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Inter-Library Loans

Inter-library loan requests – step by step


Inter-library loan requests – step by step


  1. Make sure, that the required book isn’t available in a Bochum library (OPAC of the UB, ZKM, meta search of Bochum libraries)
  2. Login to the inter-library loan starting page [German only] with the number on your library card [German only] and your password [German only].
  3. You are now in the menu “Fernleihe” = inter-library loan of the Digital Library (DigiBib). The option “Bücher”  =  books is preset.
  4. The search in the “Bibliotheksverbunnd NRW (HBZ)” = Library Network NRW is preselected. Other library network catalogues can be activated by the checkboxes.
  5. Search for the requested title using the search panel. (If the search is not successful click on request without a database entry [German only]).
  6. Select the requested title from the hit list.
  7. Choose a method of ordering (“Kompletten Band zur Ausleihe” = complete volume for borrowing or “Aufsatz bwz. Abschnitt als Kopie” = article or extract in copy form) and then click on the button „Fernleihbestellung“ = inter-library loan.
  8. If required, change the conditions of delivery.
  9. At “Zahlungsart” = method of payment enter a transaction number (TAN) [German only]. Please keep this in case of eventual queries.
  10. Activate inter-library loan by clicking the button “bestellen” = order.

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Journal articles

  1. Make sure, that the journal containing the required article isn’t available in one of the libraries in Bochum (OPAC of the UB).
  2. Click on the “start” button on the inter-library loan starting page [German only].
  3. You are now in the menu “Fernleihe” = inter-library loan of the Digital Library (DigiBib). The option “Zeitschriftenaufsätze” = journal articles is preset.
  4. Search for the required journal title (not the title of the article!) using the search screen. (If the search is not successful, click on request without a database entry [German only]).
  5. Select the requested journal from the hit list and click on the button “Fernleihbestellung” = inter-library loan request.
  6. Fill out “Angaben zum Aufsatz” = article details as completely as possible.
  7. If necessary, change the “Lieferbedingungen” = conditions of delivery and click on the button “weiter” = next.
  8. Fill in your e-mail address, name and address according to the chosen type of delivery.
  9. At “Zahlungsart” = method of payment enter a transaction number (TAN) [German only]. Please keep this in case of eventual queries!
  10. Activate inter-library loan by clicking the button “bestellen” = order.

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Requests without a database entry

  1. First steps: see ordering of books and journal articles.
  2. If the requested title is not listed in the Digital Library (DigiBib), the information “Das gesuchte Dokument ist nicht dabei?” = Is the requested document not here? appears. 
  3. Follow the support there and if necessary fill in the bibliographic data in one of the two available entry masks (for book and article orders).
  4. For further procedure see ordering of books [German only] and journal articles [German only].

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Request process and delivery times

If you are logged into the Digital Library (DigiBib) for inter-library loan [German only], you have access to your “Fernleihkonto” = inter-library loan account, via one of the menu bars at the top. Here you can trace the progress of your ongoing orders. In order to do so either enter the TAN  [German only] of the appropriate request at “Suche nach einzelnen Buch- und Aufsatzbestellungen” = search for book and journal requests, or call up “Uebersicht Ihren Buch- und Aufsatzbestellungen” = summary of book and article requests (current as well as completed requests). Unfortunately exact details of delivery times are not possible, as various factors (e.g. books are on loan at their own libraries or at the bookbinder) influence the processing time. The average processing time serves as a guideline:

  • Book requests: 10-14 business days
  • Article requests (electronic): circa 2-5 business days

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Notification and delivery

As soon as the delivery has arrived in the library and is ready to be collected or read, you will be notified via e-mail or post [German only]. If the work is not available, you will also be notified by post or e- mail.
Books and also journal articles can be collected at the service counter [German only] of the university library. (Unfortunately since 31.12.07 it is no longer possible to "collect" documents electronically. This is due to changes in the copyright laws. Further information can be found at Informationen zum Urbeberrecht [German only].

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Loan periods, regulations, renewals and returns

The loan period generally amounts to 22 days for books and journals. However the delivering library may stipulate other loan periods and conditions (e.g. for use only in the reading room or a copy ban), to which the UB Bochum is bound. The collection notice, the loan period slip and any accompanying material will inform you of these special rules.

If the delivering library has not stipulated otherwise, the loan period will be automatically extended once. Further renewals are not possible!
In addition you can check your inter-library loans and expiry dates via the library homepage OPAC [German only] and then “Konto” library account information [German only].

A slip with barcode (usually clipped to the first page with a paperclip) is attached to inter-library loan books. Please be sure to leave this slip in the book, as it is required for further processing after the book has been returned!

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Fines and transaction numbers (TAN)

Inter-library loans entail costs. This requires the purchase of a so-called transaction number (TAN) for 1,50 € at the service counter of the UL. Tans do not expire and can be bought in advance. » Inter-library loans are free of charge for students!


  • Books: 1,50 € per order
  • Journal articles: 1,50 € per order of up to approx. 20 pages
  • 0,58 € postage for the notification. There is no postage charge for notification via e-mail. For this you must register your e-mail address in your user account of the library catalogue (access via the UL homepage OPAC / Konto.

Charges for university employees

  • The costs for inter-library loans needed for work purposes by university employees are principally carried by the university where the orderer is employed. Professors and employees can pay for their TANS by transferring from the budget of their chair or institute. The appropriate transfer forms are available online [German only] as well as at the service counter [German only].
    The general rules of charges and remuneration are governed by the Hochschulgebuehrengesetz NRW.

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Literature not available by inter-library loan

Inter-library lending in Germany is governed by the Inter-library Loan Code (LVO) [German only]. This determines which titles cannot be ordered.

  • Literature, which is available in libraries in Bochum.
  • Theses are orderable in exceptional cases. Before placing an inter-library loan please ask whether the thesis is available and has been released at the respective university. If the answer is positive, you can place an order. Please note in the space for comments on the online order form, that you have contacted the university.
  • State examination theses, e.g. of teachers or lawyers
  • Musical performance materials
  • Standards, patents and technical regulations
  • Incunables (= printed works which appeared up to and including 1500), manuscripts and archive materials
  • Especially valuable and rare works. Many libraries strictly lend out no works, which appeared before 1800. However it is usually possible to have copies or microfilms made at a charge.
  • Current journal volumes, unbound journal and newspaper issues. But many libraries strictly lend out no journal volumes.
  • Works, which are damaged or in bad condition
  • Loose-leaf publications – copies of particular chapters can usually be ordered.
  • Recently published titles – processing time is usually 3 months.
  • Licensed electronic publications (with exceptions)
  • Works available in the German book trade, where inter-library loan charges are higher than the purchase price. At present the price limit is 15.00 €.

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Overseas inter-library loans (ILV)

If inter-library loans are returned unfulfilled, because the title is not available in a German library an international inter-library loan can be placed. To do so please consult the staff of the Department of Information (Tel. ++49-(0)234-32-22788/-26929 / E-mail: ub-information@ruhr-uni-bochum.de

General Information

  • Overseas inter-library loans will only be initiated after consulting you
  • Charges:
    • As there are no standard charges for international inter-library loans [German only], these can vary greatly. On the whole, relatively high costs must be expected (approx. 10-25 €).
    • You must undertake to pay all costs incurred.
    • A cost limit under 25 € makes no sense with regard to a fast delivery.
    • If possible, please stipulate a completion deadline. In this way you avoid having to pay for a delivery which arrives too late. Deadlines, which are under 3 weeks, can rarely be kept to.
    • In principle, the fastest and most economical delivering library is attempted to be found.
    • If the order cannot be carried out, no costs will be incurred.
    • Note: sometimes it can be cheaper and quicker to purchase the title in a national / international bookshop.

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Document Supply Services

Document supply services offer an alternative to inter-library loan and enable you to order online very quickly, but unfortunately often much more expensive literature from other libraries.



In person: the information counter of the university library
Telephone: Information Department: ++49-(0)234-32-22788/-26929
Ms. Stiemert: ++49-(0)234-32-27065
Ms. Zehner: ++49-(0)234-32-26461
Info-Chat: Monday-Friday | 9:00 – 15:00

In addition you can arrange an individual appointment at any time. For example, this is advisable if you have to order a larger quantity of literature for a thesis or research project. We will be glad to show you how to prepare the bibliographical references available to you, as quickly as possible, for inter-library loans.