Geneva has about 70 libraries that are grouped together in le Réseau des bibliothèques genevoises. These consist of 51 libraries of the University of Geneva (UNIGE), 10 scientific libraries of the city of Geneva, and 10 partner libraries. Their complete listing, location, as well as any further information is available (in French) on the website of le Réseau des bibliothèques genevoises.

IHEID Library

More info can be found here: IHEID Library

  • Most widely used library among the IHEID students. It is located in the basement of Maison de la Paix, close to many of the Graduate Institute lecture rooms, and is open Monday through Friday from 8am till 10pm, on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am till 7pm.
  • The Institute library offers more than 350,000 volumes, 650 specialised journals, 685 specialised monographic series, 3500 films, and online resources (databases, electronic periodicals, e-books, etc.) as well as wifi, study desks, group study rooms (bubbles), computers, printers, scanners, and photocopiers.
  • The library offers: 330 study seats, 7 group study rooms, also known as “bubbles” (maximum of 5 people). These are accessible upon reservation for the Graduate Institute community. Reservation can be done online or at the Library’s reception; the “Salon Davis”, a comfortable lounge where speaking aloud is permitted.
  • The library has a great new student guide to its services! Check it out:

They also offer amazing tutorials for citation managers. Save time, don’t do your citations by hand! The schedule for those sessions can be found here:

UNIGE Libraries

The University of Geneva has a number of specialized libraries located around the city.

Their complete list can be found here and the location of the six most important ones is indicated here.

  • UniMail Library: The Uni Mail Library is, by far, the most popular alternative to the IHEID library. While it is further from the Graduate Institute it is closer for those who live in the east side of town or in the suburbs (Plainpalais, Cité Universitaire, Carouge, etc.). Many also prefer it because it is much bigger, spacious, and usually less crowded.
  • Uni Bastions: Another UNIGE library conveniently located in the center of Geneva. It is smaller, houses the Faculté des lettres, and is surrounded by a parc that is popular with students as well as the general public.

Other Libraries

Apart from the University libraries there are also a number of libraries of the city of Geneva, hautes écoles spécialisés, or the various institutions and organizations located in Geneva. One of the most prominent ones is the UN Library.

UN Library: Although it lacks text books, the library has a substantial archive of UN and League of Nations documents. Due to a relatively low number of visitors it is a quiet place to study. Note that there is no wireless access at this library. To access the library, go through the UN visitor’s entrance (opposite the Red Cross headquarters), and get a temporary library pass at the security desk. Once you are in the library, ask to register for a normal library pass. Don’t forget to bring your student card and passport. While the process is easy, it can take up to 2 hours depending on how busy the library and security services are.

Practical information

Borrowing books

  • To search for documents, all of the 70 libraries use the the Réro Explore Geneva. Using this catalog, you can search, locate, reserve, or renew your books with your student card. Note that the books have to be picked up and returned to their respective libraries. Inter-library loans from libraries located outside of Geneva are possible for a fee upon request.
  • IHEID: Master students can rent up to 20 documents at once, while PhD students can rent up to 40 documents. These limits apply to the entire Geneva library network.
  • UNIGE: For borrowing books at any of the UNIGE libraries you have to present your IHEID student card.
  • Elsewhere: A library pass will be issued on the basis of an identity document and a proof of university enrollment (i.e. your IHEID student card).

Internet login at IHEID: Wireless internet is available to all students with a Graduate Institute login (same username and password required for course registration, as provided in registration package). With this information it is always possible to connect to the IHEID Guest network. The Authenticated network sometimes needs to be configured manually on your computer to continue to connect automatically thereafter. This is a complicated procedure and the IT services have to approve each device’s access to the network. They provide help with the configuration at the beginning of the school year and upon request.

Printing at IHEID: Each Master student has a non-transferable quota of 500 pages per semester, each PhD student a 2000 page quota. Up to this level one is printing for free, above this level, each printed page costs CHF 0.10. To print beyond this amount, you must top-up your student card at the recharge machines outside the cafeteria with the required amount. You can consult your printing statistics on the multifunction printers.

Photocopying and Scanning: Photocopying and Scanning can also be done at the printers at the library. For a scan, you will have to swipe your student card first or enter your email address and then scan your documents. – pressing the # key when you’re done will end the scan and send it over to your Graduate Institute email address.

Lockers: The lockers at IHEID are located at the main entrance to the library. They can be rented for the semester or academic year for CHF 50.- deposit at the accounting service (on level 4). There
are 150 lockers subject to availability.

Other services

  • Inter–library loan: Provides Graduate Institute students and faculty with documents not held in a Geneva library. It is a free service.
  • VPN: Allows to obtain the same access to documents on the Graduate Institute network from anywhere in the world. Very useful, especially when you are flying home early and have papers to finish!
  • Online guide on academic writing, how to cite a source, how to search by type of document, and the working of the IHEID library. The Library can also run your thesis through anti-plagiarism software, upon request.

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