First of its kind in Germany

The University Library at Konstanz celebrates 10 years of 24/7 service despite its partial closure

After opening on 2 April 2001, the Library at the University of Konstanz has also been open at night and during the day including Sundays for 10 years now. The Library University at Konstanz became the first university to make its stocks and workplaces available day and night. Since then, the library was only closed to the public at night and during the weekend. This unique service opened up completely new time windows for university users at the time regarding the use of the library's comprehensive open access stocks.

One of the University Executive's responses to the library's partial closure due to the asbestos in November 2010 was to completely restrict the opening of the remaining library areas. The book sections N and J were open 24/7 on seven days a week for users.

The growing idea to make the services of the open access library available to all users around the clock did not need long before it became reality: Dr. Klaus Franken, the Library Director at the time, and Prof. Dr. Gerhart v. Graevenitz, the Rector of the University of Konstanz quickly reached agreement. The attitude towards the idea was great indeed at the university, through which it took just half a year to turn the idea into reality. During this time, the details of the services to be provided were signed – all the way through to agreements with Taxi operators and Pizza chefs. Year in, year out, the user numbers increased, in particular on Sundays and public holidays. Besides internal users, such as scientific staff and students, the extended opening times were increasingly taken on by external users. These users included residents from around Lake Constance who were not working for the university, as well as for scientists and students who came specifically to Konstanz from other universities to benefit from the range of services and offers provided there.

The Library's success at the University of Konstanz can also be traced back to this special service: Both the award conferred on it by the foundation "ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius" as the Library of the Year in 2010 as well as coming first in the Library Index BIX three times in series were some of the reasons given, including for the user friendliest opening times.

The current 24/7 range of books in sections N and J is therefore based on the wealth of experience that the Konstanz University Library has. The current situation actually marks a further step forward, despite the asbestos closure. In contrast to the situation beforehand, when the library was closed at night time during the weekends, the book sections N and J now do indeed open 24/7 day and night. On average, some 150 users make use of the current opportunities every night. The range of offerings has also continuously expanded over the years. Furthermore, the creation of self-booking stations where library loans can also be booked outside the opening times of the library loan hours, has been made possible on Sundays, Public Holidays and at night.