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Università della Svizzera italiana University Library Lugano

University Library Lugano

Library regulations


Art. 1

The Servizio bibliotecario universitario (hereafter SBU), located in Lugano and Mendrisio, is in charge with the organization of all library collections, with the aim to make them accessible to all patrons.




Art. 2

The SBU libraries collect, record and preserve materials and seek to assist users with the relevant means. The SBU libraries maintain relationship with other similar institutions at a local and international level.




Art. 3

Access to the SBU libraries is free.

Library services are available to patrons who own a library card. The card is released upon receipt of an identification document. Membership is free for academic staff members, USI students and members of the Theology faculty. For external users membership entails a registration fee.




Art. 4

The SBU libraries provide patrons with a range of services, such as the reference service, book loans – apart from non-borrowable items –, the interlibrary loan service etc. 
Each service has its own regulation, as detailed in the service chart.




Art. 5

Libraries opening times are available at the libraries and on the libraries’ websites. 
Opening times are subject to changes.




Art. 6

Library staff members are available to assist patrons with their requests. 

Patrons may place book purchase suggestions through the relevant form.




Art. 7

Only authorized items may leave the premises. 

Items must be returned by the due date and in the same conditions as when borrowed. 

Late returns are subject to fines and penalties. Patrons with unpaid fines may have their borrowing privileges suspended and may incur in administrative fees.




Art. 8

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. 9

The use of SBU libraries’ appliances is subject to approval and regularly monitored. Patrons are liable for any damage caused to appliances due to unauthorized use.




Art. 10.

Under particular circumstances the SBU directory board may grant exceptions to the current regulations.







University Library Lugano regulations


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.  

Access to the Internet

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

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

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.


digital copies and printouts

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) are only available from the vending machine located on the first level.


Remote access to library online resources



Library licensed electronic resources may be consulted from off-campus via login identification.




The service is restricted to USI teaching members, current and former students and students of the Facoltà di teologia di Lugano.


usage rules

Electronic resources may be consulted for research and study purposes only – commercial or profit-making use is forbidden.
Copies and print-outs of material are allowed in the respect of copyright laws and products' license conditions only.
Remote access is granted to authorized users only. The login ID cannot not be given to others.


Library card



The library card is free for USI students and staff and for students and staff of the Theology faculty. 
Users of the Bibliopass network may register for free.
The registration fee for external users is CHF 20.-   
In case of loss of the library card, a duplicate card may be issued against the payment of CHF 10.-.




The library is equipped with copiers for patron use. 
Photocopy cards may be purchased at the vending machine. 
Copiers produce A4 copies only at CHF 0.20 per sheet.


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 and from 14.00 to 17.45


Opening hours

Monday - Friday: from 9.00 to 22.00
Saturday: from 9.00 to 12.15

summer hours

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.


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



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

("CODE" refers to the letter that appears on the book label)


borrowing limits

Patrons are entitled to borrow up to 10 items altogether.



Borrowings may be renewed before the due date, provided that they have not been requested by other users.



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

late returns

Overdue items are subject to recalls. A first reminder is sent 2 days after the due date. A second reminder is sent 10 days after the due date, plus a fine of CHF 1.- for each item. A third reminder is sent 20 days after the due date, plus a fine of CHF 10.- for each item and the suspension of borrowing privileges. 
A fourth reminder is sent after 30 days. Patrons who fail to return items after receiving the 4th reminder will be billed for the replacement costs plus a fixed administrative fee of CHF 20.- USI students’ and staff members’ computer access will be blocked.
For all “non-book” items (CD-Rom, DVD etc.) the 2nd reminder is sent 7 days after the due date and entails a CHF 2.- fine.  The procedure above described follows.

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.

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


Interlibrary loans


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.
ILL borrowers must comply with all service conditions and with the return date set by the lending library.


article photocopy


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


borrowing limits


Patrons are entitled to borrow up to 10 items altogether - ILL and library loans.



ILL materials are not renewable.



late returns​

Late returns are subject to a fine of CHF 1.- per day/per item.   
Failure to comply with regulations and to return items on time may result in suspension of ILL borrowing privileges.


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.


service fees

Per la fornitura del servizio di prestito interbibliotecario sono applicate le seguenti tariffe:

Document location



Regular fees










(RERO and IDS)


CHF 10.- up to 20 pg.

CHF 5.-

CHF 10.- up to 20 pg.


Actual expenses

Actual expenses

Actual expenses

Actual expenses

Borrowers are kindly requested to pay ILL fees at collection time. 
Academic teaching members and affiliated institutes providing proof of their status are exempted from payment.


eligibility for loans

ILL/DD services are available to Sistema Bibliotecario Ticinese (SBT) cardholders who have no pending fee and less than 10 items currently on loan.

restrictions on borrowing

he following materials cannot be obtained on loan:

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

collection of items

Requested books must be collected before the return date, while requested copies 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).

borrower's responsibilities

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

service hours

Monday - Friday from 9.00 to 18.00


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.
If an item is purchased, patrons will be notified via email.