dependent on prior payment of the fees due. Further details are governed by the scale of charges for the University of Bonn library system.

(4) To support research and teaching, the USL offers a free scanning service for University employees.

(5) When ordering reproductions, the electronic forms prepared for this purpose should be used if possible.

(1) Library property of all kinds (items from the holdings, furnishings, equipment, etc.) must be treated with care and protected against damage. Damage to items includes deformation, discoloring and soiling, any entries, such as underlining or comments, including correction of errors, bending of pages, opening of seals or other closures and the like.

(2) Anyone who borrows items or non-standard items or otherwise takes receipt of them after presenting a library card or other authorizing document[PA1]  must check their condition and report any visible damage or other defects immediately. Defects that are not immediately apparent must be reported immediately when discovered. If they are not reported immediately, the recipient bears the full burden of proving that the defect was not already present when the item was received.

(3) Anyone who loses or damages items or other library property must notify the USL without delay. Users must provide compensation for damages and loss unless they are not the fault of the user. Compensation must also be provided for damages resulting from a failure to provide notification without delay as required in sentence 1.

(4) Under the general provisions of the law on damages, the USL has the right to determine the form of compensation.

Liability for damage to the life, body or health of USL users is governed by the provisions of the law. As the operator of the USL, the University of Bonn is only liable for property damage in cases of intent and gross negligence. Compensation cannot be claimed for pecuniary losses resulting from inaccurate, incomplete, omitted or delayed services by USL employees.

VIII. Final provisions

These Usage Regulations shall enter into force on the day after their publication in the Official Announcements of the University of Bonn. The terms of use of the Bonn University and State Library dated February 22, 2016 (Official Announcements of the University of Bonn, Year 46, No. 7 of February 24, 2016) shall be repealed at the same time.

R. Hüttemann
Chair of the Senate of the University of Bonn
University Professor Dr. Rainer Hüttemann

Prepared on the basis of the University of Bonn Senate resolution of December 15, 2022.

Bonn, December 16, 2022

M. Hoch
The Rector
of the University of Bonn
University Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael Hoch

Wird geladen