Borrow Books

As a registered library user you can borrow books and other documents from the collection of Lib4RI and any other NEBIS library (complete list of NEBIS libraries ) free of charge. The NEBIS catalogue gives you access to the 10.5 million books, serials, journals and other media of the NEBIS network.


To borrow documents you have to be registered as a user. Registration can be done online or at the service desk of your home library. Once you are registered you need to pass by your home library to let us activate your account. If there is no Lib4RI library at your location please contact us via e-mail or phone (058-765 5700) to finalise your registration. You will receive a library card free of charge which lets you access your NEBIS user account. In the NEBIS user account you can see a list of current loans (with due dates) and are able to renew items.

Borrowing from Lib4RI

Most books and other documents in the collection of Lib4RI are freely accessible and can be borrowed. If the book you are interested in is in the collection of your home library (Lib4RI Eawag-Empa, Lib4RI WSL or Lib4RI PSI), you only need to get the book from the shelf and check out at one of the self-service terminals. You will need your library card and password for this.

Borrowing from Other Libraries in NEBIS

If you have found a book in the NEBIS catalogue that is not in the collection of your home library but at another NEBIS library, you can order it. Follow these steps to do so:

1. Click on «Locations & Request» corresponding to your book to access a list of all holding libraries.
2. Click on «+» next to the library you would like to order from.
3. Sign in with your NEBIS user ID and password (if not already logged in).
4. Click on «loan» next to the copy of the book you wish to order.
5. Select a Pickup/delivery location (see below) and click «Loan».

A book ordered from another NEBIS library will arrive at your home library in 3 to 5 working days. Books ordered from the ETH library will arrive in 1 to 2 working days. You will receive an e-mail notification as soon as the book arrives at its destination.

Pick-up Locations

Users at one of our main libraries can pick up documents ordered from another NEBIS library or via Document Delivery at their home library: Lib4RI Eawag-Empa, Lib4RI WSL or Lib4RI PSI. Choose your home library as the «Pickup Location» when ordering books from other libraries in the NEBIS catalogue. The exception is loans from the Zentralbibliothek Zürich (ZB Zürich). For loans from this library choose «Kurier».

For library users at other locations of Eawag, Empa or WSL, the information in the table below applies.

Please contact the Lib4RI InfoServices if you can't select your recommended «Pickup/delivery location».

Your Location

«Pickup Location»

Delivery / Return

Eawag (Dübendorf)

Lib4RI Eawag-Empa *)

Lib4RI (Dübendorf)

Eawag (Kastanienbaum)

Courier **)

Parcel Table / Reception KB

Empa (Dübendorf)

Lib4RI Eawag-Empa *)

Lib4RI (Dübendorf)

Empa (St Gallen)

Lib4RI Eawag-Empa *)

Mailbox / Reception SG

Empa (Thun)

Mail delivery ***)


PSI (Villigen)

Lib4RI PSI *)

Lib4RI (Villigen)

SLF (Davos)

Lib4RI WSL *)

Mailbox / Blue Box DA

WSL (Cadenazzo)

Mail delivery ***)


WSL (Birmensdorf)

Lib4RI WSL *)

Lib4RI (Birmensdorf)

WSL (Lausanne)


EPFL library

WSL (Sion)

Mail delivery ***)


*) for books from Zentralbibliothek Zürich (ZB) select «Kurier» as the pickup location.
**) for books from Lib4RI Eawag-Empa Dübendorf select «Lib4RI Eawag-Empa» as the pickup location. We will forward the media to Kastanienbaum.
***) in NEBIS these fields are labeled with «Postversand (10,- SFr. or 12,- SFr.)» or «Mail delivery (for a fee)». However, this service is free of charge for members of Empa (Thun) and WSL (Cadenazzo, Sion). Please contact the library team if you receive an invoice for this service.

Internal Book Delivery Service

For all users at Empa-Eawag Dübendorf, PSI Villigen and WSL Birrmensdorf media requested via NEBIS are forwarded to your personal mailbox for your convenience.

Please understand that orders comprising multiple and/or bulky books would still need to be collected at your respective Lib4RI home library. You will be notified via e-mail accordingly. Media can be returned to Lib4RI via your institutional internal mail or directly at your home library. For users at PSI there is an additional drop-off point at the SIZ (east reception).

Many thanks to the internal institutional mail services for making this possible.

Loan Period

The loan period might vary depending on the type of document or the NEBIS library. The standard loan period is 28 days. After the first 28 days, the loan period is renewed automatically two times by 28 days each time. Afterwards, you can renew your documents manually for a maximum of three times via the NEBIS user account, via e-mail, or by telephone (+41 58 765 5700). A renewal (automatic or manual) can be granted only if no reservation has been made.


You are committed to return your loans in time. Otherwise you will receive an invoice for the reminder. The following fees apply:

End of loan period


No charge

End of loan period +10 days

1st reminder

CHF 10.- per document

End of loan period +20 days

2nd reminder

CHF 20.- per document

End of loan period +30 days

3rd reminder

CHF 35.- per document

TEL. 41 58 765 57 00 

Stephanie Hofmann

t +41 58 765 5032

Dr. Bobby Neuhold

t +41 58 765 5133