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Thank you Germany: Part 072: Germany’s libraries offer media for every demand


Germany has a broad network of libraries. Today, many of these institutions not only provide their users with a wide selection of books. Audio books and music CDs can also be borrowed here. In addition, some libraries also have a wide range of DVDs. So no matter what medium users are looking for – a well-equipped library in Germany offers a good chance of success in this search. Many people therefore have a membership card with one of the libraries. In smaller towns, there are sometimes book buses. These transport media from libraries to the locations.

Especially for children, the library is an important place. It offers the possibility to borrow media that very specifically serve children’s interests. Many children have read entire shelves of books here. Some children also borrow favourite audio books. But a library also offers many opportunities for adults. It is not only easy on the wallet, as the borrowed book does not have to be bought separately. Those who borrow books do not have to store them on their own shelves at home afterwards. After all, the large municipal or state libraries offer their users the option of inter-library loans. This means that a book or medium can be ordered and borrowed from another library in Germany via interlibrary loan.

Even out-of-print books that are only rarely available can be borrowed and read in this way. In addition to book lovers and curious children, libraries also offer academics an important working opportunity. They ensure that important books can be borrowed for their own research purposes. In addition, many libraries also have foreign-language books. With their help, users can better acquire a foreign language. For example, many students have improved their English skills by reading Harry Potter in the original English. This advantage of a well-stocked lending library should not be underestimated. After all, children can borrow the right specialist literature from the library to prepare for presentations. In Germany, libraries are specifically supported by the cities.

Every child should be given the opportunity to borrow new books about his or her own interests. Promoting reading is one of the most important tasks of a good cultural policy. Germany does very well here with its well-established library system. Germans can certainly be proud of this advantage. You don’t necessarily have to buy every book if you want to read it. You can also simply borrow it as a member of a library. If you are a pupil or student, you can usually borrow a large number of books locally for a very reasonable annual fee. Many state libraries even grant students membership free of charge. This option is used by many young people in all federal states.

Most libraries do not only have bookshelves on site. They usually also have nice reading rooms and a small café or bistro in their buildings. The opportunity to work or read on site is gladly taken up by many visitors. It ensures that one can read in a pleasant and particularly beautiful atmosphere. Many German libraries were even built by special architects.

Last updated on 6. February 2023

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