Loans, reservations and document delivery

In order to borrow a document from the EPFL Library, it is enough for you to be registered there or be registered in a library of the NEBIS network. Our BEAST catalogue (Books, Ebooks and Articles Search Tool), will enable you to find the documents that you require. It gives you access to the totality of our electronic and physical collections as well as to the collections of the other libraries of the NEBIS network.

If the document that you are interested in is available, do not reserve it but go and look for it directly on the shelves and borrow it at the desk or at the self-service loan stations. Almost all of our collection is accessible at all times, 7 days out of 7, from 7:00 to midnight.

If a document is borrowed, you can reserve it free of charge by using the BEAST function “Reserve/request”. To that end, log on and click on “In a library” in order to bring up all the options for ordering.

As soon as it becomes available, you will receive an email alert. You can then come and take it out at the Library reception desk between 8:00 and 20:00, from Monday to Friday. The document is put aside for 10 days, after this time if there is no contact from you, we take it off the reservation list.

It is possible to make up to 30 reservations at the same time.

Renewals are possible provided the documents in question are not reserved by another user:

After 5 renewals, the document must be presented to the library desk.

A renewal cannot delete a fine: thank you for adhering to the loan periods (see our borrowing terms and conditions)

If the document that is of interest to you is in a library other than the EPFL one, you can order it directly via BEAST.

In order to do that, when you have found the document, log on and click on “In a library” in order to bring up all the options for ordering. Then click on “Reserve/request”.

Do not forget to select a pick-up location, for example: “EPF-BIB (Lausanne)” for the EPFL Library or mail delivery (invoiced service) for dispatch directly to your home or office.

The delivery time is from 3 to 5 working days. Most of the time it is quicker to order another copy available in another library than to wait until the borrowed document is returned.

When the document arrives you will get an email alert. You can then come and pick it up at the Library desk between 8:00 and 20:00, Monday to Friday.

Each user registered in a library of the NEBIS network can order a document of the EPFL Library, whether it is borrowed or not, by virtue of the BEAST search tool or the NEBIS search interface.

The document is then sent to the library to which you are affiliaited. The delivery time is from 3 to 5 working days. It is also possible to have the book sent by parcel post (NEBIS service, invoiced).

Borrowing on-site is clearly possible, the EPFL Library being open to the public (see our opening hours and access).

Borrowing a document on-site and ordering a publication in the NEBIS network are free. Your library card is required for any borrowing.

General borrowing terms and conditions

Each person is responsible for the documents borrowed on his/her card (see the Library rules)

Number of documents that can be borrowed

You may borrow up to 100 documents at the same time. The number of items you can reserve is set at 30.

Loan duration and renewals

The loan duration for the documents in the research collection is 4 weeks, and for the Teaching collection it is 2 weeks. Some collections may have a shorter loan duration (for example: the borrowing of science-fiction DVDs is restricted to 3 days); feel free to consult us for more information.

The loan period is shown in the BEAST search engine, in the information linked to the owner library in the column “Loan status”.

Without exception, it is possible to renew the loan of a document 5 times, on condition however that the document is not reserved by anyone else.

After 5 renewals, the document must be presented at the library desk.

A renewal cannot delete a fine: thank you for adhering to the loan periods.

In your online account you will also find information concerning the loan periods and the renewals possible.

Ordering a book in another library of the NEBIS network is free of charge. There is a service for posting the document to your home, which service incurs a charge. Ordering copies and scans of articles in the NEBIS as well as the “inter-library loan” (ILL) service are chargeable services. See the detailed rates.

When the loan expires,

  • an initial return request (free of charge) is sent. You then have 10 days to return the book.
  • at the end of these 10 days, a reminder is sent; this incurs a charge: books not returned are fined 10 CHF each.
  • the second reminder is sent 10 days after the previous one. Each book not returned is fined 10 CHF extra.
  • the third reminder is sent 10 days after the previous one. Each book not returned is fined 15 CHF extra and the user account is then blocked.

We would ask you to check your account online regularly in order to see the status of your borrowings. For sometimes automatic emails are not accepted by the email filters and then end up in “spam” (unwanted emails). Non-receipt of these notices or reminders cannot be invoked as an excuse for the late return of these documents.

To sum up

End of loan period: return request, free of charge

10th day: 1st reminder, 10 CHF per document

20th day: 2nd reminder, 20 CHF per document

30th day: 3rd reminder, 35 CHF per document + account blocked

thereafter: recovery by legal means, 300 CHF (Swiss) / 500 CHF (International)

Inter-library loan service (ILL)

Do you need a document not available at the EPFL Library or on the NEBIS network?
The inter-library loan service (ILL) is at your disposal! Send us your request by filling out the form below.

  • Books on loan
  • Copies of articles (digital or printed version)
  • All types of document available in libraries (reports, proceedings of conferences, theses…)

Each reader registered in the NEBIS network can make an inter-library loan request. See our schedule of fees.

Delivery times of the documents (indicative)

Documents coming from Swiss libraries: 3 to 5 days

Documents coming from European libraries (excluding Swiss): 1 to 2 weeks

Types of delivery

The books are to be picked up at the EPFL Library desk.

The articles are delivered either in digitial format (by email) or printed format (to be picked up at the Library desk, or sent by internal post to your professional EPFL address).

Duration of loan

The duration of the loan varies. In any event, you are notified of the due return date at the time of borrowing the document. Some documents are available only in consultation on-site at the EPFL Library, as requested by the owner library.

It is sometimes possible to renew a book borrowed inter-library. In order to do this, get in touch with [email protected], before the return date of the borrowed document. You are responsible for returning the books to the EPFL Library, at the latest by the set return date. In the event of late return, reminder fees will be charged to you.

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[email protected]

41 21 693 21 56