How to get a user card

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

User cards can be issued to anyone wishing to use our services; they are not restricted to students or university staff members.

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 our webform to input your data.

Please visit us to confirm your registration: At our information desk between 9 a.m. and 4.30 p.m. or at our loan desk after 4.30 p.m. There you will receive a user card that is valid for one year, 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 will be issued a guest user card. This will enable them to read, print or scan books and journals on the premises of the ZBW.

User number

Below the barcode on your user card you will find your user number. Input this number into the field "User ID" (eight-digit) when ordering.


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 and keep it confidential.

Changing your password

Please change your provisional password after logging in to our portal EconBiz with your ZBW user 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 log in to our portal EconBiz and select "I forgot my password". A new password will be sent to your e-mail adress.

Valid time of your user card

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

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

User card disabled?

The user 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 information desk.

You can find information about overdue fines which may be charged to your account after logging in to our portal EconBiz. Overdue fines are payable in cash at the loan desk.