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uni'alumni 2016

little by little during the summer semester turned out to be a mistake: “The crowds and the interest were enormous from the start,” says Dr. Ralf Ohlhoff, head of the library’s Department of Use and Infor- mation Services. The spectacular architecture, the convenient location in the city center, and above all the services doubtlessly contributed to this interest. Freiburg’s UB is now one of the largest and most modern university libraries in Europe. More than three million printed books and periodi- cals, extensive historical holdings, subscriptions to just under 51,000 electronic journals, and more than one million e-books are now available around the clock for university members. The first stop on our tour is the lockers. They are aluminum-gray, in keeping with the principle through- out the building of using the natural color of the building materials. To use one of the lockers, you have to hold your library card – for students this is the Unicard – up to a card reader. It registers whether you have already checked out a locker with your card. If this is not the case, you may find a free one. Put your jacket and bag into the locker, hold your card up to the sensor, turn the handle, and that’s it. The locker is now reserved for twelve hours, a limit designed to prevent patrons from reserving a locker permanently. Baskets labeled “Datenträger” (“data carrier”) are available to help you carry books and other work materials. Now we head to the check-in stations at the information desk. Simply place the books you wish to return into the receptacle and the library system automatically registers them as checked in thanks to the chip in the book. The returned books are sent down one level on an elevator, where the automatic transport system distributes them in boxes depend- ing on their proper destination. Most of them then travel back to their place: to the closed stacks on the second and third underground floors, to the circulation desk on the first underground floor, or to the reading rooms on the first through fourth aboveground floors, where library employees put them back on the shelves. Books that have been reserved by another patron, on the other hand, travel to the designated pick-up area: to the first underground floor if they can be checked out, or otherwise to one of the reading rooms. If a patron requests a book from the closed stacks, it is trans- ported in the same way to its destination, where employees place it on the hold shelves. They work the same way as at the old University Library: The last two numbers of your library card indicate where the book is located on the shelves. Designed for Core Functions If one examines the information columns on the individual floors, one notices that the entire building is dedicated to the library. The previous building, on the other hand, accommodated all manner of facilities that had little to do with a library – an under- ground parking garage, a copy shop, seminar rooms, the university’s archaeological collection. In addition, to get to the old UB you had to cross a bridge over the busy Rotteckring to reach the main entrance on the second floor. “We took advantage of the opportunity to reorganize and improve everything,” says Karl-Heinz Bühler, head of the University Building Authority. The new building is designed exclusively for its core functions as a place of study and a media provider. This made it possible to reduce the total surface by almost one-third and still provide the same amount of floor space as the old building. Above the underground closed stacks, which were not included in the renovations, the only structural elements that remains from the old UB are the stairwells, which now serve as emergency Ralf Ohlhoff (second from left), head of the Department of Use and Information Services, greets students at the information desk on the first day of trial operation. SERVICES FOR ALUMNI Former students of the University of Freiburg may use the new University Library (UB) during the regular business hours for external patrons: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Library cards are available for a one-time fee of 12 euros. The card entitles you to use all print and electronic materials in the reading rooms and, as long as you live in the region or are a member of another Freiburg higher education institution, check out material and take it home with you. Alumni who have written academic theses at the University of Freiburg may also enter them into the university’s “FreiDok plus” information system. » » 5 5 Cover Story uni'alumni 2016