Library network

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Library associations in Germany

Library associations (abbreviation: BV ) are associations of several libraries in the form of an association . A network can work independently as a separate body.

Associations usually operate their own association catalog , coordinate interlibrary loan in a geographical area and often perform central tasks of data processing , training and other services.

Union catalogs

They are central catalogs and were created in the 1970s as cataloging associations based on the US model. This has the advantage that a title recording is only recorded once in the network and other libraries only have to add their copies. The participating libraries have agreements on the cataloging of specific subject areas based on the division of labor. There are agreements about which libraries are allowed to change recordings. The network headquarters coordinates the work and makes a decision in case of doubt.


The Federal Republic of Germany is divided into interlibrary loan regions for the implementation of supraregional lending. Lending regions and network regions are usually identical. Loan traffic centers are responsible for coordinating interlibrary loans in the regions. The lending regions or network regions were formed after the Second World War .

Library Association Bavaria (BVB)

The network includes more than 135 predominantly scientific libraries from Bavaria , including the Bavarian State Library , 11 university libraries, 17 university libraries and 10 regional state libraries. There is no official date of foundation; the start in the offline network was 1970, in the online network 1987. The network headquarters is located at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich . In addition to the central network database, it oversees the Gateway Bayern Internet portal , the dynamic link resolver SFX, the BVB attachment database, online interlibrary loan, the shared CD-ROM server and the DigiTool multimedia system.

Joint library network (GBV)

The GBV has over 430 libraries, including all academic and numerous public libraries in Lower Saxony , Saxony-Anhalt , Thuringia , Hamburg , Bremen , Schleswig-Holstein , Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and the libraries of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation . The main task of the GBV is the cooperation and organization of services from and for libraries in the network area. Above all, this includes the central library system (CBS) for cooperative cataloging and the local library systems (LBS).

University Library Center of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (hbz)

The hbz is a central service and development facility for the university libraries in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate . On the basis of contractual agreements, the hbz has been taking on tasks for libraries and institutions inside and outside of North Rhine-Westphalia for 40 years. It is based in Cologne .

Hessian Library Information System (HeBIS)

The HeBIS is the electronic information and service network of the academic libraries in Hesse and the Rheinhessen region in Rhineland-Palatinate . Organizationally, HeBIS is integrated into the state's universities; The university library Johann Christian Senckenberg of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main is in charge . The HeBIS information technology department is the technical service center (until 2007 as the "library data processing department" part of the university computer center and therefore located in its premises). The HeBIS network headquarters is the library service center, located on the premises of the UB.

Cooperative Library Network Berlin-Brandenburg (KOBV)

The KOBV is the amalgamation of all university libraries , all public libraries and many special libraries in Berlin and Brandenburg . In contrast to the other German library associations, the collaboration is limited to a minimal solution. The bibliographic data are recorded separately, and one of the largest Berlin libraries, the Berlin State Library , works with the GBV instead of the KOBV.

Southwest German Library Network (SWB)

In the SWB, around 1,200 libraries from the states of Baden-Württemberg , Saxony and Saarland , the Goethe Institutes and a large number of Max Planck Institutes as well as other library institutions from Germany and abroad make their media collections accessible in the joint SWB database, which the Library Service Center Baden-Württemberg (BSZ) operates professionally and technically with additional services (data delivery and exchange, metadata, external and normative data provision, etc.). As early as 1990, the academic libraries of Saxony joined the SWB network due to the partnership between Baden-Württemberg and Saxony.

Association of Public Libraries in Berlin (VÖBB)

The VÖBB was launched in 1995 as a joint project of the 12 Berlin districts, the Central and State Library Berlin Foundation (ZLB) and the Senate Department for Science, Research and Culture. His bibliographic data can also be researched via the KOBV portal.


The Austrian Library Association is a cataloging and service association for Austria's academic and administrative libraries . The Austrian National Library and the University Libraries form the core .


The network landscape in Switzerland is highly fragmented. In addition to the large associations of university and college libraries, there are other associations of cantonal libraries. Below is just a selection.

Information Network for German-speaking Switzerland (IDS)

The information network for German-speaking Switzerland comprises 400 libraries ; 15 million titles with over 24 million copies are recorded in five databases. Most of these libraries are located in German-speaking Switzerland , but there are also libraries from French- speaking and Italian-speaking Switzerland . The IDS consists of seven partners in five Aleph associations and covers all university and college libraries in German-speaking Switzerland. The productive collaboration began in 1999.

The associations are autonomous; However, there is an intensive cooperation (common set of rules etc.) and a small network organization for joint projects.

The IDS research offers a comprehensive search for the major library databases and associations in Switzerland.

The following members are organized as independent sub-groups in the IDS:

St. Gallen Library Network (SGBN)

The St. Gallen library network is a library network of 46 libraries that operate a network database with the Aleph library system and offer the public an online catalog as well as documents and books to be ordered. The network headquarters of the SGBN is affiliated with the St. Gallen Cantonal Library.

Library Network of Western Switzerland (RERO)

RERO maintains a complete catalog of 180 libraries with services primarily for students from three of the four French-speaking universities in Switzerland ( Geneva , Friborg and Neuchâtel ). The canton of Vaud, and thus the cantonal and university library in Lausanne , has been operating its own Renouvaud network since 2016 and is no longer a member of the RERO.

Sistema bibliotecario ticinese (Sbt)

The Sistema bibliotecario ticinese comprises the four cantonal libraries of Ticino (Lugano, Locarno, Mendrisio and Bellinzona), the university libraries in Lugano and Mendrisio and the school libraries of the canton of Ticino. It maintains several audience catalogs and a metacatalog. With regard to the data format and set of rules, the SBT is an IDS partner and uses the same system as the IDS libraries.

Library associations in non-German-speaking countries

In the European Union there are library associations in all major countries such as Copac in England, SBN in Italy, LIBRIS in Sweden and REBIUN in Spain. The European national libraries are networked through the European Library . In the USA there are no library associations that are comparable to the associations in Germany. The existing library networks are often smaller and were set up for the purpose of exchanging their media. In addition, interlibrary loans are organized by the libraries themselves. The services of the Library of Congress are largely free of charge. The Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), headquartered in Dublin, Ohio , is not for profit, but charges libraries to finance the services and software it offers.


See also

Web links




Individual evidence

  1. IDS Informationsverbund Deutschschweiz: The most important things in brief . Retrieved March 30, 2013.
  2. RERO explore . RERO.
  3. Renouvaud: Historique ( French ) Bibliothèque Cantonal and University of Lausanne. Retrieved June 11, 2018.