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Università della Svizzera italiana University Library Lugano

University Library Lugano

Library regulations

Section I General


In accordance with art. 20 par. 3 of the Statute of the Università della Svizzera italiana, the present Regulations applies to the services of the Università della Svizzera italiana Libraries (hereafter BiUSI).


Art. 2 Purposes and objectives

  1. The BiUSI, located in Lugano and Mendrisio, are scientific libraries in charge with the organization of library materials related to the subjects studied at the University (books, journals, e-resources, etc.).
  2. The BiUSI provide instructions for the use of library resources and support the development of Information Literacy, in accordance with University learning objectivess.
  3. The BiUSI collect, record and preserve materials and strive to assist users with the most appropriate means.
  4. The BiUSI are in charge with the institutional digital library and provide assistance to faculty with regards to the f publication and circulation of their research work.
  5. The BiUSI maintain relationships with other similar institutions at a local and international level.



Section II Services and admission


Art. 3 Admission and membership

  1. Access to BiUSI Libraries is free. Special conditions may apply.
  2. Library services are available to users who own a library card, in relation to a swisscovery account, which requires a Switch edu-ID. Each user must create their own account.
  3. Library membership entails the acceptance of SLSP (Swiss Library Service Platform) regulations. The borrowing of items from SLSP affiliated libraries entails the acceptance of the lending library regulations, regardless of the pick-up location.
  4. The card is issued for free by the Library.
  5. Other Bibliopass library cards, as well as student or staff cards issued by other Universities, may be used as BiUSI cards.
  6. The library card is for personal use only and cannot be used by third parties. The owner is responsible for items on loan and fines.


Art. 4 Data collection and protection

  1. The following mandatory personal information is collected during the creation of a Switch edu-ID: last name, first name, date of birth, postal address, e-mail address and phone number. Patrons may add other information in order to personalize their profile, such as matriculation number, gender, preferred language, academic affiliations.
  2. Personal information is recorded in the cloud infrastructure managed by the Ex-Libris Alma application, for all libraries that are members of the swisscovery SLSP service. Information is used internally for the provision of services and is not shared with any third parties.
  3. Users can access their personal information at any time through the Switch interface for the Switch edu-ID service.
  4. The BiUSI can access the information related to user library profiles and library transactions at any time.
  5. BiUSI user library profiles and library transactions are not shared with any third parties.


Art. 5 Change to personal data

Any change to personal information, postal address, e-mail address or phone number should be immediately recorded on the Switch interface for the Switch edu-ID service.


Art. 6 Services

The BiUSI provide users with a range of services, such as the reference service, book lending – except for non-borrowable items –, the interlibrary loan service etc.

The terms and conditions for the provision of the various services are outlined in an annex to these Regulations.


Art. 7 Opening hours

Libraries opening hours are available at the libraries and relevant websites. Opening hours are subject to changes.



Section III Duties and obligations


Art. 8 Assistance

The Library provides assistance to users, both on site and remotely. Users may suggest purchase of books or other materials in writing, as described in the attached forms.


Art. 9 Borrowing

  1. Only authorized items may leave the premises.
  2. Items must be returned by the due date and in the same conditions as when borrowed.
  3. Late returns are subject to fines and penalties. users with unpaid fines may have their borrowing privileges suspended and may incur in administrative fees (see the University Library Lugano regulations).


Art. 10 Rules of conduct

Users must not cause disturbance to others in the library. Smoking, consumption of food and beverages and the use of mobile phones are prohibited on the premises.

Users who fail to comply with library rules may be requested to leave the premises.


Art. 11 Facilities

The use of BiUSI facilities is subject to approval and regularly monitored. Users are liable for any damage caused to facilities due to unauthorized use.


Art. 12 Exceptions

Under particular circumstances, the BiUSI Managment may grant exceptions to the current regulations.


Lugano/Mendrisio, 04.12.2020



University Library Lugano regulations


1. Access to the library

 Access to the library is free. Most collections are on open shelves and directly accessible to the public. USI members and the general public alike are entitled to library services, provided that they have a library card, that may be requested at the library circulation desk or at other Bibliopass libraries (see point 2).


2. Library card

USI cards and Theology faculty cards, as well as Bibliopass network cards, function as library cards.
External users can request a library card for free.
In case of loss of the library card, a duplicate card may be issued against the payment of CHF 10.-.


3. Opening hours

 3.1 Regular

Monday - Friday: from 9.00 to 22.00

Saturday: from 9.00 to 12.15

3.2 Changes

In the summer months, depending on the academic calendar, is replaced by a reduced hours:
Monday - Friday: from 9.00 to 18.00

Changes to opening hours due to public holidays or events are notified on the library web site and displayed at the library.

3.3. Special notice

On weekdays, from 18 to 22, and on Saturday the following services are not available:

  • Reference service
  • Loans of audiovisual material
  • Loans of material held in closed access stores
  • Interlibrary loans


4. Internet

 4.1. Access

The Library provides free access to the Internet for documentation and research aims.

4.2 Service limitations for under-age users

Users under 14 can access the Internet only if accompanied by an adult (aged 18 years old or older). 
Users aged 14 to 18 can access the network individually provided that one parent/tutor has signed the requested authorization form. 
Only parents or tutors - not the Library or its staff - are responsible for the information found on the Internet by their children or the minors in their care.

4.3 Usage rules

Library users are required to properly use the available resources, respecting the educational and informational purposes for which they are intended.
The following is strictly prohibited:

  • attempts to infringe the security of local and remote computer system;
  • attempts to damage or alter the hardware and software components of any computer, network or database;
  • unauthorized use of accounts, access codes or IP numbers;
  • violations of license terms;
  • invasion of privacy of third parties;
  • attempts to improperly access any files belonging to others;
  • unauthorized copying of copyrighted material
  • the installation of any software or any part thereof
  • any breach of Netiquette
  • harassment to others

4.4. Time limits

Upon registration at the reception desk, library users can use the machines at their disposal for up to one hour per day. The session ends automatically when the allocated time has expired.

4.5 Wireless network

Library patrons may use the WIFI network connection named BULpublic. USI regulations apply.


5. Photocopies, scans and print-outs

Photocopies, scans and print-outs of material are allowed in the respect of copyright laws and products' license conditions only.

5.1 Photocopies 

The library is equipped with copiers for patron use. 
Photocopy cards may be purchased at the Library circulation desk. 
Copiers produce A4 copies only at CHF 0.20 per sheet.
Copies of fragile and rare items are made by the Library staff only.

Please be careful in handling the original documents while photocopying.

5.2 Scans and print-outs

It is possible to run A4 prints at a price of CHF 0.20 each. USB pen drives may be used to save one’s work.
The magnetic cards needed to operate the printer (located at levels 1 and 3) may be purchased at the Library circulation desk.

6. Access to library online resources

 Library patrons can access all Library licensed digital resouces inside the Library premises.  

USI members and the Theology faculty members can access the resources also from off-campus, via login identification (Net-ID).

Electronic resources may be consulted for research and study purposes only – commercial or profit-making use is forbidden.

Access is granted to authorized users only. The login ID cannot not be given to others.

7. Reference service

The reference service is designed to assist users in their searches and in the use of documentary resources. 
The library staff works with patrons in order to define the right research strategy and to identify relevant sources. 

Service hours:
Monday - Friday from 9.00 to 13.00 or by appointment


8. Borrowing

Patrons are entitled to borrow library materials. Loan categories are described at:
Access to the library and to the documents - Sorting and location of document

8.1 Borrowing limits

Patrons are entitled to borrow up to 100 items altogether.

8.2 Renewals

Loans are automatically renewed five times at the due date, provided no other user placed a reservation on the document. In that case, the due date can no longer be postponed.

8.3 Returns

Items must be returned to the staff at the circulation desk.

8.4 Late returns

Overdue items are subject to recalls.





14 and 28 day loans

Due date reminder

1 day after the due date

1° overdue reminder

6 days after the due date reminder

CHF 5.00 / per item

2° overdue reminder

6 days after the 1° overdue reminder

+ CHF 5.00 / per item

3° overdue reminder

6 days after the 2° overdue reminder

+ CHF 10.00 / per item



(TOTAL: CHF 20.00) 

7 day loans

Due date reminder prestito 

1 day after the due date

1° overdue reminder

3 days after the due date reminder

CHF 5.00 / per item

2° overdue reminder

3 days after the 1° overdue reminder

+ CHF 5.00 / per item

3° overdue reminder

3 days after the 2° overdue reminder

+ CHF 10.00 / per item



(TOTAL: CHF 20.00) 

1 day loans

Due date reminder

1 day after the due date

1° overdue reminder

1 day after the due date reminder

CHF 5.00 / per item

2° overdue reminder

1 day after the 1° overdue reminder

+ CHF 5.00 / per item

3° overdue reminder

1 day after the 2° overdue reminder

+ CHF 10.00 / per item



(TOTAL: CHF 20.00) 

"Same day" loans
(until the end of the day) 

Due date reminder


1° overdue reminder

1 day after the due date

CHF 5.00 / per item

2° overdue reminder

1 day after the 1° overdue reminder

+ CHF 5.00 / per item

3° overdue reminder

1 day after the 2° overdue reminder

+ CHF 10.00 / per item



(TOTAL: CHF 20.00) 

After receiving a 4th reminder USI students’ and staff members’ computer access will be blocked.

8.5 lost or damaged items

Patrons who lose or damage an item will be requested to pay the price of the item plus a CHF 20.- processing charge.

8.6 Service hours

Open shelf items:
Monday - Friday from 9.00 to 21.45; Saturday 9.00 - 12.00 (Summer hours: Monday - Friday from 9.00 to 18.00)

Items in closed stacks:
Monday - Friday from 9.00 to 18.00


9. Interlibrary loans

9.1 Book requests
The interlibrary loan (ILL) service provides access to items not available at the BUL. Requests are forwarded to libraries in Switzerland and abroad. 
To place an ILL request it is necessary to fill out the ILL request form.

9.2 Return
ILL borrowers must comply with all service conditions and with the return date set by the lending library. The return of books borrowed in other libraries is not permitted.

9.3 Article photocopy

Patrons may request copies of articles not available at the BUL by filling out the ILL request form.

9.4 Borrowing limits

Patrons are entitled to borrow up to 100 items altogether - ILL and library loans.

9.5 Late returns​

Late returns are subject to a fines, as described in the Borrowing section.   
Failure to comply with regulations and to return items on time may result in suspension of ILL borrowing privileges.

9.6 Lost or damaged items

ILL borrowers are fully responsible for the material in their possession and will be charged for any damage or loss incurred to the items plus a CHF 20.- process charge.

9.7 service fees

The following service fees apply:

Document location USI and SUPSI-DTI fees External user fees
Faculty / Administrative staff



Articles Books Articles Books Articles

Ticino (SBT)

Free Free Free Free Free Free

Switzerland (swisscovery e not)

Free Free



CHF 8.-

CHF 10.-
every 20 pages
or fraction thereof
Others Actual expenses
(usually CHF 17.-)
Actual expenses
(usually CHF 10.-)
Actual expenses
(usually CHF 17.-)
Actual expenses
(usually CHF 10.-)
Actual expenses
(usually CHF 17.-)
Actual expenses
(usually CHF 10.-)

Borrowers are kindly requested to pay ILL fees at collection time. 

9.8 Eligibility for loans

ILL services are available to all patrons who have registered with swisscovery, with no pending fees and less than 100 items currently on loan.

9.9 Restrictions on borrowing

The following materials cannot be obtained on loan:

  • Items located in Lugano libraries 
  • Items owned by the BUL but currently in circulation

9.10 Collection of items

Requested books must be collected before the return date, while requested photocopies within 15 days after receipt of the notification email; patrons who fail to collect items are subject to 5.- CHF fine plus mailing costs (min. 7.- CHF).

9.11 Borrower's responsibilities

ILL borrowers assume full responsibility for all materials issued in their name. ILL items are non-transferable to others.

9.12 Service hours

Monday - Friday from 9.00 to 18.00


10. Purchase suggestion

Library patrons are welcome to make purchase suggestions by using the relevant form. 
Suggestions will be weighed carefully within the scope of the budget and of the Library selection policy. Special requests are notified to the BiUSI scientific board.
If an item is purchased, patrons will be notified via email.