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Info & Description


Bloomfield Library for the Humanities and Social Sciences


The Bloomfield Library for Humanities and Social Sciences on the university’s Mt. Scopus campus was established in 1981 with the merging of 24 departmental libraries. Since its establishment, the library has used Aleph, an integrated library system developed by Ex-Libris. From August 2017, the library uses Alma, an innovative cloud based system, also developed by Ex-Libris. The library serves the entire university community with emphasis on disciplines within the Faculties of Humanities, Social Sciences, Business Administration and Occupational Therapy. From 2003 the library has been under the supervision of the Hebrew University Library Authority, established with the purpose of providing an academic, professional and administrative framework for the University’s libraries.

Building Facility, Seating Capacity, Computer facilities

The library is located in the center of the Mt. Scopus campus, between the Faculties of Humanities and Social Sciences. The first floor contains storage facilities and photocopiers. The remaining four floors offer study areas and workplaces with and without computers consisting of approximately 1700 seats.

The 3rd (entrance) floor's Berel and Agnes Ginges Library Information Centre contains modern study spaces providing a congenial atmosphere for individuals and groups, small rooms (with LCD screens) for group learning, a computer equipped seminar room, a smart classroom, and a relaxation lounge. The Current Periodicals Reading Room provides a comfortable place for undisturbed study. The adjacent lounge is open for relaxation on bean bags and sofas. All the library’s computers on this floor are equipped with a Rav Kav reader.

The library’s reading rooms and open stack book-shelves are located on the 2nd, 4th and 5th floors. The 2nd floor: Social Sciences and Occupational Therapy; 4th and 5th floor: Humanities.

The offices of subject specialist librarians are also situated on these floors enabling librarians to provide assistance to readers and easy access to their specialist subjects. Every reading room is approximately 3,000 square meters and includes a seminar room for group study and individual carrels for private, quiet study. Every floor has free wireless connections for personal laptops and other electronic devices, computers requiring a university log-in enabling full computer access, and many electric points for recharging devices.

The 2nd floor also includes a modern media center containing the music, audio and video collections. The center is equipped with twenty-four multimedia and viewing stations and four “smart” classrooms.

The map library (sheet and wall maps, atlases, etc.) is located in the Social Sciences building.

The Reference and Circulation departments and the Administrative offices are placed on the 3rd floor. The Acquisition and Cataloging department is situated on the 4th floor.

Patrons may send documents to the library’s printers payable by credit card or with a special rechargeable card. A recharging station is located near the entrance. Photocopy machines are also located on every floor payable by credit card. There are nine scanners located around the library.   There are about 30 tri-lingual keyboards (Hebrew-English-Arabic or Hebrew-English-Russian) in addition to the regular bi-lingual keyboards. A large LCD monitor at the entrance acquaints patrons with library news.

The Collection

The library collection consists of about 600,000 titles including:

  • print books

  • print periodicals  

  • access to electronic journals (including individual subscriptions, packages, aggregators,     databases and free e- journals).

  • electronic books (including electronic packages, individual orders from publishers, open-access books)  

  • general and subject specific electronic databases

  • Ph.D and M.A. theses   

  • DVDs, videocassettes, sound recordings and music compact discs

  • Maps

  • Two e-book readers (E-vrit)  


Collection Development

At the beginning of each academic year the Library Authority allocates an acquisitions budget to every library. Subscriptions are acquired in cooperation with other Hebrew University libraries and through the Malmad consortium. Subscriptions to new databases are approved only after evaluation by librarians and faculty members initially for a defined trial period.


Collection development is the joint effort of subject specialist librarians and faculty members and co-ordinated by the collection development librarian. Selections are made from required reading lists, teachers’ recommendations, publishers’ catalogs, professional publications and on-line resources. On average, 15000 new titles are added annually to the library catalog.   

Publications in about a hundred languages can be found in the library particularly in Hebrew, English, Arabic, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian and East Asian languages. The library digitizes theses, maps and dvds in strict accordance with the copyright law.

Required Reading for Courses

The Reserved Circulation Collection is updated every semester. It includes textbooks and a database of scanned articles, digitized music and streaming video based on the required reading lists of lecturers. The library is obliged to provide a copy for every 30 students for items on these required reading lists.  Access to the on-line database of scanned materials is limited according to the copyright law and is open to students only after logging in with their personal identification code.

Circulation Services

There are on average around 15,000 registered borrowers and 500,000 circulation transactions annually. Each patron may borrow up to 50 books simultaneously. For the past ten years, a self-check service has been located near the entrance. Users can order items online. Daily renewals are performed automatically after checking whether there are outstanding requests for that item. Materials that are not available in our library may be ordered for a fee via inter- library loan, from Israeli libraries, as well as from libraries abroad. This department handles on average 4,500 requests annually. Advanced online booking of audio-visual material and electronic equipment can be ordered by patrons via the catalog.

Library Staff

All librarians have academic degrees in the social sciences and humanities and in library science. In addition, the library employs computer specialists, administrative employees and student workers. Our librarians are fluent in many languages and are active in both inter- and intra-university forums, publish in professional journals, lecture at conferences, and have served on national committees. The library is a member of the national consortium (MALMAD) and international organizations. Any reader who is in need of help can contact a librarian (via the staff page on this website) and will receive a reply by e-mail.

Access to Electronic Resources

The university community can access online electronic resources (e- books, e-journals, streaming music and video, and databases) from any computer that is connected to the university network on campus or off-campus through Samba by entering a personal identification code.  

Library Instruction, Reference Services and Cultural Activities

The main reference desk on the third floor is staffed by a librarian and student employees from 9am to 7pm, providing professional personal assistance. In addition, assistance is offered in the reading rooms on the 2nd, 4th and 5th floors during peak hours. Individual help can be also obtained from a relevant subject specialist librarian by e- mail, by phone or by appointment.


Library orientation sessions are offered to new students at the beginning of each semester by our reference staff. These include tours of library facilities and explanations on the use of library resources. In addition, there are specialized instruction classes coordinated by subject specialist librarians. In-depth training is given to acquaint students with the databases and reference tools in their field of study. During the academic year, a series of instructional presentations for teachers and faculty members are organized together with the Library Authority staff. The Reference department team has produced a number of training videos.

In compliance with the University administration decision that each B.A. student is required to prove his/her competence in accessing print and digital materials, an instructional computerized course (on Moodle platform) was created by the Reference department team. The course (questions and electronically stored answers) demands basic acquaintance with the library resources and teaches effective search skills in the library catalog and databases, as well as the use of internet tools.

The library endeavors to strengthen its connection with patrons through our website, newsletters, and via Twitter and Facebook postings. In addition, the library organizes cultural events, exhibitions, lectures, etc.   

Access for People with Disabilities

The library is accessible to users with disabilities. The alarm system at the library entrance and the elevators are wheelchair friendly, and there are designated restrooms for wheelchair access. The study spaces have been planned to allow for sufficient unobstructed access for wheelchairs and walkers. Glass doors are marked. Two adaptive technology workstations with electrically controlled desk height are equipped with software and a variety of ergonomic devices for people with motor impairments.  A special software package received through the Hebrew University Computer Authority, includes screen reading and enlargement programs, as well as instructional software helpful to users with dyslexia and other learning difficulties. Ten percent of the library’s public workstations have 22" widescreen monitors helpful to visually impaired patrons. Students with service dogs are welcome. Special guidance aiming to ensure equal access to students with disabilities is provided by the Reference Department.

Naomi Alshech

Library Director