The online catalogue covers the entire stock of the Library. It lists publications which have appeared as bibliographically independent works or as contributions to other works. Every year, around 11,000 publications and 10,000 periodical articles are catalogued and indexed. In addition to a growing number of topical essays, an archive of journal articles is also available in electronic form.
In addition to keyword and free-text search options, the online catalogue offers a thesaurus-based search function. This offers both the occasional user and the specialist appropriate access points for searches, via a user-friendly and accessible user interface. Lists of suggested reading on specific events or topics can be accessed online.
POLIANTHES library thesaurus
The Library has been working with the POLIANTHES library thesaurus since 1949. In 1997-1998 it was thoroughly overhauled to meet the requirements of a user-friendly online catalogue with the addition of natural-language terms. The subject thesaurus consists of 90 microthesauri. Its structure is thus similar to that of EUROVOC, the European Parliament thesaurus which is also used by various European Union Member States.
The electronic library
The Library is constantly expanding its stock of electronic publications, which it makes available to users via the Bundestag intranet, allowing them quick access to the full text of politically interesting material directly from their offices. This material includes:
- politically relevant periodicals, either licensed by the Library or freely available on the internet;
- independent publications, reference works and databases in electronic form;
- regularly updated collections of links, divided by subject area, on topical issues or subjects in modern history which are of parliamentary relevance.
The Library’s electronic catalogue is accessible via the Library’s intranet portal, the central electronic information tool providing comprehensive information about the Library and its services. Library material can be ordered from every office.
Lending and reading rooms
Library material is issued to the user immediately. Some 60,000 volumes are lent out each year.
The reading room in the Marie-Elisabeth Lüders Building has a reference stock of around 20,000 volumes on a wide range of topics and offers ready access to the current issues of around 1000 periodicals. In the Jakob Kaiser Building there is a small reading room which offers key material relating to Parliament, politics, law and economics, as well as the current issues of 60 periodicals. Both reading rooms offer a wide range of services, including information, advice and lending services.
The Library regularly presents its new acquisitions in its reading rooms and creates displays of books on current and historical themes with a connection to Parliament’s work.
Information and support
The Library’s services encompass providing information, handling simple enquiries and complex research requests, compiling lists of material on specific parliamentary or political topics, and sorting and making material available by topic. The staff provide a general induction into the use of the Library and the electronic catalogue, as well as offering training which is tailored to users’ needs.
Topical lists of material
The Library publishes a monthly list, organised by subject, of topical books and articles. It also publishes occasional lists of suggested reading on topical and politically relevant issues. Particularly topical books are highlighted by the Library’s information bulletins, which offer concise information about them. All of these lists are available on both the intranet and the Bundestag’s website.
Ready-reference material for the German Bundestag
On request, publications which are required on an ongoing basis for the performance of official duties are made available by the Library, in printed and electronic form, to organisational units of the Bundestag Administration and committee secretariats.