The Bielefeld University library has a lot of DVDs available for patrons to rent, but you need to know how to get at them. You can’t go and browse the DVDs in person – you have to look up what you want and then bring your request to the desk (located in the ‘C’ section).

To find out what movies are on file, visit the online Katalog ( In the second field, select ‘call number’ and put in ‘na088.88’ (that’s a zero, not a letter ‘O’). If you just hit ‘search’ without adding any more information, you’ll come up with a list of every single DVD that the library owns, which is probably too extensive to be helpful. You can refine it by adding search terms to ‘all fields,’ such as “Hitchcock,” “Tarantino,” “Cary Grant” or “Pride and Prejudice.” It limits your options  to whatever you’re able to think of on your own (and then successfully find in stock), but we’ve watched some stuff that we wouldn’t have otherwise tried this way. If you’re stuck, you can check out a list like IMDB’s Top 250 for some search ideas.Anything we’ve rented that was originally in the English language was still in English, with the option for a German audio track.

Also, we have not had a DVD player in any of the apartments we’ve stayed in, but we bought one for 5 euros at the Saturday flea market. It’s a little noisy, but it hasn’t died on us yet, so I think  it’s a good option for short-term Bielefelders.