Interlibrary Loan to the Staatsbibliothek

Latest information

As of August 2021, we regret that we will no longer be able to offer free copy delivery of journal articles and chapters from books (max. 10% of the total work) with delivery by e-mail.

You can request books and articles which are not available at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin from other libraries via interlibrary loan – from libraries in Germany and abroad.
The legal basis for this service are the interlibrary loan rules of the Leihverkehrsordnung (LVO) regulated by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs in Germany.

Conditions for an interlibrary loan request

  • You have a valid library card of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin
  • You have checked whether the desired item belongs to the holdings of the Staatsbibliothek
  • You do not want to use the requested material for commercial purposes

Unfortunately, an interlibrary loan request is not possible, if the items at the Staatsbibliothek are either on loan or only available in the reading room.

How much does an interlibrary loan cost?

For every interlibrary loan request the library charges a fee of 1.50 EUR. In case of requests coming from abroad and long articles the price may be higher. Please look here for more information.

How to place an interlibrary loan request?

For an interlibrary loan request you can choose between two options:

Online Interlibrary Loan provides a comfortable and independent way of ordering literature which is catalogued either in the Gemeinsamer Verbundkatalog (GVK) or in one of the other German union catalogues and can be ordered online.
You need a GBV interlibrary loan account if you want to use this service. If necessary, we would set up a free account for you. If you need such an account, please send an email with your library card number to fernleihkonto@sbb.spk-berlin.de.
You will receice a return email with your login details for the Online Interlibrary Loan system and more information.

FAQs on how to request items can be found here – you are also welcome to get relevant information at one of the library’s information desks.

In your personal GBV interlibrary account you have the possibility to check the status of your online interlibrary loan request at any time. If one of your requests is rejected by the system, please contact us directly. In many cases we are able to successfully help you with your online request.

Via the online Interlibrary Loan Form you can request every publication – books, journals, articles – even if there is no bibliographic entry in an online catalogue. When we receive your request in our system, we will search for your desired item in other libraries in Germany and if necessary abroad and will then order the item for you.  

The interlibrary loan form should primarily be used for requests from abroad and for requests which could not be fulfilled via the Online Interlibrary Loan system.

For using this service, please register on the relevant webpage Interlibrary Loan Form with the details of your library account and choose between the options book or article. Then fill in the form with the necessary details.

If you request multi-volume works or several journal volumes, please observe that one form is necessary for every single volume.

If a request cannot be fulfilled, we will inform you accordingly.

Please preferably use the online interlibrary loan service.


Information and Advice

Regarding your possibilities to request items via interlibrary loan we would be glad to give you advice in person. You can currently reach us by e-mail at fernleihe2@sbb.spk-berlin.de or by calling +49 30 266 433650.

Our staff at the information desks in our library buildings are always glad to provide help and advice with your literature search.

More Information

The legal basis for interlibrary loan: 1) lending regulations of the Leihverkehrsordnung (LVO) issued by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs in Germany and 2) the Act on Copyright and Related Rights (UrhWissG).

  • Borrowable items (books, journals, microform material)
  • Copies of single articles published in specialist or scientific journals
  • Copies of parts of a book (according to § 60e, Par. 5 UrhWissG not more than 10% of the whole work)
  • E-Books
  • Articles from newspapers and so-called kiosk magazines published later than 1920
  • Journal volumes published recently
  • Large format newspaper volumes
  • Loose leaf publications (Copies of single articles are possible)
  • Audiovisual materials (possible in exceptional cases, please contact us)
  • Popular fiction and hobby literature (cookbooks, travel guides, etc.)
  • Unpublished diploma, master and examination theses (possible in exceptional cases, please contact us)
  • Works which are available in the book trade for a small price (ca. 15 EUR)
  • Older literature which is especially worthy of protection, published before 1800 (in many cases it is possible to digitise the item – paid service)
  • New publications or works which are still in the library’s acquisition process

For every interlibrary loan request, the charge is 1.50 EUR. It has to be paid, even if the request is unsuccessful.
For all interlibrary loan requests from libraries in Germany as well as for article copies of up to 20 pages there will be no further charges.
If you request article copies of more than 20 pages and in case of requests from libraries from outside Germany increased charges will apply. Please note: when using the interlibrary loan form, the automatic maximum is at 8 EUR for articles. The library will only contact you if the costs are higher than 8 EUR. We will inform you in advance about charges for interlibrary loan requests from libraries outside Germany, in case you have not indicated a cost limit when you placed the request.

If the desired literature is not held by a library in the Federal Republic of Germany or is not available for lending, we request the item via the international interlibrary loan service. In addition to the standard processing fee you will not have to pay further fees charged by the lending library. For international interlibrary loans there there are no uniform fees. In order to avoid further queries, please indicate your cost limit already on the interlibrary loan form. We always try to find the most inexpensive delivery option.

As a rule, items which you request via the interlibrary loan service can be delivered within 14 days. Exceptions are possible. The delivery time of requested items coming from libraries outside Germany may amount to one month.

After their arrival your interlibrary loan items will appear in your library account. According to the specifications of the lending library you can either consult the item in the reading room or take it home.

For legal reasons we are only allowed to deliver to you interlibrary loan copies in paper and not in electronic form. You may choose where to collect the copies: either at the site Haus Potsdamer Straße, book collection area or at the site Unter den Linden, book issue desk.

We will send you an email when the item is ready to be collected.
Please note: A notification is only possible when you have registered your email address in your library account.

Besides the interlibrary loan service you can request books, article copies or copies of parts of books via subito  which is a chargeable service with a very quick delivery time.
Another alternative to interlibrary loan, especially regarding recent publications, could be: suggesting a book or other resources for our library.

You find the data protection declaration for the interlibrary loan service here.