Universität Bonn

University and State Library

Borrowing and Ordering

Where can I find items that I have ordered? How long can I keep them for? This is where you can find answers to any questions you might have about borrowing.

Finding the shelf mark and location

Run a literature search in the bonnus search portal to find the shelf mark and location of the book or periodical you are looking for. You will need a valid library card to borrow items.

Screenshot bonnus Sucheinstieg
© Screenshot: https://bonnus.ulb.uni-bonn.de/

A woman takes a book from a shelf
© Frank Homann / Universität Bonn


There are various ways you can find the books you are looking for depending on the location:

  • Textbook collection or open stacks: make a note of the shelf mark, take the book from the shelf yourself and bring it to the issue desk. 

    Note that books from the textbook collection can only be borrowed by University of Bonn students.

  • Reading room and Curtius reading room: you can consult books on site but not take them off the premises.
  • Closed stacks: you will need to order books via the bonnus search portal. You will be told the date on which your book will be ready in the Loan Department for you to collect. 
  • Faculty libraries: as well as the items held by the USL, the bonnus search portal also includes those of most faculty libraries. If you click on “Exemplare Uni Bonn” (“Holdings Uni Bonn”), you will find a link to the opening times and addresses of the relevant faculty library under “Bibliothek” (“Library”) Most faculty libraries will only allow you to consult books on site rather than borrow them.


You are not allowed to take periodicals out and will have to consult them in the library.

In the Main Library

  • You will find recent issues of the most popular journals in the reading room.
  • Bound volumes covering previous years will either be in the open stacks on the second basement floor or in the closed stacks and can only be checked out to the reading room for consulting. You will find details of their location and how to order them in the bonnus search portal.

In the MNL Branch Library:

  • Issues from all years from 1980 onward are held in the reading room or the open stacks, where they can be consulted.
  • Issues from years prior to 1980 are in the closed stacks and must be checked out to the reading room using an order slip (available from the information desk).

Eine Frau lernt im Lesesaal
© Barbara Frommann / Universität Bonn
A stack of newspapers
© colourbox.de


Newspapers cannot be taken out and can only be consulted in the library.

  • Older issues in printed form are stored in the stacks, where they will be made available for you to consult. To protect the bindings and paper, you are not allowed to place volumes of newspapers on standard photocopiers or overhead scanners. Please make a reproduction request for reproductions from volumes of newspapers .
  • You can order microfilms of newspapers to the reading room via the bonnus search portal and read them on appropriate readers in the reading room. Please arrange an appointment with the reading room team if you need instructions on how to use the equipment. 
  • Free and licensed online newspapers and newspaper databases can be accessed via the bonnus search portal. The “Nexis” database, which is updated daily, also allows you to search hundreds of newspapers and magazines.

Old holdings and special collections

Manuscripts, incunabula, bequests and other old holdings and special collections can be consulted in the Curtius reading room. You can find details of the terms and conditions of use on the “Collections” web page.

A group of students working on a skeleton model
© Volker Lannert / Universität Bonn

Models of skulls and skeletons

The MNL Branch Library makes models of skulls and skeletons available in partnership with the Student Council of Medicine.

Use on site

  • Models of skulls and skeletons can be borrowed from the service desk for use on site between 10 am and 11.45 pm Monday to Sunday.


  • Models of skulls can be checked out for three days by arrangement. If you are interested, please visit the service desk in the Branch Library between 10 am and 5 pm Monday to Friday.

Unfortunately, these items cannot be reserved.


Students at the University of Bonn can borrow iPads to participate in digital courses and digital examinations. They are available from the MNL Branch Library [Link MNL]. Devices may be borrowed for up to six months.

Standard apps are pre-installed on the devices. Although you can install additional apps, you will first need to create an Apple ID.

Borrowing and returning iPads

10 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday at the service desk in the MNL Branch Library.

Unfortunately, these items cannot be reserved.

Please note: access to eduroam has to be set up through an existing network connection. Please use the "eduroam Configuration Assistant Tool (CAT)" to install the profile: https://cat.eduroam.org/

© colourbox.de, Bild: #26953655

Frequently asked questions on borrowing items

Because the textbook collection was financed specifically for the University of Bonn out of special funds, only its students can take items out.

    You can borrow books for 28 library opening days and renew them twice.  You will not be able to renew a book that has been reserved by someone else. In exceptional cases, e.g. if several people have reserved the same book, its borrowing period may be reduced and restrictions imposed on renewing it.

    Books from the textbook collection can likewise be borrowed for 28 library opening days. The maximum borrowing period for textbooks is 56 calendar days.

    The standard borrowing period for periodicals ordered to the reading room is 14 library opening days. They cannot be renewed.

    The check-out slip that you will receive whenever you borrow an item will show you when it is currently due back and whether any restrictions apply to renewing it. You can also get an overview of what you are currently borrowing and when they need to be returned by under “Mein Konto” (“My Account”) in the bonnus search portal. This is also where you renew items. If you have trouble renewing anything, the team from the Loan Department will be happy to help you.

    If you have found a book on the bonnus search portal that is already on loan, “Exemplare Uni Bonn” (“Holdings Uni Bonn”) will show you its scheduled return date and give you a link for reserving it. You will need to enter your USL user number and your password to make a reservation.

    Books from the textbook collection cannot be reserved, and books that have been reserved cannot be renewed.

    N.B.: if you receive an e-mail on a Saturday telling you that a book you have reserved has been returned, please wait until the following Monday to collect it.

    You can return books during the service hours of the library from which you borrowed it.

    You can pay outstanding late fees and interlibrary loan fees by bank transfer. Please use the following bank details.

    It can take up to a week from the time of the transfer to the receipt of the fee at the USL.

    If you have lost a book or damaged it accidentally, please contact the Loan Department team as soon as possible to sort out the matter of a replacement.

    You are obligated to pay compensation and, by getting in touch without delay, you will avoid overdue fines and potentially being banned from borrowing any more items. 

    Use your USL number and the password you set yourself to log into the bonnus search portal, and then go to “Mein Konto” (“My Account”). You will then be able to renew either individual items or all those you currently hold on your account.

    Borrowed items can be renewed online within eight library opening days of their return date. They can also be renewed up to six library opening days after this date, although late return fees will be charged to your account in this case. 

    Please contact the Loan Department team if you have any questions about renewals.

    Books from the closed stacks will usually have to be requested using the “order” function in the bonnus search portal. This is done via the “bestellbar” (“can be ordered”) link when you select “Exemplare Uni Bonn” (“Holdings Uni Bonn”).

    In exceptional cases, e.g. for bound newspapers or if the information in the bonnus search portal is unclear, you can order the items without any formal requirements by emailing leihstelle@ulb.uni-bonn.de

    To handle your request, we will need your name and user number and details of your order, the shelf mark if displayed, the title and the volume number as well as the exact date if you are ordering newspapers.

    The collection date will be shown underneath your order in bonnus. Generally speaking:

    In the case of orders placed before 1 pm on Monday to Friday, the books will be available at the lending desk in the Loan Department or reading rooms after four hours, where they will be held for collection or consultation for nine library opening days;

    Orders placed after 1 pm or on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday will be ready from 10 am on the next working day.

    Orders for items from the external stacks (e.g. doctoral theses and all items marked “Speichermagazin Bonn” (“Bonn Depository”)) will take several days to arrive.

    University of Bonn staff can take out USL books for longer, although only if the book has not been reserved. If you need a book like this, please reserve it.

    The member of staff will then be asked to return the book.


    You will need to have selected the branch library that holds your item in order to see the “order” function, reservations and an indication of the expected return date in the case of items checked out. “Hauptbibliothek” (“Main Library”) is the default branch.

    If you want to order a book from the MNL Branch Library, for instance, first choose the branch “Abt. MNL” (“MNL branch”) in the top right-hand corner. The book will then be made available for you in the MNL Branch Library.



    Main Library Loan Department

    We are happy to answer any questions about borrowing items, including issuing library cards, taking items out, returning them, renewing them and much more. We are here from 10 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday.


    +49 228  73-7214



    Adenauerallee 39-41
    53113 Bonn

    MNL Branch Library

    We are happy to answer any questions about borrowing items, including issuing library cards, taking items out, returning them, renewing them and much more. We are here from 10 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday.


    +49 228 73-2896



    Friedrich-Hirzebruch-Allee 4 
    53115 Bonn

    Wird geladen