FAQ about the library
General use of the library
You are a library user in ...
... Amberg: If you have 24-hour access, you can put your books in the return container. This will be emptied the next day and your books will be booked from your account.
... Weiden: Please drop your books in the book return container in front of the library. An account credit will normally be made the next day.
If you do not have the opportunity to drop off your books on site, please feel free to return them by mail (please pack well) to the library:
Hetzenrichter Weg 15
92637 Weiden i.d.OPf.
Please send the books in time before the end of the loan period!
You will be informed by mail before the loan period of your books ends.
You will also receive a message when interlibrary loans or books ordered from one of our branches arrive.
Please note: No legal claim can be derived from non-receipt of an e-mail. You must keep track of your loan periods yourself.
If you have been waiting for a book or essay for a long time, please check your spam folder or ask the library team.
OTH Amberg: mathematics, computer science, chemistry, physics, engineering, media and communication sciences, communication design, conservation and environmental protection.
OTH Weiden: Economics, technology (especially industrial engineering), business administration, law, medicine, medical technology.
Provincial Library: history, German studies, theology, geography, general studies, philosophy, political science.
- flash drives,
- lockers (only at the OTH library in Amberg),
- caddies (explanation under How do I borrow a caddy to store books in?),
- scan mouses,
- pencil sets,
- sets for the Whiteboard (only at the OTH library in Amberg),
- sets for beamer and Smartboard in the group study rooms (only at the OTH library in Weiden),
- DIN, EN, ISO Standards (explanation under I am looking for specific DIN/EN/ISO Standards. Is there a way to receive them through the library?)
- journals (in Weiden only bound volumes, in Amberg every issue except for the latest one).
If you would like to borrow any of those things, please contact the staff at the library directly!
Please, talk to our staff at the information counter! We will ask you to sign a lending contract and then give you the keys to a caddy. The caddy will be borrowed to your library account for four weeks. If you like or need to, you can renew the loan period twice.
Please consider that only borrowed books can be stored in the caddies. Please do not use them to keep food or drinks at the library. We do not claim responsibility for valuable objects you might put in the caddy.
Yes, you can! The library offers caddies (roll containers) to borrow which you can store books in that you want to work with at the library!
For more information regarding the lending process of our caddies, see: How do I borrow a caddy (roll conatiner) to store books in?
In general, the libraries in Amberg and Weiden do have DIN, EN, and also ISO Standards in stock which we provide when asked for the corresponding number. Please feel free to contact us via e-mail (Amberg: email@example.com, Weiden: firstname.lastname@example.org) and tell us which Standards you need exactly. After receiving a notification that we have prepared the Standards for you, you can pick them up at the counter.
If you receive a response saying we do not have the Standards you asked for at the library, we will direct you to an issuing office that offers a free look into Standards: https://www.beuth.de/de/regelwerke/auslegestellen#/
In order to borrow books you need a library account which will manually be activated by our staff. So, before picking up books at the library for the first time, please come to the information counter and give us your employee card so that we can connect it with your library account.
You can borrow books either directly at the counter or by using our self-checkout machine. Please keep in mind that you will need your employee card either way.
OTH employees also automatically get access to our 24 h library. We recommend approaching our staff before using this service for the first time – we will gladly answer any questions regarding getting into and out of the library outside of the opening hours. Please feel free to contact us at any time!
As our goal is not only to offer students the literature they need but also to support them in finding the right sources to use in their assignments, we have developed different courses in Amberg and Weiden that we would love you to use!
For example, you can sign up for workshops preparing you for the use of Citavi and subject-specific research in each semester. Here, research basics and the effective use of bibliographic management software are explained in great detail.
Please keep an eye on our homepage as well as posts on the Black Board in order to catch the workshop dates or ask the library staff for information.
If you have already successfully obtained literature but are now facing a specific problem, do not find fitting literature even though you followed recommended research methods, have a hard time working with bibliographic management software, etc., Ms. Monika Pastuska (OTH library in Amberg) and Ms. Lena Fischer (OTH library in Weiden) will gladly support you personally in finding exactly what you need.
In order to support students not only in borrowing, but also in researching for their seminar work, we offer special W-seminar training courses in the library. If you are interested, please contact Ms. Lena Fischer at the Weiden location or Ms. Monika Pastuska at the Amberg location.
Please note: Students who are interested in a library card following the research training must, if they are not yet of age, submit a consent form signed by a parent or guardian in addition to their card. We will be happy to send this to the teacher in advance as a PDF file, you can also download file here.
Please notify the library staff – preferably in time so that we do not start charging you with a dunning fee which would just complicate the matter.
We will, if possible, renew the loan period, so you have time to look for the book. If the book cannot be found at all, you will be asked to replace it. This means that you will have to buy the exact book that has gone missing and hand that copy in at the library. As soon as we receive the replacement, we will clear your account of that title.
In case we have already started sending you warnings because you have not contacted us in time, you will have to pay the dunning fee as well in order to activate your account again.
OTH students pay dunning fees via their student card. Please charge your card with the amount of money you need at the canteen.
Library users who do not study or work at the OTH pay their dunning fees in cash.
Please remember that you have to return the overdue media in order to stop receiving warnings. Paying the fee alone is not enough!
For further information feel free to contact the library staff.
We love to welcome you at our libraries after you finish your studies at the OTH! If you still have your student card, you can continue using it to log into the OPAC and borrow books at the counter. If you do not possess your student card anymore, we will gladly give you a new library card.
Of course you can make use our libraries’ services like ordering books and browsing our online library from a computer in the library just as you are used to. Services we cannot offer to non-students include borrowing books from the self-checkout machine (you have to come to the counter for that), accessing e-books and databases from home and working at the library outside of the opening hours.
You can find general information about the VPN access here.
There are two ways in which you can use the VPN:
1) Online: Head to the VPN web portal. Log in as you would log into your Moodle account. All websites bookmarked here can be accessed in the same way as if you would use them from the campus. If the website you want to work with is not bookmarked yet, you can add it by clicking on + New Bookmark and copying the website’s URL into the corresponding box.
Please consider though: not every publisher cooperates with the VPN web portal. The publishers Hanser and UTB for example only offer licensed books to students via FortiClient VPN (2).
2) FortiClient app: Download and install the FortiClient app. You can find a manual on the Computer Centre’s website. The library recommends downloading Forticlient as it works best with all platforms.
If you need help with your research or have any questions regarding e-books, data bases, the VPN connection, etc., please feel free to contact our staff!
If you are not spending your internship nearby Amberg or Weiden and need printed books, we recommend contacting the university libary, state library or public library closest to your place. Often, those libraries, similar to the OTH libraries, offer free services to students.
The registration, including the library card, as well as ordering books, articles and accessing our licensed online resources are completely free.
Only in the case of you not returning your books in time will you be expected to pay a dunning charge (which starts at 7,50 € for the first warning). This is why we ask you to please always keep the loan period for media you have borrowed at the library in mind. We will send you an e-mail reminder shortly before the due date, but please do not only rely on that since if for some reason you do not receive the reminder, you will still have to pay a dunning charge in case you do not return books etc. in time.
You can, however, look up how long your loan period will be or renew media by logging into your OPAC account or, if you are unsure, contact the library staff.
Most of the OTH’s part-time students are marticulated from the beginning of your first semester on, which means, you will get a student card which enables you to use the library during our opening hours as well as our 24 h service. (See: How do I access the 24 h library as a student?) You will have it the easiest if you get your 24h access right at the start of your first semester since especially part-time students often are not on campus during the library’s regular opening hours. If you wish, you can attend individual courses at a time you set for the 24h library.
Please consider that books you have ordered from another library will have to be collected during our opening hours. We are sure to find a solution that fits for you. You are welcome to contact the library staff if you have any questions.
It is not possible for people who do not work or study at the OTH to use the 24 h library. However, we welcome you to study at the library during our opening hours. If you like, you can also get a free library card which permits you to use most of our services. If you would like to learn more, click here or, if you have questions that have not yet been answered, please contact the library staff! We are glad to help!
We do offer a short introductory course for new students which must be attended in order for you to be able to access the library 24/7. This course contains important information regarding the library use in general as well as the use of the 24h library in particular. At the end of the course, we will activate your student card and a few days after you can use it to enter and work at the library at any time.
Please note: Your card will only be activated for the library where you attended the course. If you would like to use the 24-hour service at the other location as well, please report to the counter there a few days before your first use. The access technology (both locations have their own) will then be explained to you and you will be activated again. However, you do not have to take a second introductory course.
In order to not only provide students with literature, but to also help you with your research and use of sources for your work, the library team at both branches has developed multiple training programmes which we invite you to attend!
For example, we offer a training specifically for Citavi in which the use of the programme is explained step by step. If you are interested in the training, please do sign up in advance.
Regarding the dates on which different trainings will be held, best keep an eye on the current information section on our homepage as well as on postings on the noticeboard. Of course, the library staff will inform you, too, if you have any questions concerning the training programmes.
In case you are already working with Citavi and know the basics but are confronted with a specific problem, please contact Ms. Lena Fischer who offers personal support to you in the form of an individual research training for Citavi (regardless of whether you study in Amberg or Weiden).
OTH students need to connect to the the campus network via VPN in order to use our licensed electronic media from outside the campus. (See also: How do I connect to the OTH network via VPN?)
Once you are connected to the campus network via VPN, look up the titles you need in our OPAC and click the Full text button underneath the title of the book you want to download. If you would like to browse our online resources or work with our licensed databases, look through the corresponding links listed on our website.
Students and members of OTH can also use our e-book info sheet as a guide.
For library users who are not students or staff at the OTH AW, the use of online resources is only possible from within the library.
If you are interested in working with or downloading online media, please contact the staff at the counter. You will then be registered at one of the library’s computers. Now, you can look up e-books, journals and other online media, download them and save them on your own flash drive. Do not forget to bring one if you want to download online resources at the library. If you have any questions, turn to our library staff - we will help you anytime!
If you would like to get an idea of which online media and databases you can use at the library and maybe already do a little research from home, click here.
We’re glad to welcome you at our library at our regular opening times. You do not need to be registered at all to study at our library.
If you would like to borrow or order books however, you can get a free library card at the counter. For more information click here: Notes for external users.
Please consider that the use of the 24 h library is reserved for students and staff only.
You can order essays, books, and other physical media that are not in the holdings of the OTH Libraries or the Provincial Library.
Please note that you cannot get e-books through interlibrary loan.
According to the Interlibrary Loan Regulations, books whose purchase price is less than 15€ are excluded from interlibrary loan.
The conditions of the delivered media are determined by the lending library. This means that the library decides whether we can give you the books and for how long.
The lending library has the right to reclaim books before the initial end of the loan period. Therefore, please always keep an eye on your mails, because in such a case we will contact you.
You can always keep the copies you have ordered (for example, articles from magazines).
Books that belong to the "Präsenzbestand" (= “presence inventory”) of a library should always be accessible to students and can therefore be used in the library but not borrowed.
You can recognize the corresponding titles on the shelves of the OTH libraries by a yellow "Präsenzbestand" sticker. In addition, the shelfmark is usually crossed out in red.
In the OPAC, you will be informed immediately in the hit list that books belonging to the presence inventory are not loanable.
If a book from the presence inventory is needed for an exam, it can be borrowed at the counter for one day as an exception.
As soon as your ordered media arrive at the library, we will notify you by e-mail. For this purpose, a valid e-mail address is requested when you create your library account.
Alternatively, it is always worth taking a look at your OPAC account. Here, too, you will find a list of books with their current status under "My details" -> "Account summary" -> "Requests".
If a search in our OPAC is unsuccessful, this does not mean that the attempt to obtain literature on your topic is doomed to failure! Proceed as follows to make the most of your research:
- Search in other catalogs and databases! The probability that you will be presented with all existing publications on the topic in a single catalog is practically zero. The OTH Amberg-Weiden has licensed various databases - in some cases you will even get access to freely available publications or publications also acquired by the university. A list of databases licensed by the OTH AW and recommended catalogs sorted by fields of study can be found here.
- When doing any research, follow these basic rules to maximize your success:
- Work with variations of your search terms - make terms as general as possible, shorten as much as possible, avoid "filler words" like "and," "whose," "at," and articles in general.
- Try the general search instead of the title keyword search. This will also show you publications that may not deal exclusively with your topic but, for example, discuss it in individual chapters.
- For each of your search terms, find headings and subheadings to work with. Organize the topic once again into logical aspects, compile new search terms for it, e.g. with a mind map in which you write your topic in the middle and position all terms/key words around it.
- Try out different combinations of your search terms.
- Leave out parts of words you don't need (e.g. pluralizations) and replace them with an asterisk (*) - this form of so-called truncation works in most databases.
- If, despite all your efforts, your search continues to produce no results, briefly describe your topic and what you have done so far in an email to email@example.com (Amberg students) or firstname.lastname@example.org (Weiden students). (Which catalogs and databases have you already searched? Which search terms have you used?) You will receive an answer back by mail.
If you would like to receive more detailed advice in the context of research support, please contact Ms. Monika Pastuska (OTH library in Amberg) and Ms. Lena Fischer (OTH library in Weiden).
Above the hit list you will find the field Interlibrary loan next to the local catalogues. Possibly the title you are looking for is listed there and can be ordered via interlibrary loan (see How do I order books from the OPAC?).
If the title in question does not appear there either, proceed as the follows:
- Check the spelling of your title, using an index if necessary. Is it possible that there is an error in the source that had it listed?
- Reduce the information in the search bar. Avoid years, prepositions, and articles. If you know the author, search using only his or her last name.
- Write out both title keywords and author names. No abbreviations!
- Never believe the first result! Titles may be found in other spellings, by omitting individual details, etc., even if the first search is unsuccessful! Do not give up! J
- For further research tips, it is best to consult the help link in the OPAC.
- If you cannot find the title you are looking for despite all your efforts, please do not hesitate to contact the library team!
If a book is listed in the first tab, i.e. in local catalogues as for order, it is not available in your branch, but you can order it there with a few clicks.
To do so, first click on the orderable link under "Holdings" in the single hit view. You will be prompted to log in to your library account in the next step. (see How do I log in to my library account?).
In the last step you will be asked to confirm the order and delivery to your branch.
Now you only need to wait until the title arrives at your branch. As soon as this is the case, you will be notified by e-mail.
Important for students of the OTH Amberg: Books from the Provinzialbibliothek cannot be ordered to the OTH library Amberg and have to be picked up directly at the Provinzialbibliothek, which is very close to the OTH.
If you do not receive any hits in our libraries for the titles/topics you are looking for, you have the option of ordering media from another academic Bavarian library. These titles are listed under Interlibrary Loan. If you get a white display (no hits) for a short time when switching to this tab, although a number of hits is displayed in brackets - don't panic, a slightly longer loading of the results is normal.
Select the appropriate title (make sure it is not an e-book - recognizable by the @ sign in the image to the left of the title or the full text button). Clicking on the title will take you to the single hit view.
Here you click on the middle tab Get document and then on further options until the field Interlibrary Loan is displayed.
If you are already registered in the OPAC, just click on the word order on the right side. Otherwise, you can log in by clicking the link on the right upper corner. (It is best to log in beforehand.)
You can read how to log in here: How do I log in to my library account?
After successfully logging in/clicking order, an order form should open where you can check your “collection point” (= pickup library), specify a latest date of delivery and the desired edition of the ordered title, or add a comment. However, none of this additional information is necessary to submit the order.
When you are satisfied with your information, click Send interlibrary loan request.
It may take 7-10 days for the title to arrive. We will notify you by email when your order is ready for pickup at the library.
An explanation of the ordering process, complete with graphics, can be found here. If you have any difficulties placing an order, please submit your order request directly to the library team using this form (only in German). We will then send the order for you.
How to order articles from collected editions or journals is explained here.
If you have any questions, please contact the library team at any time.
Books that are available locally in Amberg or Weiden are displayed in the hit list in the OPAC in the first tab Local catalogues.
If the title in the hit list says available, the title is available in the library where you are searching. You can find it there directly on the shelf (see also: How do I find books from the OPAC on the shelf?).
For order means that the title is available in the other branch (for Weiden users in Amberg, for Amberg users in Weiden).
For a detailed explanation of how to order titles from another branch, see How do I order books from the OPAC?
If you want to know exactly where your title is available, click on it to go to the single hit view and scroll down to Holdings. Under Branch / Department Direction sign it is listed where exactly the book can be found.
Important for Amberg students: If the title you are looking for is located in the nearby Provinzialbibliothek in Amberg, you cannot order it to the university library, but must pick it up directly from the Provinzialbibliothek. In the OPAC you can already recognize the corresponding titles in the hit list by the status available (in other branch).
If on loan until:... is indicated, you can create a reservation for the title by clicking on it. As soon as the title has been returned and is available for you to pick up at your branch, we will notify you by e-mail.
Each title available in the OTH libraries is identified by its own shelfmark, a combination of numbers and letters that leads to the exact location of the respective title.
The shelfmark of your desired title is displayed in the OPAC either in the hit list under the year of publication or, if you click on the title, under holdings.
Shelfmarks are built according to the following scheme: 40/QC 100 V299 G7(8)+2
The first two digits indicate in which library a title is available. (See also How can I tell in which library the book I want is available?) The title in our example starts with the number 40, so it is in the OTH library in Weiden.
The following two letters, in our example QC, will lead you to the shelf where the title is located. Since the titles for a letter combination are not always found on just one shelf, also pay attention to the number following it - let's assume the shelfmark mentioned above again, i.e. 100. If you are looking around the Weiden library, feel free to consult the library map there. Of course, you can always ask the staff if it is not quite obvious where the shelf your book is on is located. When you are in front of the correct shelf, search the shelves until you discover the exact number. The numbers are sorted in ascending order.
You have found the right shelf and the corresponding shelf line(s)? Then you are already as close as possible to your goal! Within a number, the titles are again sorted alphabetically. We would stop at V in search of our example title and look for the exact combination, namely V299. In case there are several titles sorted under V299, the last number-letter combination, in the example G7, points us to the exact title.
Not every shelfmark has the last two digits (8) and +2 like our example, but in case they are part of the shelfmark of your searched title, it is beneficial to know what they mean:
The digit in parentheses indicates that there are multiple editions of the title. So the book has been revised, republished, and the new edition has also been added to our holdings. The higher the number in parentheses, the more recent the edition of the book.
The number after the "+" indicates that there are several copies of the same edition of a title, but they are similar in content. This means that there is absolutely no difference between "+1", "+2" and "+20" and it does not matter which copy of the book you choose.
Contact the library team by phone or mail. Your password will then be reset to your date of birth (six digits, i.e. DDMMYY). Alternatively, you can click the "Forgot password" button when logging in to the OPAC, then a code for a new password will be sent to you. However, this code is only valid for 24h!
Please also note: After two incorrect entries, your account will be blocked - by the way, this also applies to the self-checkout in the OTH library in Amberg. If an account is blocked, simply contact the library team as well.
Students of OTH and members of OTH can access e-books on campus at any time and from home via VPN access to the university. For more information, see How does the VPN access work?
Call up the OPAC. Search for a title or subject area. If there is an e-book among the results displayed, you will recognize it by the full-text button. Click this button to access the title. Depending on the publisher, books can be downloaded in full or by chapter. Students and members of OTH can also look at our e-book info sheet.
Students/external library users can access e-books directly from a PC in the library. Please contact the library staff for assistance.
Please consider: To take downloaded e-books home, it is best to bring a USB flash drive to store the files on. Also have your library card ready.
A book for which no holdings are available is an e-book, which can also be recognized by the full-text button. You can find out how you to use the e-book offer of the OTH AW under How can I access e-books in the OPAC?
Also with multi-volume works and journals, you will usually not be shown holdings. Click on "display parent" to select a specific work or volume. If you click on the specific title or volume in a further step, you can view the holdings for it.
The corresponding title is in the library and can be borrowed.
However, the book may not have been returned to the shelf yet, so if you cannot find it under the shelfmark indicated in the OPAC (see also How do I find books from the OPAC on the shelf?), please feel free to contact the library staff.
Searches in the OPAC are possible in different categories. For instance, if you know the title of the book you would like to borrow, you can type it in under Title or Exact Title if you are really sure. If you know the author, you can put their name in the field Author. Pay attention to the form: surname, first name. The most efficient method to find a certain book is to look for title and author.
What is there to consider if you are looking for a specific book but not getting the result you need instantly?
- Choose as few details as possible when searching and look for the most significant parts of the title first (for example only look for the author’s surname, save yourself the time of typing in the year of the publication, the edition of the book, etc.)
- Do not use abbreviations if there are none in the original title.
- Avoid entering articles, conjunctions and prepositions.
- Don't despair if you don't find what you are looking for right away - perhaps the title can be found in a different spelling or by omitting individual details. If you are not sure how to spell the title you are looking for or its author, you can abbreviate the relevant terms with an asterisk (*) or replace individual characters with a question mark (?) (= truncation). Example: "Synon*", "Recy?ling".
- Further search tips can be found in the OPAC under Help.
If a title is not displayed - no matter how often you adjust your entries and perform the search - please feel free to contact the library staff at any time.
The OPAC (Online Public Access Catalogue) is our library’s catalogue. Here, you can look up titles you need, place orders, find literature to various topics and, if you are an active user of our library already, look into and manage your library account (borrowed books, renewals, orders, …).
When renewing interlibrary loan requests, different rules apply for both locations.
Users of the Amberg library should contact the Amberg library team if they wish to renew their interlibrary loan orders.
Users of the library in Weiden receive their books with the longest possible loan period (including all extensions granted by the lending library). Extensions are therefore not possible here in principle.
In general, you should find out in good time whether the medium you are borrowing can be renewed. If this is not the case, you can place a new order for the title if you still urgently need it.
To do this, first log in to the OPAC. For detailed instructions, see “How do I log in to my library account?”.
Once you are logged in, click on the My details tab and then Account Summary. Now you will see your borrowed titles with the respective end of loan period.
Below that you will find the Bulk renewal option. Select this and all books that are already renewable (from the last week of loan) and not reserved will be renewed. The new loan period will also be displayed.
If there are any uncertainties, feel free to contact the library team at any time.
You can view the loan periods of the titles you have borrowed in your account in the OPAC.
To do this, first call up the OPAC and Log in. (See How do I log in to my library account? for an explanation of the login process)
Once logged in, select the My details tab and then Account Summary. Now you can view the loan periods of your borrowed books as well as renew books or check orders and reservations.
Call up our OPAC. Click Log In (at the top right of the page). Under User Number, enter the number on your student-, service-, or library card (eleven digits) and under Password, enter your date of birth in six digits (DDMMYY). You can change your password at any time after you have successfully logged in under My details -> User details.
Important for students, especially first-year students: Your student ID card must be activated once as a library card. This is done either during your participation in our training for the 24h library, or you come by our information desks with your student ID and have yourself manually activated for borrowing.
If it is not possible to register, please contact your branch library by phone or e-mail.