As an exchange student at CU, you can borrow books from the Charles University libraries. There are some other libraries in Prague, which request registration and payment of a small yearly fee — such as the National Library of the CR, the National Technical Library and the Municipal Library of Prague.

Last updated on the 21st January 2013 by Zuzka K.

Charles University libraries

There is no central university library, but each faculty has its own library, which is  usually divided into many smaller libraries. Fortunately, there is a website with centralised database (for English version click on the English flag on the top of the page).

How to use the CKIS database?

Fill in some of the search fields and confirm the search. You’ll see a list of items, which match your request. The most important column of the table is “Lib (#items/circ.)” — it tells you in which library the book is and how many exemplars they have/how many of them are now available. If you click on the name of the library, you’ll see the details about the books there, such as when the book should be returned or for how long it could be borrowed. If there are no available exemplars to loan, you can make a reservation: Once you are registered in the library system, you use the number under the photo on your student ID card as name and the letters under the bar code as password.

Faculty of Science libraries

The Scientific Information Department of the Faculty of Science has its own pages in English, so you can find the information about registration and rules for borrowing the books there.

Common rules

You must bring your student ID card if you want to use the library.

Most common types of loan are Regular loan I (1 month) and Study loan (6 months). You can renew your loan when you sign in CKIS. There are fines for overdue.

In some libraries, if you put your belongings in a locker, you can freely walk between the shelves and take the books from there. After reading, you must put them back in their original position, of course. If you want to borrow a book, you must register it at the librarian’s desk. Some of the books can’t be borrowed outside the library.

In other libraries it’s restricted to enter the rooms with bookshelves — you just tell the librarian which books you want to borrow and s/he will bring them.


List of Faculty of Science libraries and their locations — link, map of libraries locations

Please note, that the up-to-date information about the opening hours of particular libraries may appear in the Czech version only — switch to Czech by clicking on Czech flag.


Biology libraries

Library of Biology — called also Library of Zoology, includes books from former libraries of plant physiology and antropology — Viničná 7 (1st floor)
 — there are several PCs for students and (paid) copier and printer — information about access to PCs

Library of Botany — Benátská 2 (ground floor on the right)

Library of Philosophy and Natural History — Viničná 7 (ground floor on the right)


Chemistry libraries

Library of Analytic Chemistry — Hlavova 2030 (ground floor)

Library of Biochemistry — Hlavova 2030 (1st floor, room number 220-221)

Library of Chemistry — Hlavova 2030 (ground floor)

Library of Didactics and Teaching Chemistry — Albertov 3 (1st floor, room number 219)

Library of Inorganic Chemistry — Hlavova 2030 (1st floor, room number 243)

Library of Organic Chemistry — Hlavova 2030 (ground floor, room number 140/136-137)

Library of Physical and Macromolecular Chemistry — Hlavova 2030 (2nd floor, room number 302-4)

Library of Geografy (website) — Albertov 6 (2nd floor)


Library of Geology — Albertov 6 (ground floor on the right)


Library of the Institute of Environmental Studies — Benátská 2 (ground floor, room number 38)


Electronic Information Resources at Charles University in Prague

Information about electronic databases are available on the Scientific Information Department website and on the Charles University E-resources Portal.


National Library of the Czech Republic (Národní knihovna České republiky)

Some of the books you may be interested in could be available at the National Library of the Czech Republic. It’s located in historical building of Klementinum (address: Klementinum 190) in the centre of Prague, between Charles bridge and Old Town Square.

The database is available on-line — NKC catalogue is for the National Library only and SKC is for all united libraries in CR.

From the Rules and Regulations of the National Library of the Czech Republic it seems that you can’t borrow the books for external loans, if you are foreigner without long-term residence permit. However, most of the books offered are for in-house lending in the reading rooms anyway.

Fees: One day admission ticket to the reading rooms is 10,- CZK, yearly registration fee is 100,- CZK.


National Technical Library (Národní technická knihovna)

The National Technical Library is located in a new modern building (opened in September 2009) in Technická 6 street in Dejvice (end of metro line A).

Fees: Yearly registration fee (365 days) for students is 50,- CZK. Library customer card costs 200,- CZK, but it’s possible to register your student ID as a library card.


Municipal Library of Prague (Městská knihovna v Praze)

The Municipal Library of Prague offers mainly books in Czech language, however you may find there books in other languagues too. It has more than 40 branches spread all over Prague. The yearly fee is 80,- CZK.


Important language note

In Czech alphabet we have a digraph “ch”, which we consider as independent letter and it’s position in the alphabet is between letters “h” and “i”. So don’t be confused if you ever notice an alphabetical list with suddenly appearing “c” in the middle — it’s not “c” but “ch” :-)

Order of the letters in Czech dictionary: A B C Č D E F G H Ch I J K L M N O P Q R Ř S Š T U V W X Y Z Ž

In Czech dictionary don’t look for words beginning with “ch” under letter “c”, you’ll never find them there. If you find it confusing just imagine how are we confused, when we sometimes try to find “ch” between letters “h” and “i” for example in an English dictionary ;-)

Apart from “ch” we have also some special characters with wedges and acutes above the letters. The complete Czech alphabet consist of 42 letters: a á b c č d ď e é ě f g h ch i í j k l m n ň o ó p q r ř s š t ť u ú ů v w x y ý z ž.