Expand your Horizons with the Courier Service

The swisscovery catalogue lets you find the resources available physically and digitally in the Library, but did you know it also allows you to quickly order books from academic libraries all over Switzerland?

Two-day delivery of books from Swiss libraries

The Swiss Library Service Platform (SLSP) is a network of Swiss libraries which share their resources: a common catalogue system first, but also a shuttle system transferring books from one library to another daily: the SLSP Courier service.

This service is like interlibrary loan on steroids, and allows you to order books from over 140 libraries all over Switzerland and receive them within two working days. It is faster, easier, and clearer than traditional ILL.

Fig. 1: Enlarging search to the whole SLSP network (swisscovery)

How to order

When searching for a book not available in our library:

  • Widen the results to “swisscovery” in the search bar (instead of “swisscovery IHEID” – see Fig. 1)
  • Find the document you were looking for
  • Log in (if you are not already connected)
  • Click on another library’s copy
  • Use the Request – Loan button (Fig. 2)
  • Ask for delivery at IHEID
  • Wait for your e-mail confirmation a couple of days later
  • Come to the loan desk to take your book
Fig. 2: Selecting the SLSP Courier loan service (do not click on interlibrary loan)

Things you should know

Of course, this service is free of charge for students and staff of the Graduate Institute.

The Courier service is not available for books held by other Geneva institutions, so you will still need to visit them to borrow their documents.

Courier loans depend on the original library’s conditions. You should check your user account regularly for more information. In most cases, as long as nobody else has reserved a document you have on loan, it is automatically renewed for up to 6 months. The number of documents you can borrow (100 items) also includes these.

Interlibrary loan is still available

When books are not available in Swiss libraries through the enlarged search (and therefore the Courier service), you can still place interlibrary loan requests. Our colleagues will look for them elsewhere in Europe and all over the world. You can find more information about ILL in our dedicated guide.


Picture: Swiss Alps (Pixabay license)

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