Bremen State and University Library Switches to Open Source

The Bremen State and University Library (SuUB – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek) is the first library in the Common Library Network to introduce Folio as the library software for lending and acquisition.

The Common Library Network (GBV – Gemeinsamer Bibliotheksverbund) is the largest association of libraries in Germany. Folio is the name of the new library management system that affects all library areas and particularly supports the workflows for acquiring digital and printed resources and lending. Folio, a server-based software, is being developed as an open-source collaboration by an international community and has already established itself as an alternative to commercial products on the market. Folio has a modular structure and already offers many new solutions for digital transformation in libraries. Open source ensures that libraries remain independent of vendor companies. Folio is sustainable as required functionalities can be developed as additional modules.

SuUB Bremen is the pilot library in Germany that will implement the migration from the current PICA-LBS3 system to Folio for more than 200 librariesin the network. With the active support of GBV’s head office, SuUB Bremen will develop a significant proportion of the necessary adaptations to the new library management system itself.

“The decision to switch to Folio and open source is a decision for sustainability and ensures the continued development of library services,” says Maria Elisabeth Müller, Director of SuUB Bremen. The switchover should be completed by the end of 2024.

With a collection of 3.5 million books and 30,000 users, the Bremen State and University Library (SuUB) is the largest and oldest academic library in Bremen. Via the E-LIB, SuUB currently offers access to over 100 million media, more than 95% of which are proofs of electronic media with the option of obtaining the full text. The E-LIB is both a development environment and a production system and handles 10,000 to 18,000 search queries every day.

Further Information: (in German) (in German) (in German) (in German)


Benjamin Ahlborn
Bremen State and University Library
Administrative Department 2: Integrated media processing
Phone: +49 421 218-59440

SuUB Bremen is the pilot library in Germany.