RUB » Library Gateway » Library FAQ

Library FAQ

Here you will find concise answers in a practical, "how-to" manner.

If you need further assistance please call 0234-32-26929 (Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 18:00) or send a request to our reference desk team.

General information

Library regulations

With regard to other readers please ...

  • ... switch off your mobile phone when entering the library.
  • ... do not smoke. This is a non-smoking university.
  • ... keep silent in the reading rooms and all areas immediately adjacent to them. Avoid talking loudly in the stairwell as well.
  • ... do not bring food or beverages into the library, except for bottled water. In the reading room at the service counter even water is prohibited.
  • ... obey instructions given by staff on duty.

For details about legal issues, admission to and use of the library please refer to Satzung (Verwaltungs- und Benutzungsordnung) für die Hochschulbibliothek der Ruhr-Universität [German only]. These regulations have been agreed in the Senate of the University.

University library at a glance
  • Subject classification and locations
    Classification for the reference collection
    Classification for open access collections and closed stacks
    A subject group or journal is not where it used to be.
    A whole lot of books seems to be missing.
    The system tells me an item is not on loan but I cannot find it on the shelf.
    Special collections: Where they are and how to use them
    Where are items on my subjects kept?
    Where are the shelf marks located?
  • Subject classification and locations

    Classification for the reference collection

    Our reference collection (= "HB") contains bibliographies, library catalogues, encyclopaedias, dictionaries and other reference material. Books are classified according to our reference collection classification scheme [German only]. Shelf marks in the reference collection start with three numbers.

    Classification for open access collections and closed stacks

    Our open access collections are classified according to our own classification scheme which is a rather rough outline of the fields of science. Material kept in the closed stacks is classified according to formal criteria (go to classification scheme [German only]). Therefore you are better off performing a keyword search in the online catalogue rather than browse the shelves.

    A subject group or journal is not where it used to be

    Recently some subject groups and journals have been moved to other floors or to different areas on the same floor. This had to be done because we ran out of storage space in some shelving areas.

    Please refer to our web page Aufstellung der Bestände [German only]. If you have any problems finding a book or journal please ask the staff at the central service counter (ground floor).

    A whole lot of books seems to be missing

    First of all you should check whether you are looking for one of the subject groups that have recently been moved to other floors or areas: web page Aufstellung der Bestände [German only].

    If not you might have omitted one or more stacks on your way through the shelving area. The books are arranged alphabetically by classmarks resp. journal shelfmarks. The alphabetical order always begins at the far left end of each shelving area.

    Prototypical plan of a shelving area: musterstellplan magazinbereich

    The system tells me an item is not on loan but I cannot find it on the shelf

    Possible reasons:

    • The item has been returned during the last few days
      Reshelving normally takes up to two working days. If the item has been returned during the last few days, it could still be found in the reshelving bay (second floor = "Ebene 2", area 2, by the windows facing building MA). Check the trolleys as well. If you find the book you may take it and check it out at the central service counter on the ground floor.
    • New acquisition - book processing is not completed
      After the book is given a classmark and entered into our catalogue, there are still some things to be done. It takes a few more working days until the book is ready for use. Please apply for further information at the enquiry desk on the ground floor (Monday - Friday 9.00 - 18.00).
    • The item is misplaced or stolen
      Please go to the enquiry desk (ground floor) and fill in the form Meldung vermisster Bücher (= missing book form). If the item is found, it will be held at the central service counter and you will receive a notification. If the item is not found, it will be marked missing in our library circulation system and in the catalogue.
    Special collections: Where they are and how to use them

    Special collections include:

    • Old, rare, and precious books
    • Book collections bequeathed to the library
    • Archival copies of publications from the Ruhr University
    • Items unsuitable to put in the open access collections for technical or legal reasons

    For details please refer to Sonderbestände: Standortübersicht und Benutzungsbedingungen [German only].

    Where are items on my subjects kept?

    Tabular overview of the locations of subjects in the University Library [German only]

    Where are the shelfmarks located?

    Tabular overview of the locations of shelfmarks in the University Library [German only]

    Borrowing regulations

    Loan locations

    Comprehensive information about loan conditions [German only]

    Bank account number for payment of fines or administrative fees

    Fines for overdue items or administrative fees can be paid via bank transfer (bank account number and further information [German only]). Please keep in mind: As your payment will be handled by the joint cash office of the universities at Bochum and Dortmund it will take up to ten days until the library will receive the amount.

    Waiver or reduction of fines

    Fines for overdue books can be reduced or waived upon request, if their payment would cause unreasonable hardship. This is the case if a reader might fall into financial distress by paying the fine or if he/she can't be held responsible for not meeting the due date (e.g. because of illness or accident). The persons in charge of the reader services department will decide whether a reduction or waiver of fines can be granted.

    • Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. you can call or see the persons in charge of the Reader Services Department (ground floor = "Ebene 0", room 08 / phone 0234-32-26270/-25437/-26420).
    • Alternatively you can write an e-mail to benutzung.ub (at) ruhr-uni-bochum.de.
    Fees and fines

    Overview of administrative fees and fines [German only]

    I did not get an overdue notice. Do I have to pay nonetheless?

    Yes! The liability to pay fines for overdue items results - by law - from the expiration of the loan period irrespective of the receipt of an overdue notice. Readers are solely responsible for regularly checking due dates and returning items on time. The University Library provides comprehensive help with monitoring the reader's account:

    • All readers who get their notifications via e-mail will get a reminder before an item is due.
    • You can log in to your library record at any time.
    An item cannot be renewed
    • If another reader reserves an item you have on loan an automatic or manual renewal for this item won't be granted anymore. Instead you will receive a notification that and up to which date you have to return the item. If you return it after that newly set due date you will be fined the normal fees for overdue items.
    • Manual renewal will only be offered within 10 days from due date.
    • With interlibrary loans you will be granted one automatic renewal at most.
    I cannot or I could not return my books on time

    You might still be eligible for automatic renewals or manual renewal of the item. To find out please check your library account.

    If you are or were sick or if other adverse conditions (like an accident) prevented you from returning borrowed items on time, please contact us immediately:

    • Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. you can call or see the persons in charge of the Reader Services Department (ground floor = "Ebene 0", room 08 / phone 0234-32-26270/-25437/-26420).
    • Alternatively you can write an e-mail to benutzung.ub (at) ruhr-uni-bochum.de.

    We will always try to find a solution for your problem. But please keep in mind: It's up to you to tell us that you need our help!

    Overdue fines should be paid as soon as possible, if needed via bank transfer (bank account number and further information [German only]). If you don't return the item the fine will continue to increase. Fines are due and payable within 15 days after you have returned the item. If you fail to pay on time your account will be blocked.

    You may appoint someone else to return items and pay fines on your behalf. Please make sure you get the receipts.

    I cannot meet the deadline to collect a reserved item

    Please contact our Reader Services Department before deadline:

    • Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. you can call or see the persons in charge (ground floor = "Ebene 0", room 08 / phone 0234-32-26270/-25437/-26420).
    • Alternatively you can write an e-mail to benutzung.ub (at) ruhr-uni-bochum.de
    Can someone else borrow something in my name?

    Yes, but the owner of the library card is liable for any fraudulent use that might occur. Therefore, we normally lend out items only to the owner himself. A person authorized by the owner of the library card can borrow items if he/she meets the following requirements:

    • He/she has to present the library card of the person who sent him/her.
    • He/she has to present a letter of authorization signed by the owner of the library card. The letter of authorization must state the name of the person authorized and the purpose of the visit. Exception: Scientists of the Ruhr University may give an assistant a general letter of authorization.
    • He/she has to produce photo identification.
    Do I have to apply for a renewal?

    No - automatic renewal means that you don't have to apply for it, neither orally nor in writing.

    If another reader reserves an item you have on loan a renewal for this item won't be granted anymore. Instead you will receive a notification that and up to which date you have to return the item.

    How often can an item be renewed?

    The basic loan period is 22 days (weekends and public holidays not included). You are entitled to automatic renewals which means that you do not have to apply for it:

    • Scientists of the Ruhr University (library card numbers 1083...) are entitled to 5 automatic renewals (22 days each).
    • Students of the Ruhr University and other readers are entitled to 2 automatic renewals (22 days each).
    • Within 10 days from due date manual renewal for another 22 days is possible provided that no other reader reserved the item.
    How many items may I borrow?

    There is no borrowing limit. Thus we shall be very obliged to you if you return items as soon as you have finished with them.

    Where can I check out or return books?
    1. Central service counter (ground floor = "Ebene 0")
    2. Self-issue machine on the ground floor opposite the central stairs
    3. Self-return machine on the ground floor just inside the right entrance door near the cash machine

    Library account

    Library account: Help / about

    Help is integrated into the RUBopac. Switch to the English interface and click on "Help" on the blue menu bar.

    I cannot log in to my account

    If you log in to the library account for the first time please follow these instructions:

    • Benutzernummer (= reader's number)
      Registered students of the Ruhr University:: Reader's number = registration number
      Guest students of the Ruhr University and other readers:: Fill in the 12-digit number on your library card (108...), not the number on your guest student identity card.
    • Library password (= Passwort)
      General information about the library password: Please call the information desk under 0234-32-26929 (Monday - Friday 8.00 - 18.00). Outside opening hours please use our e-mail form on the page Kontakt.
    How can I change my library password?

    Log in to your library account (option "Anmelden"). Switch to the English interface. Choose "Account" and then "User details". Go to the index card "Change password" and fill in the boxes "New password" and "Confirm new password". Then save the new setting.

    Have you changed your library password, but forgotten it since?
    We kindly ask you to speak in person to one of the issue desks at our central service counter (ground floor). We are ready to help you Monday to Friday from 8.00 to 22.00 and on Saturdays from 11.00 to 20.00.

    Alternative login option

    In your enrolment package you will find a handout from the IT Service Centre. This fact sheet contains the login-ID for your internet account at the Ruhr University. You have to set the password for the internet account yourself. Once you've entered your login-ID and the respective password into your personal data sheet (part of your library account) you can choose whether you want to log in with "registration number + library system password" or "Login-ID + internet account password".

    Where in my library account do I find the button or link for renewal?

    Go to the list "Loans" in your account. Manual renewal will only be offered within 10 days from due date if there is no reservation on the item. A link for manual renewal "Renewal of this item is possible" (green letters) will be displayed next to the short title in the list of items you have on loan.

    For bulk renewal click on the link "Renew" in box "Actions" on the right side of the screen.

    After you first borrow an item you are entitled to automatic renewals provided that no other reader reserves the item. The number of automatic renewals depends on your user status.

    Number of renewals granted  |  What does automatic renewal mean?

    Getting library notifications: How can I switch from surface mail to e-mail?

    You can change the setting by entering your e-mail address into your personal data sheet (index card "User details" in your account). Default setting is surface mail.

    • To switch from surface mail to e-mail fill in the box "E-Mail" (= e-mail address No. 1). You can enter an additional e-mail address into the box "E-Mail (2)" (= e-mail address No. 2). To save your settings click on "Modify address data".
    • To switch from e-mail to surface mail erase the adresses in the boxes "E-Mail" and "E-Mail (2)". To save the new setting click on "Modify address data".

    Computers and internet access in the University library

    Reading or writing e-mail in the University Library

    RUB mailbox

    RUB mailboxes can be accessed from every PC in the library.

    Other e-mail providers

    Access to the websites of any other e-mail provider (e.g. gmx, hotmail, YAHOO) is only granted on the ground floor (= "Ebene 0"). Use the PCs opposite the blue elevators and the ones you have to stand in front of. On all other PCs access will be denied.

    Web forms for e-mail transmission

    Web forms that deliver e-mails via cgi-bin or php-bin to the target server can be filled in and sent from all the PCs in the library.

    Sending search results to your e-mail box

    You can send database search results (= export files) or internet pages via e-mail from our PCs in the library to any valid e-mail address:

    • Database research results (= export files), internet pages and formats other than PDF: Open "Datei" (= file) in the browser's menu. Then click on "Seite speichern unter" (= save page as).
    • PDF files: Please click the save icon within the Acrobat window.
    • A form will pop up with a suggested file name and a default path for saving. Change the file name if necessary and comfirm the temporary storage file by clicking on "Save".
    • Next thing another form will pop up. Again the file name is displayed (last chance to change it). Enter an e-mail address and click on the button "als e-mail schicken" (= send as e-mail).
    USB storage devices

    Internet workstations on the ground floor and in the stairwell

    These computers run Linux. The screens have two built-in USB ports on their left side. How to save files:

    • Database research results (= export files), internet pages and formats other than PDF: Open "Datei" (= file) in the browser's menu. Then click on "Seite speichern unter" (= save page as).
    • PDF files: Please click the save icon within the Acrobat window.
    • A form will pop up with a suggested file name and a default path for saving. Change the file name if necessary and comfirm the temporary storage file by clicking on "Save".
    • Next thing another form will pop up. Again the file name is displayed (last chance to change it). Click on "Auf USB-Stick abspeichern" (= save to USB stick).

    You can connect any USB storage device to the ports.

    As a Windows user you probably expect the "safely remove hardware" icon. This is a special Windows feature and does not refer to the safety of the data already saved on your stick - as one might assume. It just intends to make sure that the stick won't be removed until the current saving process is completed. Our computers run Linux which doesn't display such an icon. You can rest assured that no data will be accidentally removed from your USB storage device.

    University Library PC cluster (third floor, area 3)

    These computers run Windows. Insert your USB storage device into one of the ports at the front.

    Databases and electronic full texts

    Can I access databases marked "Campus" from home?

    Students and staff of the Ruhr University having a RUB network user identification and password issued by the IT Service Centre are entitled to access licensed databases from home.
    »  Comprehensive information about access to electronic resources

    Can I access electronic journals with yellow resp. yellow-red "traffic light" from home?

    Students and staff of the Ruhr University having a RUB network user identification and password issued by the IT Service Centre are entitled to access licensed electronic journals from home.
    »  Comprehensive information about access to electronic resources

    "Nationallizenzen" = Nationwide licenses financed by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

    Since 2004 the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft has been financing nationwide licenses [German only] for databases, digital archives, and electronic journals, thereby providing scientists, students, and individuals interested in scholarly research with free access.

    Computers located within the campus network are automatically admitted. Students and staff of the Ruhr University having a RUB network user identification and password issued by the IT Service Centre are also entitled to access the material from home (Comprehensive information about access to electronic resources).

    Individuals have to register with the service.

    Library loan (ILL)

    Interlibrary loan: Help / about
    See our page Inter-library loans for the basics.
     

    No delivery or order cancelled: Can I reuse the transaction number?

    No - once you have submitted your order the transaction number is no longer valid. The fee is not charged for successful delivery but for using the ordering system irrespective of the result. Maintenance of the ILL infrastructure is quite expensive. Actually the ILL fee covers only a small part of the costs.

    Interlibrary loan: Delivery times

    Delivery time depends on many factors:

    • If your order can be placed online it will take considerably less time than in those cases where you had to fill in the free order form.
    • In a lot of cases though we still have to print out an order form, which has to be processed manually and sent by surface mail, because the online procedure was not successful.
    • The time consuming element within the order procedure is the shipping of the item/s. To save on postage libraries delivering large amounts of items usually send the items not one at a time but in containers. Containers won't be sent until they're full. The online ordering system of course hasn't got any influence on that.
    • The libraries with special subject collections responsible for nationwide literature supply like the German National Library of Medicine, Cologne, or the German National Library of Science and Technology, Hanover, receive a very high amount of requests almost beyond their capacity limit. Furthermore they have to fulfil orders coming in via other document delivery services that charge for a quicker delivery ahead of the normal ILLs.

    Thus we recommend that you order books/articles as soon as you know for sure that you're going to need them. The items most certainly won't be sent in the order you ordered them. An exact timing is not possible.

    Standard ILL is not quick enough for my purpose

    If you need express delivery and are prepared to pay considerably more than for a standard ILL order, you have the following options:

    • Document delivery service subito. The price depends on the supplier and the chosen delivery method. For details click on "Prices" on the subito homepage.
    • Libraries with special subject collections responsible for nationwide literature supply sometimes run a document delivery services in those subject areas. For a list of libraries please refer to webis [German only].
    • Non subject specific or commercial document delivery systems [German only]
    Item stolen or missing in Bochum: How can I order it via ILL?

    Zum Bestellen müssen Sie einen Umweg gehen:

    • Below the hit list a paragraph with green background will be displayed: "... there still might be the option for an ILL order request".
    • Follow the link "free ILL order request for a book" resp. "... for a book chapter or section" resp. "... for a journal article".
    • A blank ILL order request will be displayed. Fill in the mandatory fields marked by an asterisk and make your choices concerning delivery conditions ("Lieferbedingungen").
    • Use the entry field "Bemerkungen" (= remarks) to tell us why you have to order the item. Examples: "Item is missing in UB Bochum" | "Stolen from the Library of the Faculty of Philosophy" | "Pages are missing in the UB copy".
    • Enter the code on your ILL voucher into the box labeled "Transaktionsnummer (TAN)". Then click the button "Bestellen" to activate your order.
    • Please keep the transaction number ("TAN") until your order has been finally processed. We need this data for making inquiries about the processing of your order should any questions or problems come up along the way.
    How to order an entire volume of a periodical

    Please note: In most libraries periodicals are part of the non-lending collection, especially when it comes to current volumes, historical titles, or items the library is in sole possession of. Therefore your are likely to be denied your loan request, or at least there will be usage restrictions such as short loan or use in the Reading Room only.

    • Log in to the ILL system and choose "Zeitschriftenartikel" from the menu. Click the flag on top of the page to switch to the English interface. Then choose "Inter-library loan" and "Journal articles" under the caption "ILL order". Search for the journal title. Do not enter any article data into the search mask.
    • Below the hit list a paragraph with green background will be displayed: "... there still might be the option for an ILL order request".
    • Follow the link "free ILL order request for a journal article".
    • An ILL order request will be displayed with the journal title already filled in.
    • As the fields "Aufsatzautor" (= author), Aufsatztitel (= article title) and "Seitenangaben" (= page numbers) are mandatory, just enter a blank or dash to make sure the server accepts your order.
    • Enter the year into the field "Erscheinungsjahr".
    • Enter the volume number into the field "Band/Heft" (= volume/issue).
    • In the entry field "Bemerkungen" (= remarks) you convey that you need the entire volume for browsing. Please enter "Ganzen Band zur Durchsicht schicken".
    • Enter the code on your ILL voucher into the box labeled "Transaktionsnummer (TAN)". Then click the button "Bestellen" to activate your order.
    • Please keep the transaction number ("TAN") until your order has been finally processed. We need this data for making inquiries about the processing of your order should any questions or problems come up along the way.
    How to find books in libraries of the Ruhr University

    You should first consult our online catalogue (RUBopac). If the title you are looking for was published before 1999, please use the Zentralkatalog Monographien ZKM (= catalogue of older books in the departmental libraries) as well. Are you looking for a thesis published between 1960 and 1996? If you find it neither in the OPAC nor in the ZKM, search the Dissertationen- und Hochschulschriftenkatalog (= catalogue of theses in the university library) in a final step.

    Literature search

    How to find books in libraries of the Ruhr University

    You should first consult our online catalogue (RUBopac). If the title you are looking for was published before 1999, please use the Zentralkatalog Monographien ZKM (= catalogue of older books in the departmental libraries) as well. Are you looking for a thesis published between 1960 and 1996? If you find it neither in the OPAC nor in the ZKM, search the Dissertationen- und Hochschulschriftenkatalog (= catalogue of theses in the university library) in a final step.

    Which e-books are accessible on the campus?

    You will find most of our e-books in the online catalogue (RUBopac). In the short title list the item will be marked "ebook". In the full title display of an e-book you will find a hyperlink instead of a shelfmark.

    For technical reasons part of our e-book collection cannot be included in the OPAC for the time being. Therefore, we maintain a special e-book page. From here you can navigate to all of our e-books.

    How to find journals in libraries of the Ruhr University

    Please keep in mind: In our catalogues you can search for journal titles but not for the articles that are contained in those journals.

    • Begin your search in the online catalogue (RUBopac). You can switch to the English interface by clicking the link above the search form.
    • To keep the number of hits low try searching for the beginning of the main title ("Phrase"). You should also choose the filter "Journals" from the pull-down menu at the bottom of the page.
    • If a journal is obtainable both in print and online, there will be separate entries in the short title list for each version.
    • In the short title list printed journals are marked with a book icon.
    • In the short title list electronic journals are marked with a computer icon. In the full title display of an electronic journal you will find a hyperlink instead of a shelfmark.
    Which electronic journals are accessible for students and staff of the Ruhr University?

    The Electronic Journals Library (EZB) is a comprehensive catalogue of electronic fulltext journals. Availability from the RUB campus net is indicated by colour marks resembling traffic lights. Titles marked yellow or yellow-red are included in the online catalogue (RUBopac).
    Help | General information on the Electronic Journals Library

    How to find theses in libraries of the Ruhr University

    Begin your search in the online catalogue (RUBopac). If the thesis you are looking for was published before 1999, please use the Zentralkatalog Monographien ZKM (= catalogue of older books in the departmental libraries) as well. Are you looking for a thesis published between 1960 and 1996? If you find it neither in the RUBopac nor in the ZKM, search the Dissertationen- und Hochschulschriftenkatalog (= catalogue of theses in the university library) in a final step.

    If you want to specifically search for electronic theses submitted to the Ruhr University, please use the Datenbank Elektronische Dissertationen der Ruhr-Universität. Here you will find more search options than in the RUBopac, including search fields for subject headings and for keywords in author abstracts.

    How to find books in other libraries in Bochum

    The meta search engine for catalogues of libraries in Bochum allows you to simultaneously search the holdings of major local libraries. To complement that we maintain a comprehensive list of libraries and archives in Bochum outside the Ruhr University.

    Holdings of libraries in Bochum are also to be found in the HBZ Union Catalogue. Watch out for the following library codes: 294 = Bochum University Library / 132 = Bochum municipal library / Code "Bm" plus number = other libraries in Bochum.

    How to find journals in other libraries in Bochum

    The meta search engine for catalogues of libraries in Bochum allows you to simultaneously search the holdings of major local libraries. To complement that we maintain a comprehensive list of libraries and archives in Bochum outside the Ruhr University.

    Holdings of libraries in Bochum are also to be found in the Zeitschriftendatenbank (ZDB) (= German union catalogue for journals and serials). Watch out for the following library codes: 294 = Bochum University Library / 132 = Bochum municipal library / Code "Bm" plus number = other libraries in Bochum.

    Reservations

    When I reserved the item, the library system stated a different due date. Why?

    The person having the item on loan won't be granted any more renewals but ...

    1. ... he/she will get a period of 10 days to return it.
    2. ... if the reservation is placed within 10 days before the end of the current loan period the loan period will be newly set. The item has then to be returned by the 10th day after the reservation date.

    Thus you can't expect an item to be ready for collection by the date given in the OPAC at the time you place your reservation.

    I cannot manage to reserve an item

    You won't be able to reserve an item if ...

    • ... you have already reserved it.
    • ... the maximum number of reservations (up to 3 per shelfmark) have been made already.
    • ... your library account has been blocked. Possible reasons:
      • You failed to pay fines within 15 days of the fine notice.
      • Mail we sent you came back marked "undeliverable".
      • We had to institute legal proceedings against you.
      • Your student ID card/library card has expired or will expire within 30 days.
    Can I cancel a reservation?

    You can cancel reservations you made as long as the items have not yet been returned by the persons having them on loan. Please log in to your library account, choose "Account" and go to the index card "Reservations". In the list of reserved items click on the link "Cancel reservation" under the short title. You will get the system message (= reservation was cancelled) which you will have to confirm.