Library Services – An Overview

In accordance with the University's Provisions for the Continuity of Operations during the Coronavirus Crisis, the library will offer limited opening hours on the following days starting on 12 May 2020: Hagen // Iserlohn // Meschede // Soest

  • During these opening hours it is only possible to return borrowed media and collect requested media. Should you need any media, please submit an order in advance via our online catalogue KAI. You will be informed by email if the volumes are available for you. Please make sure to wait for this notification before you visit the library.
  • Borrowed books are generally due on June, 2, 2020.
  • The open stacks, the workstations and group work rooms and areas currently cannot be used. The payment of fees is currently restricted to bank transfers - the library will provide you with the necessary data. Any information and advice is provided exclusively in electronic form. You are welcome to call us or contact us by email.
  • Library certificates are currently issued electronically. For this purpose, please contact the e-helpdesk .
  • From now on it is possible to borrow and return media on Lüdenscheid campus at the local public library.
  • From 28 May 2020 the interlibrary loan service will be available again for requesting print media via our interlibrary loan portal. Please note that currently longer delivery times and in individual cases cancellations can be expected.
  • University members can continue to use our extensive electronic services via off-campus access or VPN. Please do not hesitate to contact us by email

When visiting the library, we kindly ask you to observe the distance and hygiene regulations of the South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences for your own and our staff's health.

  • Do not enter the library with any illness symptoms.
  • Only one visitor at a time should enter the library. Please mind the distance markers.
  • Please wear a mouth/nose protection.
  • Follow the established sneezing and coughing etiquette and use your arm crook and if necessary disposable tissues.
  • Please follow the signs and instructions of the library staff.

General information

The university library, having its administration in Hagen, is comprised of four branch libraries located at the campuses of South Westphalia University. It serves students, lecturers, staff, and other interested people as a media centre as well as a place for learning and a source of information.


You will find the full range of media in the university library.

  • Print media: books, journals, newspapers
  • Electronic media: e-books, e-journals, databases, standards

All forms of media are accounted for in the online catalogue KAI.

Learning Facilities

Each branch library offers individual or group workstations. Research and multimedia computers are available as well as Wi-Fi hotspots for internet access with your own mobile devices.


The library is open to the public and normally free of charge.
In order to borrow books you need to activate your library account. Therefore please visit your branch library and present your university ID card Chiporello or an official identity document with a photograph.

Loan Periods

  • The regular loan period for books is 30 days. Afterwards, the period can be extended as long as the media has not been reserved.
  • Printed journals can only be read in the library with the option to copy articles.
  • DVDs and CDs are treated specially. Please ask at the information desk.


The library services are normally free, but the following charges might apply:

  • For overdue media
    • up to 10 days: 2.00 Euro
    • up to 20 days: 5.00 Euro
    • up to 30 days: 10.00 Euro
    • up to 40 days: 20.00 Euro
  • For interlibrary loans: 1.50 Euro per order

Off-Campus-Access to E-Media

Using your university access data, you have access to e-books, e-journals, and databases from outside the campus. You will receive the access data separately by e-mail: Students, who already are enrolled, from the Student Service Office and university staff from the University Administration.

Conducting research via KAI:

  • Select the desired title.
  • Click on the link "Volltext - FH Südwestfalen".
  • Use your university access data to fill in the login form in the university network.
  • You will be forwarded to the desired title at the publisher´s website.

As an alternative to the Off-Campus-Access you can install the VPN-Client from the university website . Your contact persons are members of the IT-Services staff.

Many database providers support the single sign-on-authentication via Shibboleth , so you can access these databases directly via your browser using your university access data.

Interlibrary Loans

Interlibrary loans are literature requests from other libraries when the item in question is not available in any of our branch libraries. You can request both books and copies of individual chapters or papers.

The access to the interlibrary loan portal DigiBib is obtained via your user account in KAI.


  • Be sure to check in KAI whether or not a medium is available in our library.
  • An interlibrary loan is not necessary to borrow media from other branches of our library. In this case an internal university transfer via the request function in KAI is available.
  • Individual papers are not locatable in KAI and have to be researched in literature databases.
  • Each interlibrary loan costs a 1.50 Euro processing fee.

Courses and E-Learning

We offer courses on different topics in various formats:

  • Library introduction
  • Research I
  • Research II
  • Citavi (Reference Management)
  • Special courses, such as about standards or quoting

Our trainings are conducted as classroom events at the university locations or as online-seminars.

Regardless of your location, you can participate remotely on webinars via your own mobile device. You only need, when applicable, a headset.

The courses take place at fixed dates and upon request.

Via the learning plattform Moodle, we offer individual modules as self-study courses. For using this learning plattform, please open in your browser and log in with your university password. You can select "Bibliothek" under the menu heading "Kursbereiche" and register for our courses. These are only available in German.

For extensive individual consulting, for example before starting to write your thesis, we offer research consulting hours on Hagen campus or online.


Citavi assists you with academic literature research: from the reference management to knowledge organisation and task management all the way to the creation of the bibliography.

There is a licensed version available to our university members. In addition to the cost-free version, it offers editing of projects in teams and the management of an unlimited number of references.