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Guide: How to use the Humanities Library in Copenhagen

Perhaps you'd like to borrow a few books. Perhaps you're a bit intimidated by all the glass and steel. How do you even begin to choose in this multitude of possibilities? In short: How, dear reader, can YOU tackle the cube?

Books, books everywhere, but still not a page to read. It is the ultimate ‘readers’ block’: The huge, new, glass cube, the humanities library. But fear not! Here is your ultimate University Post guide on how to get around the University of Copenhagen Humanities Library.

Once the first bit of uneasiness has disappeared, you are probably asking yourself: ‘How do I get started? What resources do I have access to?’ And then: ‘How do I even find what I need?’ Below you will find seven brief tips on how to make the most of your time at the Humanities Library (map to find it here).

The library’s own website here.

1 – The key to it all

First of all, find your KU-number! This identification together with your PIN-code will be your personal key for all electronic services offered at each branch of the Royal Library – including the Humanities Library.
The ID-number is closely related to your university-card, so you’ve probably received both together at the beginning of your matriculation.
As a foreign student you can use the library on the same terms as Danes. So once you have your university-ID, simply register in this form and all the services and gadgets at the library will be at your feet!

See our step-by-step photo gallery here.

2 – Lock up your troubles!

There’s nothing worse than studying under several layers of clothing and with a heavy backpack on your lap, right?
Good! Get youself a free locker by talking to one of the staff members on the bottom floor – like Jesper here in the photo guide. He will give you a key to one of the metal cabinets located on each floor.
This will then be yours for the next two months and your subscription can be renewed as often as you like.

Remember to see our step-by-step photo gallery here.

3 – Books, books, books

But where are the books? They aren’t exactly piled in front of you at first sight, although two thirds of the entire building is actually devoted to a library storehouse.
However, right behind the lockers on each floor there’s a selection of works for the larger fields of study, while both the 1st and 2nd floor offer you endless racks of reference books and dictionaries.
And if you need a specific book, check the REX search engine through one of the library’s free-to-use computers. This will offer you a quick service of maximum 24 hours’ waiting time, if you reserve a book which isn’t already on loan.

We kindly remind you to see our step-by-step photo gallery here.

4 – Levels of silence

Once you’ve found your reading material, you can now choose how much silence you need for concentration.
Do you want to chat with your friends while sorting out the text? Head to the café and sitting area at the bottom floor. Do you just need to screen off the occasional chatter? Then the semi-silenced working area on the 1st floor will do nicely for you. Need total silence? Top floor.
The Humanities Library even has a special reading room on the 2nd floor, if you need to close out the last bits of possible disturbance.

Surely you’ve seen our step-by-step photo gallery by now.

5 – Reading racks and tablets

After a couple of lines of text, perhaps you’ll feel a bit tense in the neck area already.
So why not keep your chin up with a so-called reading rack? They’re found right by the information desk on the bottom floor, and you borrow these as you would any ordinary book; that is, through the self-service check-out-system next to the library’s entrance doors.
If you’re more used to reading on a tablet or iPad, at the moment there’s a couple of these on display and at your free disposal just in front of the café area on the bottom floor. After this exhibition closes, you can still borrow e-book-readers by searching for “ebogslæser” on REX.

Don’t go without seeing our step-by-step photo gallery here.

6 – It’s all in the mainframe

Need a digital book? Just log on to the Royal Library’s website and go to their page of electronic resources, where you will find heaps of different articles, dictionaries, e-books etc. for your perusal.
Need to make a print or a copy? Simply go to the printing and copying page, where you can top up money on your digital printing card by following a link to your account.
Once there’s money on your card, print your document on one of the computers, then go to one of the small printing niches on either floor. Here like everywhere you punch in your personal data and press “pull print” or “copying”.

Go on, you know you want to see our step-by-step photo gallery here.

7 – And by the end of the day

You won’t believe it, but the library has something to offer you, even when you’re all worn out from poring over your books all day.
Go to the lounge with the couches behind the printer on the 1st floor, keep to your right, and there at your service you’ll find – a massage chair!
Type in a routine for your mechanical masseuse to follow and then buzz your last bits of tension away after a well-spent day at the Humanities Library.

This is your last chance to see our step-by-step photo gallery here.

Useful links:

1 – Registration form

2 – Rex, book retrieval system

3 – Electronic resources on kb.dk

4 – Payment for printing and scanning

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