Where the City reads

Länder und Flaggen von Europa
Where the City reads
Image: koya79 -

Public libraries in central Berlin

Information and knowledge embedded in the context of changing cultural values shape the future of modern societies. Libraries are an essential intermediary in that process: in partnership with Berlin’s academic libraries, facilitating freedom in teaching and research, Berlin’s public libraries guarantee everyone free access to knowledge, cultural heritage and creative thought. They are uncensored, encouraging intellectual freedom with their mix of traditional media and new information technologies. To ensure they are well-placed to deliver their services in today’s knowledge-based society and, at the same time, make efficient use of their resources they have combined to form an open network.

You will find an overview of our services and features on the following pages.

Stadtbibliothek Berlin-Mitte

8 libraries open to the public
535.000 items held, including, books, magazines, newspapers, CDs, DVDs, videos, CD-ROMs, e-books, conventional games, computer and console games and sheet music. Special collections, for example, artworks available for loan in the Artothek in Bezirkszentralbibliothek Frankfurter Allee or titles rated ‘hot’ by young people available in @hugo, the youth media collection in the Hugo-Heimann-Bibliothek and the city’s largest audio books collection in the Philipp-Schaeffer-Bibliothek supplement the main collection.
44 Internet points for free access to online information. Wireless Internet access (Wi-Fi) in many libraries offers improved working facilities.
16.000 hours of annual opening makes research, browsing and library trips a pleasant and relaxed experience whether you visit on your own, with a friend, in a group or as a family.
4000 special events take place in the libraries every year – children’s story reading sessions, circus-inspired activities, talks, readings, exhibitions, to name but a few. See our events leaflet and website for the latest details. In our role as a key player in the education process we focus particularly on activities and events encouraging the development of language and reading skills.
939.500 visitors a year take advantage of our advanced and diverse range of services. That makes libraries the most heavily-used municipal institutions in the educational and cultural field.

Locations & business hours

Full information about the libaries is available from the German version of our homepage at Bibliotheken im Überblick

Borrowing items

You must register in person if you want to borrow items. For library registration you will need to bring your identity card or passport and your proof of registration with the authorities (Meldebescheinigung). We will issue you with a library card which can be used in all Berlin public libraries. The library card costs 10 euro and is valid for 12 months.

Library catalogue – Our electronic library online catalogue allows you at all times to search the holdings of all public libraries in Berlin and to discover where titles are held and whether they are on loan or available for borrowing – In addition, you can access our electronic resources 24 hours a day: for e-books.

Service highlights

The broad spectrum of services offered by is reflected not simply in the diversity and volume of our collections. In addition, we prioritise the learning of reading and language skills, services and activities for children, development of media skills, encouragement of affirmative and tolerant attitudes in a multicultural context and cooperative ventures with different partners all with the aim of offering you the best possible service.

Highlights of that service include:

Thanks to a prize-winning modular system created in-house, the learning of language and reading skills and training in media skills in children and young people’s libraries has developed to become an educational initiative going beyond the ordinary. Those efforts – enthusiastically received by our users – are complemented by more than 2600 annual group and individual introductions to the libraries, literature events for school groups, picture book cinema shows, bookreadings coupled with creative activities for nursery-age children, provision of reading titles in class-size sets, schoolbooks and learning and teaching aids for teachers. In addition, continuing education courses for teachers and nursery instructors are held on a regular basis.

The must-read titles from the bestseller lists – we have got them all.
Avoid the waiting time due to heavy demand and multiple reservations. For a service fee of 2 euro bestseller titles are usually available for immediate 2-week loan in the Philipp-Schaffer-Bibliothek, the Bibliothek am Luisenbad and the Bruno-Lösche-Bibliothek.

Our philosophy: make the best use of resources, pool efforts and enable participation for all. In that spirit, numerous instances of cooperation with partners from varying fields complement our service provision and help emphasise the leading-edge status of the
Our libraries are a regular venue for publishers’ presentations. Publishers of all shapes and sizes have the chance to display their latest titles or if they wish their entire catalogue. These events are a great opportunity to discover the world of publishing and its many different angles.
Every year in spring the HörGut show presents the latest in audio books, with participants from 100 publishers and some 1000 titles ready for listening, this event is a highlight for visitors from across the city.
The efforts and involvement of partner organisations such as Lesewelt, in.actio coopera, netd@ys Berlin, Förderverein für arbeitslose Jugendliche, city-VHS, LesArt or Berliner Märchentage – to name but a few – provide a valuable contribution to the work of the
Your assistance is also very welcome. Become a member of the supporters association and help champion the a commitment which makes a difference in the acquisition of new titles, upkeep of the gardens, organising events, funding new materials, lobbying activities and in many more areas of the library’s work. The idea is simple: stand up and support libraries.

The Stadtbibliothek Berlin-Mitte has something for everyone. Call in and register. We look forward to seeing you.