VU students and staff can become members of the University Library for free. If you are a student, you can activate your university registration card for use as a library card. To do so, log into LibSearch and send an email to with the bar code (this number starts with 20000). You can also have your card activated at the lending desk.

VU staff can pick up a free library card at one of the University Library desks. 

Others can apply for a library card with valid identification.
A library card is required to request and borrow books, and provides access to the open layout of the Humanities Library on the 9th floor. The digital collections can be consulted with a VUnet ID or a VUmc account. External members and visitors can only access the digital collections of the University Library with a free guest account.

You can apply for a library card, renew your current card or activate your university registration card at one of the lending desks:

  • VU Main Building, 1st floor (1C-02)
  • Medical Library, VUmc, ground floor (0B-100)
  • See opening hours

Library cards are free for VU/VUmc staff and for students and staff of other Dutch universities (as well as their associated institutions).
For other visitors, membership costs €20 per year. Additional membership options include €10 for three months or €5 per month.

What you need to get a library card
To activate, request or renew a (free) library card, you need:

VU students- valid university registration card
- one-time login to LibSearch
- email to with the library card number (starting with 20000…)
VU/VUmc staff- registration in the VU system
- valid proof of identity
Guest lecturers at VU- exemption form (available at the lending desks listed above) completed at their faculty  
- valid proof of identity
Staff from other universities- contract or mention on your university's website
- valid proof of identity
Students from other universities- valid student ID card/proof of enrolment
- valid proof of identity
AdemNet card holders
- valid AdamNet card
- valid proof of identity
All others - valid proof of identity + payment (PIN only)

Lost your library card?
Please contact us as soon as possible so we can block the card.
A new card can be issued to you immediately at one of the lending desks (cost: €5).

No university registration card yet?
VU students who have not yet received their university registration card can request a temporary library card at one of the lending desks listed above.

Membership at more libraries
Those wishing to become a member of multiple Amsterdam libraries may be better off purchasing an AdamNet card. Presenting your AdamNet card allows you to register at numerous libraries in Amsterdam.
The card can be purchased (€50 per year) at the lending desk on the first floor of the main building (see opening hours).