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Frequently asked questions about the current use of the library

Is the library open again?

From Monday, July 6, 2020 the library will open from Monday to Friday from 10 am to 4 pm for HCU staff and students with limited services:

Everything about lending and returning items, using the multifunctional device or browsing on the shelf is possible. Books can be borrowed and returned at the selfcheck system. For this purpose, the selfcheck system has been extended to include the return function. You can collect requested media or pay fees at the service counter without contact.

Unfortunately, access to the HCU building will remain closed for HCU externals until further notice. This applies to all facilities of the university, including the library.

Which online media will I be able to access?

At the moment there is only access to the freely accessible information (Open Access) and - for HCU members - to the licensed e-media (ebooks, ejournals, databases).

In order to provide the best possible support for teaching and learning in the digital term we are currently increasing our emedia holdings (new collections).

If you only want to search for emedia in the literature search engine, limit the hit list with "yes" using the "online" filter.

Under Learning & Working you will find information on off-campus access for HCU students or employees.

Due to the temporary closure of many libraries, some publishers and providers also support digital teaching by providing their electronic services temporarily free of charge (overview).

My loan period expired in the closing time. What next?

We have extended all loan periods that are within the closing time of the HCU. You can view the new loan periods at any time in your library account.

Can I return books?

Employees and students of the HCU can return books to the selfcheck system during opening hours. There is also a return box in the foyer.

Can I currently reserve books?

Yes, with one exception: For HCU-externals we have currently deactivated the reservation option, as collection is currently not possible.

Have reserved books been reserved for me until the reopening?


I received a return request before closing. What should I do?

Please return the book. If this is not possible for you, please contact us by email in time.

During the closing period there are no additional fees for late returns. Fees incurred before the closing time will remain in effect.

My library membership has expired. Can it be extended during the closing time?

If you are already in the building as a HCU member, you can extend the membership during our opening hours. HCU students can send us the scanned documents by email. External users do not have to become active: We will extend the membership by the closing time.

Can I order material via interlibrary loan?

Yes. Please note that not all libraries deliver again.

Searches and requests are made as usual in the union catalogue GVK or via the filter "supra-regional catalogue" within the HCU literature search engine. Do you not yet have an interlibrary loan account? Please contact the library via email so that your library ID can be activated for interlibrary loan.

Can I work in other libraries and borrow books?

Some libraries offer limited possibilities for borrowing. Please consult the websites of the relevant libraries, for example the Hamburg State and University Library or the University Library of the TUHH.
Both libraries also offer a "virtual walk-in" service - the possibility to order single ebooks or e-articles.

If you already have a library card of the SUB, remote access is temporarily activated. If you do not yet have a library card, please register using the online form and then send an email to ausleihzentrum@sub.uni-hamburg.de. You will receive further information afterwards.

For the use of the "Virtual Walk-In" service it is necessary that you are already a registered library user of tub. The order is submitted via an online form.

Use the filter "Hamburg Libraries" in our search engine to search all library holdings at the same time with one query.

Are acquisition proposals processed?

Yes. Where campus licenses are available, we currently give preference to licensing ebooks in order to make literature available to everyone at any time and from any place.

How can I still use the consultation hours for Open Science, literature research and citavi?

Please understand that we currently only answer your questions by email or phone. We can also arrange a date for a zoom meeting.

My question is not answered here. How do I best reach the library team?

The best way to contact us is by email via our function addresses. In this way we ensure that your questions can be answered even when someone is absent. You can also contact us by phone:

Phone: +49 (0) 40 42827-5675