Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin

Bring your prestigious collection out into the world

Reading area in Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin
Haus unter den Linden, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin-PK CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

"With WorldShare ILL, international interlibrary lending has become much easier and faster for Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. We are very pleased that our holdings are in such high demand and are now contributing even more to the worldwide supply of literature for top-level research."

Indra Heinrich
Head of Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin

The Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (SBB) has been participating as a supplier in WorldShare® Interlibrary Loan (ILL) since 2018. "As Germany's largest academic universal library with a focus on the humanities and social sciences, the international supply of literature via the SBB interlibrary loan system has always been and still is a major concern," explained Indra Heinrich, Head of Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery at SBB.

Thanks to its outstanding holdings, SBB is a center for national and international literature supply. In addition to the main stock of more than 11 million books and around 45,000 current newspapers and magazines in electronic and printed form, its holdings also include extensive special collections of national and world heritage works.

"Of course, SBB is best known for its outstanding holdings, such as Beethoven's original score of the 9th Symphony," Indra said. "But even far from the large and famous special collections, there are many unknown treasures to be discovered at SBB," she continued. "Would you have known that the SBB's historical holdings include books on the life and work of over 18,000 scholars, literature on over 4,400 artists, works by Shakespeare in 17 languages, and even its own historical cookbook collection?”

"Since we have been using WorldShare ILL, we have been able to meet the expectations of a center for national and international literature supply even better. This is impressively demonstrated by the continuously increasing number of inquiries and completed deliveries."

WorldShare ILL is the only way to handle the high level of demand for these resources. "What was still a highly manual and small-scale process a few years ago, and thus very time-consuming, is now supported automatically by WorldShare ILL. This makes work much easier," Indra explained. "This not only affects the individual workflows but also, for example, the invoicing of interlibrary loan deliveries, which can now be conveniently carried out via WorldShare ILL."

The link between WorldShare ILL and the MyBib eDoc interlibrary loan management system used at SBB now enables library staff to work primarily in MyBib eDoc. Interlibrary loan orders no longer have to be managed in two different systems. This ensures a much more efficient use of resources.

Scanning options in SBB's three magazine locations in Haus Potsdamer Straße, Haus Unter den Linden, and Außenmagazin Friedrichshagen also allow staff to scan requested articles onsite and deliver them directly via the MyBib electronic reading room. "This speeds up the delivery of interlibrary loan orders considerably. Once the ordered article has been made available in the electronic reading room, the receiving libraries can now print it out directly and make it available to their users in full compliance with copyright law. What previously had to overcome long distances is now available quickly and conveniently," Indra said. Of course, if necessary, the library continues to send whole volumes worldwide.

"The days when the order slips at SBB had to be filled out with a typewriter and all orders were processed manually are over. With WorldShare ILL, MyBib eDoc, and MyBib eL, SBB has achieved the hoped-for goal: automated support for all interlibrary loan processes," Indra was pleased to report. SBB and WorldShare ILL have entered into a good partnership for the benefit of users in Germany and around the world.

Services used by Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin

WorldShare Interlibrary Loan



  • Berlin, Germany

Library at a glance

  • Serves as a center for national and international literature with robust collections including manuscripts, letters, music, maps, rare books, incunabula, and much more
  • Together with the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek and the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek in Frankfurt and Leipzig, forms the virtual National Library of Germany
  • Acquires extensive holdings within the framework of the subject information services (FID): FID CrossAsia - Asia, FID Cartography and Basic Geodata, FID Slavic Studies, FID International and Interdisciplinary Legal Research
Reading area and stacks in Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin
Haus Potsdamer Straße, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin-PK CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

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