ZBW card

How to get a ZBW card

Ordering literature for local borrowing is possible only if you have a ZBW card. It will be issued to you at the service desk at no cost.

ZBW cards can be issued to anyone wishing to use our services if they have a valid ID or passport and are resident in Germany.

If you submit your personal data before visiting the library, you can order items online as soon as you have received an email from us.

Please use the webform for online registration.

Please visit us to confirm your registration: At our service desk you will receive a ZBW card that is valid for one year and free of charge.

Please bring the following documents with you for registration:

  • A valid identity card or substitute ID and, if applicable, proof that you either study at or work for a local education institution. Or
  • a valid passport and a certificate that you are registered with the local authority.

Please inform us immediately of any changes in your personal details, in particular of any changes in your mail and e-mail address.

Guests who are not resident in Germany are issued a guest ZBW card. This enables them to read, print or scan books and journals on the premises of the ZBW.

Card number

Below the barcode on your ZBW card you will find your card number. Input this number into the field "User ID" (eight-digit) when requesting/reserving an item.


Your provisional password is your birthday (in six digits without dots as ddmmyy). If you are born on 15/01/1972, your password for the online catalogue is 150172. Please change your provisional password immediately!

Changing your password

Please change your provisional password after logging in to EconBiz with your ZBW card number. Select "My account" -> "View account settings" - > "Change password". Only you will know this new password. Please do not reveal it to others.

Forgot your password?

If you have forgotten your password, please contact the service desk by phone or chat. Our team will reset the password.

Valid time of your ZBW card

The ZBW card is valid for one year. The valid time can be extended at the service desk. Please present your ZBW card and your ID (see registration) at the service desk for this.

Your ZBW card is valid in both the ZBW Kiel and the ZBW Hamburg.

ZBW card disabled?

The ZBW card will be disabled automatically if the valid time has expired, if you have been reminded of overdue books four times or if the amount due for overdue fines exceeds €25. In  these cases please contact the service desk.

You can find information about overdue fines which may be charged to your account after logging in to EconBiz. Overdue fines are payable in cash at the service desk or the pay machine.