Here we are offering some answers to frequently asked questions about how to use the library. You are also welcome to watch our introductory video in German with English subtitles.
For further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I use the library materials?
The library of the Ibero-American Institute is free and open to anyone over the age of 16.
The library of the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut (IAI, Ibero-American Institute) is not an open-access library. Most of the holdings are in stacks and only a small part is in the reading room and can be used without a user card. To use the library materials and to borrow them you need a user card. You can find more information here: Ibero-American Institute: Library and reading room cards (spk-berlin.de)
Separate conditions apply to the use of holdings from the Special Collections: Ibero-American Institute: Special Collections (spk-berlin.de)
How do I get a user card?
The requirements and documents that must be presented to obtain the user card (library card or reading room card) can be found here: Ibero-American Institute: Library and reading room cards (spk-berlin.de). There you will also find information on how to apply for a user card online. The user card is free.
How can I renew my user card?
You can renew your user card online using the following form: https://www.iai.spk-berlin.de/apps/. You will need to present an identity document and, if necessary, additional documents, the next time you visit the library.
What is my password? How can I change or recover it?
The default password is your date of birth in the form DDMMYY (e.g. 241290). We recommend that you change this password to a secure one. Only then, you will be able to use our electronic resources.
You can manage your password under the following link: https://wlan-iai.spk-berlin.de/en/pwchange (direct link)
There is an alternative access via your user account in the online catalog (OPAC): https://www.iaicat.de/ > User account > Change Password
You can also recover a forgotten password there.
How do I use the Wi-Fi at the IAI?
The IAI's Wi-Fi network (WLAN-IAI) allows the unrestricted use of our electronic resources. General information about Wi-Fi and the option to change your password can be found here: https://wlan-iai.spk-berlin.de/en
Please note the following instructions for the initial setup and in the event of problems: https://wlan-iai.spk-berlin.de/en/instr
Other options for using Wi-Fi in the IAI are:
- The public Wi-Fi network "_Free_Wifi_Berlin"
- eduroam (If you already have access via your university)
How can I order media?
Because almost all our holdings are in stacks, you need to order them in advance with your library card data in our online catalog (OPAC): http://opac.spk-berlin.de/DB=1/LNG=EN/
Search for the desired material in the OPAC and click on “request”. In the next window, you will have to confirm the order again by clicking on “request/reserve”.
The media will take approximately 30 minutes to arrive to the service desk. For more details about the loans click here: Ibero-American Institute: Loans
There is not a request-button. What can I do?
If you cannot find a request-button for the publication you want, it may be because of the following:
a) The publication is an article. Click on the link after “Enthalten in” (content in). If there is no link, you will need to find and request the volume or journal in which the article was published.
In the case of magazines, write down the year, volume and issue number, since you must indicate them when ordering.
b) The publication is a monograph published in several volumes. Click on “related publications” and order the volume you need.
Can I scan, copy, print or take photos?
- Scan: You can use our scanners in the reading room for free. Remember to bring your own USB stick.
- Copy: It is no longer possible to make copies.
- Print: A printer is also available in the reading room.
- Photos: You can also take photos of the documents with a camera or a Smartphone (without flash).
Please note and respect the copyright legislation.
Here you will find information about the digitization on demand service: Ibero-American Institute: Digitization on demand
What can I do if I have problems accessing electronic resources?
If you have problems when opening an E-Book or E-Journal, we recommend you to do the following:
- To access our electronic resources, you have to change your default password (DDMMYY). If you have not done so yet, you can easily change it here: https://wlan-iai.spk-berlin.de/en/pwchange
- Please check in your library account if your user card is still valid.
- Try opening the E-Book or E-Journal using another browser.
- If you still cannot access the electronic resource, please click on the button “Access denied?” in the catalog. Our colleagues will take care of the problem.
How do I get materials from the papers and manuscripts collection?
First, carry out a search via our online catalog or the search entry on our homepage. In most cases, using this procedure you will to find specific signatures to note them in the application form. If no signature can be determined, you can also enter numbers of file folders or descriptions of the material. Please send the completed application form signed to our email address email@example.com
You can find more information about our papers and manuscripts collection here: Ibero-American Institute: Papers and manuscripts (spk-berlin.de)
If you would like to arrange an appointment to see the inventory, please contact us at least 3 days in advance. This enables us to ensure that the materials you have requested are available for you at our service desk.
How can I get a letter of confirmation of my stay at the library?
If you need confirmation for your university or your scholarship provider that you have worked in the IAI library for a certain period of time, please write an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org at the beginning of your stay with this information:
- Academic position and university
- Research topic
- Period of your stay
- Language of the letter (German / English / Spanish / Portuguese)
You can pick it up at the service desk on the last day of your stay.
Scholarship holders and guest researchers of the IAI receive a confirmation from their supervisor.
What happens if I lose a book?
If you lose a book from our library, you must report it verbally at the service desk or by e-mail. You can obtain an identical replacement copy yourself or the library will arrange for a replacement. In both cases, you will be charged an administrative fee of 15 EUR.
How long will my books remain at the service desk for pick-up?
Requested books remain on the shelf at the service desk for 14 days.