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» Use » FAQs


Frequently asked questions about our library service

FAQ Stichwortsuche
How can I get a library card?

Visit any branch and bring along a valid photo ID.

Where can I get a library card?

In any branch of the Vienna Public Libraries and in the Vienna Central Library.

Is the Central Library a branch like any other?

In principle, yes. However, the Central Library is the largest branch and has a larger range of media on offer than the other branches, as well as extended opening hours.

Do I need a library card or some other user authorisation to access media directly in the library?

No. You only need a library card if you want to take items home with you. In some branches, you might also need it to access the Internet terminals. In the Central Library, you also need the library card to use the video and DVD seats.

Do I have to pay for borrowing items?

Yes. The annual library card costs EUR 24 and is valid for a period of one year from the issuing date. Alternatively, you may want to get a day card for EUR 3.80 which entitles you to borrow items on that day subject to the generally applicable terms and conditions.

The borrowing fees for CD-ROMs/video games and videos/DVDs/Blu-ray Discs (EUR 1.60 per item) are not included in the annual or day library card fees. No exemptions for these fees apply.

Who is exempt from the library fees?

Annual membership is free for children and young people up to the age of 18.

Are concessions available and who can get them?

A reduced annual library card is available at a rate of EUR 3.80 for students from the age of 18 up to the age of 24, subject to presentation of a school attendance certificate or a university enrolment certificate. Persons in military service or alternative civilian service are also eligible, as are persons whose income meets certain criteria (proof is needed in the form of a Mobilpass, Kulturpass or Sozialpass "A" and "P").

Are group cards available?

Yes. These are called institution cards and are available for groups if the accompanying person presents a confirmation from his/her institution as well as a valid photo ID. The holder of the institution card is liable for all borrowed items as well as any reminder or reservation charges that may be incurred. There is no annual fee for institution cards.

Can I take out items straightaway or is there a waiting period?

The Vienna Public Libraries are so-called open-shelf libraries, which means that most available items can be accessed and borrowed straightaway. In some branches, a small part of the inventory may be kept in a storeroom from where the librarian will retrieve them on request. These items can also be accessed without a waiting period and borrowed on the same day.

How many items can I take out at one time?

The maximum number of items that can be taken out at one time is 25. This limit applies for both annual library card holders and day library card holders.

Media packages count as 1 item, independent of how many parts make up the package.

For how long may I keep the items?

The loan period for DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, videos, and video games is 2 weeks. For all other media, the loan period is 4 weeks.

How can I renew items?

In person, if you bring your annual library card to any branch. Most branches also do telephone renewals. You may also renew your items online via your personal user account. For renewing items online, you will need the number of your library card and your password (date of birth). Day card holders may renew items only once and only if they purchase a new day card in person in any branch.

How often and for how long can I renew my items?

Items can be renewed for a maximum of two times for a period of four weeks (two weeks for DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, videos, and video games), provided that the item has not been reserved at the time the renewal is made (account).

How can I reserve items that are currently out?

In person in any branch, or online (reservation) with your library card number and password (date of birth). You must collect the reserved item in the branch where the reservation was made.

Are reservations subject to a fee?

Yes, a reservation costs EUR 1,10 per item.

How will I know that a reserved medium has become available?

When the previous user returns the reserved item, we will send you a post card or an e-mail to let you know that the item has arrived. It will be available for collection for a period of ten days.

What happens if I am late with returning an item?

You will be sent a reminder for items that are overdue. The overdue charge is 20 Cents per item per day.

How can I keep track of what items I have taken out and when they are due to go back?

In person or by telephone in any branch, or online (user account) with your library card number and password (date of birth).

How can I search for a certain item?

In Web-OPAC, the online catalogue of the Vienna Public Libraries, or in any branch.

What happens if I have damaged or lost an item?

Any stock items lost must be replaced. If the item is no longer commercially available, you will be charged the value of the lost or damaged item.

Can other people use my library card?

Your library card is not transferable. You as the named card holder are fully liable for the use of the card.

What should I do if I lose my library card?

Please inform your library if your card has been lost or stolen. Your card will then be cancelled. A replacement card will be issued upon presentation of a valid photo ID. The replacement card costs EUR 3.80

Do I have to return my items to the branch where I borrowed them?

No. You may return items to any branch. However, bestsellers can only be returned to the Central Library.

Can somebody else return my items for me?

Of course. You need neither a library card nor a photo ID for returning items. The card holder is liable for returning the items according to the library regulations.

Can I also borrow items other than stock items of the Vienna Public Libraries?

No. In Austria, interlibrary loans are only available from scientific libraries, such as the university libraries.

Do the libraries offer guided tours?

Yes. To arrange a guided tour, please call the branch that you would like to visit.

Can I browse the Vienna Public Libraries on the Internet?

Yes, you can browse the online catalogue of the Vienna Public Libraries. To find out how to do this, click here.

How can I use the Internet in the library?

The Vienna Public Libraries offer computer and Internet usage free of charge. In branches that are short of computers, you will have to reserve a seat in person. In all other branches as well as in the Central Library, the online computers are freely available, depending on the number of users at a given time.

Is there a possibility of making photocopies in the libraries?

The Central Library has six copying machines for colour and black-and-white copying. Most other branches also have at least one copying machine.

Can I donate books (or CDs, videos, DVDs) to the libraries?

The Vienna Public Libraries do not purchase used books and the Central Library does not accept donations on principle. Some libraries will accept donations of items in excellent condition, but make sure to check over the telephone before taking the books to the branch of your choice. The items will either be integrated into the library inventory or sold on our annual library flea market.

Bildung Stadt Wien - Büchereien Wien