The Library of the University of Applied Sciences HTWG Konstanz, Germany – from bones to books

Written by Bernd Hannemann, Leiter der Hochschulbibliothek HTWG Hochschule Konstanz Technik, Wirtschaft und Gestaltung

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The library of the HTWG Konstanz is directly located at the Seerhein, with a view of Lake Constance and the Alps. A beach bar next door invites you to linger in summer. The library is located on the edge of Constance’s old town, in a district that carries a remarkable name – Paradise.

The library building has a historical background and is a listed building. Built between 1877 and 1879, it was the home of the Konstanz slaughterhouse until 1991. The university gradually grew around it, while animals were still slaughtered here. In 1994 the reconstruction began and in 1997 the library was able to move in.

Concerts and festivals take regularly place in the inner courtyard.

Today, the library of the University of Applied Sciences of Konstanz is the largest technically oriented library in the Lake Constance region. The focus is on engineering and computer science, but the HTWG’s holdings also include the fields of business administration, design, and architecture.

The heart of the library is the main hall – this is where most of the printed books can be found. Workplaces can also be found in the two side wings and in the journals reading room.

The stock comprises approx. 200,000 books, of which 130,000 are ebooks and 70,000 are printed books. Printed books are decreasing, instead there are lots of digital offers: eBooks, ejournals, online databases. Most of it can be accessed from home, despite that the number of visitors is constantly increasing.

Users of the library are primarily teachers and students, but the library is also open to external users. Anyone can visit and register as a reader.

From book storage to learning location – this transformation of libraries did not stop at the HTWG. To do justice to this trend, a new fourth level was created at the hall in 2017. This area is solely dedicated to studies. Thus there are altogether approx. 210 working spaces; they are completely occupied at some times.

The total of visitors at the library is 170.000 per year.


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