LMU Munich has an excellent library system. Along with the extensive central university library and its adjacent reading rooms, LMU boasts numerous libraries in individual departments and partnerships with other libraries in Munich. It is also part of a Germany-wide network of university libraries that will send and loan books to students and scholars on other campuses. There is hardly a book or journal you won’t find!
In order to use the libraries, you will need a library card and user number. To get a card, you will need to present your LMU student ID (Studentenausweis) and your passport at the library information counter of the Universitätsbibliothek or UB. If you give them a temporary student ID (Vorläufiger Studentenausweis), you will only get a temporary card, so we suggest you just wait until you have a permanent ID. Department and institute libraries usually issue a separate card. Inquire there for specifics.
Yes, the library system is that extensive. At the beginning of each semester, the UB offers several guided tours of the library, its databases, and the OPAC system. Check flyers or ask at the info counter for details.
Universitätsbibliothek (Uni-Bibliothek or UB)
The university’s library system consists of the Main University Library and more than 130 decentralized libraries hosted by the individual faculties. Its total stock amounts to about 6.5 million volumes. The vast majority of the library system’s holdings are listed in the online catalog. Whereas the holdings of the decentralized libraries are generally not available for lending, the Main Library houses lending stocks totaling 2.4 million volumes. These include the valuable inventory of over 3,000 manuscripts and approximately 400,000 old prints up to the publication year 1900, the second largest in the Free State of Bavaria.
The Central Library is located in the main university building on Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1. However, the entrance to its public offices is in the adjacent red building at Ludwigstrasse 27 on the ground floor across the hall from the International Affairs Office.
Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library)
The UB card also gives you access to the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (BSB, or more popularly, StaBi). It is located at Ludwigstrasse 16, just across the street and a half block down from the UB. The StaBi is by itself one of the best and largest libraries in Europe. However, you must activate your card to use the StaBi system. Simply present your card and your passport at the counter with the sign Zulassung (usually also English-speaking).
Once you have a card, you can order, reserve, and renew books from the University Library or the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek through their electronic OPAC (Online Public Access Catalogue) systems. The libraries offer several counters with OPAC terminals, or you can access each library’s OPAC system online through their respective homepages. Books are delivered to pick-up areas in the libraries where you can then check them out.
When Using the Libraries . . .
- There are no open stacks at the UB or StaBi, and it will take a couple of days for your books to arrive once you’ve ordered them. Make sure to order in advance! OPAC will state the delivery date when it confirms your order.
- Department libraries generally have books and journals on shelves that you can access directly, but most have restricted lending policies and also require you to show ID when you enter. Check the policies with the individual libraries. In many cases, you’ll be able to read books only while you’re there.
- Most libraries do not permit you to bring in jackets or backpacks, but often provide lockers outside that you can activate with a deposit of a €1- or €2-coin (you get it back). Remember to bring some change.