Frequently asked questions

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The digital library

Where do I find the databases?

Go to digital library → databases. The databases and online sources are divided into domains, subject areas. If a database includes multiple subject areas (it is multidisciplinary), it can be found only under the ‘General’ domain. The complete list can be found under the alphabetical list of databases. Click on the name of a database to open it. Click on the ‘i’ for a short description.

What are online sources? What are databases?

An online source is a source of information accessible via the internet. A database is a computer file containing a large quantity of data arranged in an ordered manner. A database can contain various kinds of information: usually articles taken from e-journals, often e-books or parts of e-books, visual material, statistics, and literature descriptions.
The list of databases and online sources is made up primarily of commercially licensed databases, but there are also some free informative websites (such as Statline and OpenAIRE). Students and staff have access to the content of these databases because the library has paid for the licenses.

What exactly does a database description mean?

If you click on the ‘i’ located in front of the title of a database, you will see a number of fields:

Source The name of this database or online source; click for access.
Description A brief description of the character of the database.
Domains This tells you where to find this source in the list of databases.
Key words The most important subjects found in this source.
Details Access: At home or only on campus Free source: a free source or a commercially licensed source Language interface: the language of the search system Language of content: the language of the content found in the source
Full text: is the complete text available? Simultaneous: Is this source included in the Simultaneous search engine? Find It: Is the ‘Find It’ function available in this source? Personalised account: Can you generate a personal account (within your THUAS account) for things like alerting, saving results, etc.? RefWorks: Is it possible to export descriptions to RefWorks?
Apps: link to apps and mobile site if available.
Browser Minimum browser requirements and comments about accessibility.
Help Link to help information and manuals.

How is access to commercially licensed databases arranged?

The library has paid the supplier for a user’s licence to access most of the commercially licensed databases. This means that THUAS students and staff have to identify themselves before being given access to these databases. This is done in various ways. On campus, desktop PCs are recognised by means of their IP address. To access these databases from an off-campus location (internship, work or home location) a user has to log in first. For most of the databases, you have to log in via EZproxyserver. For some of them, this is in combination with the Simultaneous search login mechanism (Armed Conflict Database,, NEN Connect, SBRCURnet, Trefwoordenthesaurus, Van Dale Onlinewoordenboeken). For some, you log in via SURFconext (Legal Intelligence, Navigator), or via KennisID (BRISwarenhuis, ISSO-digitaal).

How can I solve problems with accessing databases and Simultaneous search?

Support for browsers and their version
Unfortunately, it is not possible to provide support for all the browsers and all their versions. You can sometimes run into problems with certain browser versions; if these problems have been reported previously, this is mentioned in the description of the database. Click on the ‘i’ and look at the browsers field. If a certain browser is associated with problems, use another one.

Can some databases be used only on campus?
Almost all the databases can be accessed by THUAS students and staff both on and off campus. Currently, an exception is: Handboek Nederlandse Pers for which you can ask the access code at the Library Helpdesk.

What is the right link for accessing a database?
Use the right (and fastest) route for access to the database: go directly to the list of databases or the library website. Select the database you want from a certain domain or the total list, and click on the title for access. You then see the login screen needed to identify yourself as a student or staff member. Note bene: in order to link to a database, use the full URL from the list of databases.

Are you having trouble accessing one or several of the databases
If the problem concerns only one database, what might be going on is some temporary maintenance work or an unexpected technical problem at the database supplier’s location. You could also consult the list of current technical problems at the bottom of the page that lists the databases. You can also contact the library by e-mail or by phone (070-445 7882). 

Delete temporary files in browser (cache) and restart browser
If something went wrong during an access attempt, you may have to restart the browser after deleting the temporary files. Solution: delete the temporary internet files and cache in your browser’s settings, and restart the browser. See directions for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari. Use the proper method to get to the database (see directions above) and log in using only your student ID number and password. 

Access problems at your internship or work address
Another cause of access problems could be the computer network’s security system. Discuss the problem with the IT staff at your internship or work location.

What if nothing you try works
Contact the library by e-mail or by phone (070 445 7882) or visit the helpdesk. 

Can I consult electronic full-text journals from home?

Yes, they are accessible through the list of ejournals, which you can also consult from home. Go to Digital library → Ejournals.

Can I download e-books from the library?

Yes, a large part of the collection can be downloaded to a laptop, e-reader or iPad. Go to Digital library → E-books for further details on how to download an e-book .

The catalogue looks strange. What can I do?

If the catalogue interface is not displayed correctly, you may need to change your Internet Explorer settings. To do so, open Internet Explorer, go to Tools (‘Extra’ in Dutch) and click on Internet options (‘Internetopties’). Open the tab labelled Advanced (‘Geavanceerd’). Under 'Security’ (‘Beveiliging’), check the box ‘Enable native XMLHTTP support’ (‘Native XMLHTTP-ondersteuning inschakelen’), then click on OK.

How to import references into RefWorks from a database that has no direct export to RefWorks?

See: RefWorks LibGuide.

Library services

I am a staff member. Do I need a library card?

Library cards featuring a barcode are needed to use the self-issue and return machines. You can make a request for a library card at the helpdesk in the library or online.

How do I join the library?

As an HHs student you are automatically registered as a library member, and you can use your student card to borrow items. If you are not, or no longer, an HHS student or staff member, you can join the library as an external user for a fee of € 15.00 per year. External users cannot use the digital library or the library computer workstations. Please refer to the library rules for more information.

Where do I consult the HHs library catalogue?

The catalogue can be consulted 24/7 from any computer.

Where do I use wireless internet or print from my laptop?

Use the 802.1x protocol to gain access and enter the general HHs password for authentication. See the ICT Service Desk wifi pages for more information.

I cannot find a book which the catalogue tells me should be in house. How is that possible?

Books may not be on the right shelf for a number of reasons: they may have been misplaced, they may be still being processed, or someone else is consulting them.

What to do if a book is not in its place?

  1. Search the shelf and the surrounding shelves
  2. Ask at the helpdesk when the book should have been returned; it may be on a library trolley waiting to be returned to its proper place
  3. Look around if someone is using it
  4. If you really cannot find it anywhere , then please report it missing at the helpdesk

What are the opening hours of the library?

Go to About the library → Opening hours and contact details.

Borrowing, renewing and reserving items

What do I need in order to borrow items from the library?

Students need a valid HHs student card to request or borrow items from the library’s collections. Staff and external users need a library pass. All users must be able to produce a valid ID on request.

How do I borrow items from the different library locations?

You require a student card, an HHs library pass if you are a staff member, or a library card if you are an external user in order to borrow items. In all locations you can use the self-issue machine.

May external users borrow items from the library?

External users may borrow items if they have a library card, which costs € 15.00 per year (payable by campuscard or bank card). To register, external users will need two forms of identification, one giving proof of identity and one giving proof of address (e.g. a recent bank statement). External users cannot use the digital library or the library computer workstations.

I'm graduated, can I still use the library?

Yes, alumni have access to a part of the digital collection and the first year they can get a free library card for borrowing books. Go to the alumni website for more information.

How many items may I borrow?

Users may never have more than 10 items on loan, and never more than 7 items from the same category (books, CD-ROMs, or DVDs).

How long can I keep the items?

The loan period for books, CD-ROMs and DVDs is three weeks. Items may be renewed up to 5 times, provided they have not been reserved.

Can I borrow books from the TU Delft library?

The lending facilities of the TU Delft library are open to all HHs students with a valid TU Delft library card, which they can obtain free of charge from the TU Delft library. This card costs €20 per year for HHs staff members. To register, you will need to bring both proof of identity and proof of address (e.g. a recent bank statement). Go to Library services → TU Delft Library for further details.

How can I renew items? How many times can I renew items?

Loans can be renewed up to five times for the standard period, unless the items have been reserved by another borrower. During opening hours, renewals can be made in person at the library desk or by phone. Dial +31 (0)70) 445 7882 for the Central Library and location Delft or +31 (0)70) 448 3279 for location Laan van Poot. Outside opening hours, renewals can be made by emailing a request to Please remember to include your name and, if you are a student, your student number.

Can I renew items online?

To renew items online, students and staff should go to the HHs catalogue and click on "Renew".

How come online renewing does not work?

Online renewal works best if you use Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari; not with Chrome.

How do I reserve items?

Only items on loan can be reserved. To make a reservation, visit the helpdesk in either the Central Library or location Laan van Poot. Unfortunately, we cannot accept reservations by phone or through the Internet. Making a reservation costs € 0.50 per item, payable by campuscard or bank card. You will be sent an email when the item is available for collection. 

Library instructions

How do I log into the library instructions course?

To log into the library instructions course, go to Information literacy tools → Library instructions. If this is the first you take a library instruction course, then please register as a new user. The next time you log on, you can use the email address and password you have entered. We advise you to use your student number as password. See the log-in procedure.

How do I login outside the HHs?

Go to Information literacy tools → Library instructions.

I downloaded Silverlight but cannot proceed to the library instructions course

As new software is installed, it is necessary to close the browser completely and re-open it. If there are still problems, delete the temporary files (cache) and restart the browser. Restart the computer if the library instruction still does not work.

Can I or should I allow pop-ups?

Yes, you can. If a yellow bar appears at the top of your screen, click on it and select ‘Always allow pop-ups from this site’ (‘Pop-ups van deze site altijd toestaan’ in Dutch). If a red bar appears, then indicate that pop-ups are allowed and click on continue (‘doorgaan’).

Can I retake the library test if I fail, and if so, how do I go about it?

Yes, the test can be retaken. Go to Information literacy tools → Library instructions to retake the Bibits or HIT library instruction test. Your results will be sent to your department.

Finding the collections

Main building

Where do I find the novels?

The novels are on the ground floor.

Where do I find student theses?

Paper copies of student theses and graduation papers are kept on the first floor of the library, classed by course and by year. Digital versions can be retrieved through the catalogue and the HBO Knowledge Base. Please refer to Digital library → Theses and publications for further details.

Where do I find DVDs?

DVDs are located on the shelves between the books on the ground floor and ordered according to the SISO classification system used by the library. Please refer to the catalogue. DVDs and may be borrowed for three weeks on presentation of a student card.

Where do I find the dictionaries?

Dictionaries that may not be borrowed are next to the helpdesk on the ground floor. Dictionaries that may be borrowed are classified as number 831. Please refer to the catalogue for the exact code.

Where do I find the journals?

All paper journals the library subscribes to are to be found on the first floor. Recent issues are placed in the current journal racks, under the flaps. Back volumes are kept a little further down on the same floor, in slip-cases. Journals are ordered alphabetically by title.

Printing, copying and scanning

Main building

Does the library offer printing facilities?

The library offers both printing and copying facilities. There is a colour multifunction machine on the ground floor and three machines on the first floor, in the Study Plaza. There are more multifunction machines at other locations in the HHs.

If it is the first time you use the printer, you should link your campuscard (pay card) to your computer account before you start. See the instructions.

Does the library offer scanning facilities?

Besides printing and copying it is possible to scan on the multifunction machines in the library and Study Plaza. Up to 30 pages can be scanned at a time


Questions? Send them to the E-helpdesk.