Category Archives: Germany

Stadtbibliothek Duisburg/Public Library, Germany

Copyright: Stadtbibliothek Duisburg, Photographer: Friedhelm Krischer
Copyright: Stadtbibliothek Duisburg, Photographer: Friedhelm Krischer

Name of the Library: Stadtbibliothek Duisburg/Public Library
Parent Organisation: Duisburg Municipality

Street Address: Steinsche Gasse 26
Postal Address: 47051 Duisburg
Telephone :+49-203-2832593
Web Address:
Library Email:
Type of Library :Central Library
Population served: 487.000
Project Type: New Building
Size (square metres): 7.000
Date of Completion: 2015
Architect: msp Architekten Strothmann, Dortmund

Copyright: Stadtbibliothek Duisburg, Photographer: Friedhelm Krischer

Innovative library for children: four houses for children at the age of 0-3, 3-6, 6-9, 9-12 with books, dvds/blu rays and toys, different facilities for reading, parking place for baby buggies, special toilets for children, special reading and creative programs, exposition of illustrators, international children’s library with more than 6000 books in 18 different languages

  • Innovative library for juveniles: books for school as well as leisure time, console games and facilities for gaming within the library, 21 Pcs for research training for school classes, laptops on loan and usage within the library
  • Modern technology: charging via RFID, reservation of items with intelligent book shell, cash dispenser, laptops and dvd players on loan within the library, free usage of WLAN within the building, digital signposting system, Library Press Display (more than 2000 journals and newspapers from 95 countries in 54 languages) and Online Library (more than 20000 e-items) – usable as well within the library as at home.
  • Libraries for special topics: “Business qualification and job”, “How to live better”, “Parents”, “Environment”, “Consumer protection”
  • Special library for migrants and refugees: “Arriving in Germany”
  • Special Turkish Library with 12000 items
  • Schulmedienzentrum: Library with 15000 items (books, dvds, blu-rays, digital items on demand) for teachers at schools and nursery nurses at kindergarten
  • Music library with 18000 sheet music and baby grand piano
  • Four special working/meeting rooms (quiet zones)
  • Collection of 3500 ancient books starting with “Sachsenspiegel” (1385), bibles of 16th and 17th century
  • Regular author readings
  • Edition of literary catalogues
  • Italian Café
Lesehäuser für Kinder1
Copyright: Stadtbibliothek Duisburg, Photographer: Friedhelm Krischer

Awards, case studies, further information

Ein Blick durch das „Stadtfenster“ in die Zukunft. Die neue Zentralbibliothek in Duisburg hat ihren Betrieb aufgenommen, in: Buch und Bibliothek 67, H. 10 (2015), S. 616-621

Literatur als Herzenssache. Der Verein für Literatur und Kunst, die Stadtbibliothek und das literarische Leben in Duisburg seit 1912, Klartext Verlag: Essen 2012

Vom Sachsenspiegel bis zum eBook: Die Stadtbibliothek Duisburg als kommunales Informations-, Medien- und Kommunikationszentrum, Klartext Verlag: Essen 2016 (in preparation)



Zentral- und Landesbibliothek / Central and Regional Library Berlin, Germany

Berliner Stadtbibliothek
Berliner Stadtbibliothek

Name of the Library:Zentral- und Landesbibliothek  / Central and Regional library Berlin

Street Address:
Berliner Stadtbibliothek: Breite Straße 30-36, 10178 Berlin
Amerika-Gedenkbibliothek: Blücherplatz 1, 10961 Berlin
Postal Address: Postfach 610179, 10922 Berlin
Telephone : 0049-30-90226-401
Web Address:
Library Email:
Type of Library : Central/ Main Library, Regional Library
Population served: Berlin: 3,5 Mio
Project Type:  Conversion , Refurbishment
Size (square metres):
Amerika-Gedenkbibliothek (AGB): 2.500 qm (public), 7.500 qm (total)
Berliner Stadtbibliothek (BStB): 4.500 qm (public), 26.500 qm (total)
Date of Completion:
AGB: 1954, Conversion/refurbishment: 2013/214
BStB: 1968; Conversion/refurbishment: 2011/2012/2015
AGB: Fritz Bornemann, Willy Kreuer


Berliner Stadtbibliothek
Berliner Stadtbibliothek

The Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin (ZLB) is the largest public library in Germany. Two branches house our 3.4 million media for your use.

At the Amerika-Gedenkbibliothek in Kreuzberg you will find the humanities and fine arts, fiction, films, music, and the art library. Our children’s and young adult library is also located here, along with its learning centre.


The Berliner Stadtbibliothek in Mitte houses the subjects of natural sciences, medicine, and economics as well as the Senatsbibliothek Berlin, home of urban studies and law. The Berlin-Studien and Historische Sammlungen collections of the ZLB have their own reading rooms where you can peruse extensive collections about Berlin’s past and present.

As Berlin’s state library, it is our mission to collect all printed works, data, and sound carriers that are published in Berlin, as well as the official publications of the state of Berlin.

The Foundation of the Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin was created in 1995 out of the fusion of the Berliner Stadtbibliothek at Schlossplatz in the eastern part and the Amerika-Gedenkbibliothek at Hallesches Ufer in the western part of Berlin.

The ZLB is one of the most frequently visited cultural and educational institutions in Berlin. Future plans will hopefully consolidate the library at one location.

Awards, case studies, further information

2014: Themenraum-App (Topic-room-App): “Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects” from ALA “American Library Association”

2014: Innovationspreis digitab


Stadtbücherei Wermelskirchen, Germany

Germany 1

Name of the Library Stadtbücherei Wermelskirchen
Parent Organisation: Stadt Wermelskirchen

Street Address:Kattwinkelstr. 3, 42929 Wermelskirchen
Telephone :+492196710410
Web Address:
Library Email

Type of Library Small Community Library
Population served: about 35.000
Project Type: Conversion
Size (square metres): 800 m2
Date of Completion 1991
Architect Hilverkus/Staller/Reinhardt

A public library in an industrial building with a sawtooth-roof,
successful conversion of an existing building, which is under a preservation order


Zentralbibliothek Hamm, Germany

Hamm HvKF_Nachtphoto_illuminiert_13x195 cm

Name of the Library: Zentralbibliothek Hamm
Parent Organisation: Stadtbüchereien Hamm im Deutschen Bibliotheksverband e.V.

Street Address: Heinrich-von-Kleist-Forum; Platz der Deutschen Einheit 1
Postal Address: D 59065 Hamm
Telephone : 0049-2381-175752
Web Address:
Library Email:

Type of Library:  Medium size town library
Population served: 177.000
Project Type (mark applicable): New Building
Size (square metres): 4.400 m² (special events area excluded)
Heinrich-von-Kleist-Forum in total 10.000 m²
Date of Completion: February 2010
Architect: applan mory/osterwalder/vielmo; Berlin/Stuttgart

Hamm Treppenhaus_1

Public library contains, presents and manages the data of the stocks of the neighbourhood University of Applied Sciences (in the same building)
Public library manages the data of the book stocks of municipal museum and municipal archive

Self-check (onloan and return); during night-time and weekends: exterior return station
automatic cash register
automated transporting and sorting system
new generation of OPAC (features to integrate electronic data included)
administration of ebook stocks in a network of appr. 40 libraries
(financial management via a registered association)
barrier-free access to all services
professional colour design
professional customer guiding system

festival of children’s and youth literature (spring)
intercultural week(s) (september)
literature festival (october/november)

social inclusion programs:
books for babies
books for pre-schoolers
abc-books (first-year pupils)
day of reading aloud (third-year pupils)
summer reading club
youth jury/youth reading competition

Hamm Sortier- und Förderanlage

Awards, case studies, further information
library (before the opening of the new building): library of the year 2005;

Case study (in English):
Central Library of Hamm. In: IFLA. Section on Library Buildings and Equipment. Newsletter 2011, No. 1, p. 14-17 (by Olaf Eigenbrodt)
Case studies (in German):
Hamm leistet sich ein neues Zentrum / Die Zentralbibliothek im Heinrich-von-Kleist-Forum steht für gelingenden Strukturwandel. In: Buch und Bibliothek 62 (2010), Nr. 11/12, S. 790–794 (by Olaf Eigenbrodt);
Die Zentralbibliothek der Stadtbüchereien Hamm in neuem Glanz. In: 13 (2010) Nr. 3, p. 307-314 (by Volker Pirsich)

Further information:





Stadtbibliothek Ulm

Photo: Martin Duckek
Photo: Martin Duckek

Name of the Library: Stadtbibliothek Ulm

Street Address: Vestgasse 1 Ulm Germany
Postal Address: 89073 Ulm Germany
Telephone : 0049 (0) 731 161 4100
Web Address:
Library Email:

Type of Library: Central Library
Population served:118.000
Project Type : New Building
Size (square metres): 4670 m²
Date of Completion 19.04.2004
Architect Mr. Prof. Gottfried Böhm

Situated directly adjacent to the historical Town Hall and near Ulm Minster, the Public Library has the form of an imposing pyramid, with a footprint of 28 x 28 m and a total height of more than 36 m. The exceptional feature of this building, designed by the Cologne architect Gottfried Böhm, is that its outer façade of more than 4,994 m2 is made of glass.
Slogan: You have questions- we have the answers!
Awards, case studies, further information
URL for info on the building

Mediothek Krefeld, Germany

Mediothek Krefeld Außenaufnahme Mediothek
Name of the Library  Mediothek Krefeld
Parent Organisation:  Stadt Krefeld

Street Address:   Theaterplatz 2
Postal Address:  47798 Krefeld Germany
Telephone :  +492151862750
Web Address
Library Email

Type of Library:  Central
Population served:   240.000
Project Type:  New Building
Size (square metres):  4.000
Date of Completion:  1.8.2008
Architect:  HPP  Hentrich, Petschnigg und Partner Düsseldorf / Interior by UKW Usinger Klein-Wiele Krefeld

Mediothek Krefeld
1.Der rund 4000 qm große Bau mit Tiefgarage präsentiert sich mit einer modernen Architektursprache, bei der die einzelnen Bestandsebenen versetzt um ein zentrales Glasdach mit darunterliegendem freien Luftraum herum angeordnet sind. Rampen als zentrales Erschließungselement verbinden stufenlos alle Ebenen des Gebäudes. Die Aufsehen erregende Inneneinrichtung mit eigens für diesen Bau entworfenen Regalsystemen und das Farbkonzept, bei dem Weiß, Rot und Orange dominieren, macht die Mediothek Krefeld zu einem Markenzeichen.

Die innovative Technik ermöglicht den Kunden die komplette Selbstbedienung für Ausleihe und Rückgabe der Medien sowie die Zahlung von Gebühren. Hierfür wurden alle Medien mit RFID-Transpondern ausgestattet. Die Ausleihe erfolgt über 4 Selbstverbuchungsterminals, für die Rückgabe stehen 2 Innen- sowie ein Außenschalter zur Verfügung, der auch außerhalb der Öffnungszeiten zugänglich ist. Eine Sortieranlage und ein Gebührenautomat vervollständigen die Technik.

Infolge konsequent betriebswirtschaftlicher Ausrichtung überdurchschnittliche Ergebnisse bei begrenzten Ressourcen (in den letzten Jahren regelmäßig ca. 1,2 Millionen Ausleihen bei einem Bestand von rund 220.000 Medien (durchschnittlicher Umsatz 5,5), 28 Planstellen und einem Jahreszuschussbedarf von rund 1,8 Millionen Euro.  Kostendeckungsgrad nahezu 25 Prozent. Herausragendes Konzept im Bereich der Leseförderung. Überdurchschnittliche Erfolge im Bemühen um Sponsoring (2011 rund 70.000 Euro). Sehr gute Präsenz in Öffentlichkeit und Medien. Intensive Zusammenarbeit mit anderen Institutionen vor Ort. Regionale Zusammenarbeit mit den Bibliotheken Neuss und Mönchengladbach (BNN – Bibliotheksnetzwerk Niederrhein). Aufbau eines starken Netzwerkes in Verwaltung und Wirtschaft       (Wirtschaftsförderungsgesellschaft, Mitglied im Marketingclub Krefeld). Innovativer Einsatz von Technik (komplette Umrüstung auf Selbstverbuchung mittels RFID-Technik, Sortieranlage mit Außenrückgabe auch außerhalb der Öffnungszeiten.  Entwicklung und Anwendung eines QM-Konzeptes. Einbringung internationaler Erfahrungen und Ideen in die  Konzeption durch zahlreiche Auslandsreisen der Bibliotheksleitung (u.a. Niederlande, Belgien, Finnland, Singapur, Frankreich, Spanien).  Internationale Zusammenarbeit durch das grenzüberschreitende Literaturfestival „Literarischer Sommer“.  Einbindung eines Fördervereins. Intensive Lobbyarbeit auf kommunaler Ebene mit dem Erfolg einer Investition von 13 Millionen Euro für eine neue zentrale Mediothek

4.Facebook und Co. – die Mediothek Krefeld in den sozialen Netzwerken. Seit dem Jahr 2010 engagiert sich die Mediothek Krefeld stark in den sozialen Communities. Nach dem Facebook-Auftritt, welcher im Januar 2010 online ging, folgten sukzessive die Präsenzen auf dem Bilderdienst FlickR, auf Twitter, DEM Microblogging-Dienst, auf dem Videoportal youtube, auf Google Plus, dem sozialen Netzwerk des Suchmaschinenbetreibers Google und seit kurzem auch auf dem sozialen Bildernetzwerk Pinterest. Abgerundet wird das Angebot durch geobasierte Dienste wie Facebook-Places, foursquare und Gowalla. Ebenfalls im Haus befindet sich ein Geocache.  Allen diesen Auftritten ist die hohe kommunikative Komponente gemein. Gerade der Facebook-Auftritt hat sich innerhalb der vergangenen zwei Jahre zu einem wichtigen Kommunikations- und Marketingkanal entwickelt. Derzeit über 3.700 „Fans“ folgen uns regelmäßig und mit weit über 3 Millionen „Klicks“ im vergangenen Jahr liegt die Mediothek damit im deutschsprachigen Vergleich weit vorne und wird sehr gerne als kompetenter Ansprechpartner in Sachen Facebook und Social Media von anderen Bibliotheken, Facheinrichtungen und unserer Kundschaft in Anspruch genommen. Besonders wertvoll ist der durch diese Aktivitäten zu verzeichnende Imagegewinn weg vom verstaubten Büchereiimage hin zum modernen Dienstleistungsunternehmen.

Mediothek Krefeld Blick in das zentrale Atrium

Awards, case studies, further information
– Winner of a project competition of the Kulturstiftung Sparkasse Krefeld for an integrated concept to increase childrens reading skills (5 years, each year 50.000 Euros)
– Helmut Schroers, Katrin Hufschmidt: Eine Komposition in Weiß, Rot und Orange. In: BuB : Forum Bibliothek und Information 2009 Band  61 Heft 3 S.189-194
– Martin Kramer:I like – ein neues Image. Der Facebook-Auftritt der Mediothek Krefeld In: Bibliothek. Forschung und Praxis 2012 Band



Stadtbücherei Wermelskirchen, Germany

Name of the Library Stadtbücherei Wermelskirchen
Parent Organisation: Stadt Wermelskirchen

Street Address:Kattwinkelstr. 3, 42929 Wermelskirchen
Telephone :)+492196710410
Web Address
Library Email

Type of Library : Small

Population served: about 35.000
Project Type: Conversion

Size (square metres): 800 m2
Date of Completion 1991
Architect Hilverkus/Staller/Reinhardt

A public library in an industrial building with a sawtooth-roof, successful conversion of an existing building, which is under a preservation order.

Cologne Public Library, Germany

1001 - CLP Main-Entrance seen from lounge
Name of the Library: Cologne Public Library (CPL)
Parent Organisation: City of Cologne

Street Address: Josef-Haubrich-Hof 1
Postal Address: 50676 Köln
Telephone (incl Country code): ++49 221 22126108
Web Address:
Library e-mail:

Type of Library : Central/ Main Library
Population served: 1.000.000 City of Cologne / 3.000.000 Metropolitan Area
Project Type: Refurbishment
Size (square metres): 14.500
Date of Completion 1979
Architect City of Cologne

3D Printer
3D Printer

DescriptionThe main library is centrally located and underwent several renovations during the last years. It was part of a project called “library as a learning space”, where innovative learning settings were developped. It is a good example how you can update an outdated building with not so much financial input and a good example for a very lively and innovative place.
CPL is the very first library in Germany operating a Makerspace with an extensive programme. CPL is one of the most innovative libraries in Germany – especially with new technologies and accompanying programmes.
There has been a makerspace in the Public Library of Cologne since mid-2013. It soon became obvious that the makerspace attracts a community of people who are often not very interested in conventional books and media but are surprised to learn about the great range of things a library has on offer. The target group is not restricted to technophiles or geeks – the makerspace attracts people from all age groups who are open-minded and curious to learn new things. The emphasis is on doing things together. In this context, the 3D printer has proved to be an important tool, because it has made the world of designing things (usually only accessible to professionals) accessible to ambitious amateurs and has made people becoming aware of the makerspace. By now we also have a 3D Scanner, which enables people to scan things and transfer the resulting 3D models to the 3D printer. Patrons can digitize records at the Vinylbar, and it is planned to provide them with the possibility to digitize videos at the Filmbar.

CLP Makerspace
CLP Makerspace

The key elements of the new service are the events and activities. The programme is entitled „Makerspace – Programm für Selbermacher“ (Makerspace – a programme for DIY people). It includes workshops for ‘makers’, i.e. for people who want to be active themselves. After a short introduction library patrons can get familiar with various topics and try out various techniques – supported by experts, of course. These experts are either volunteers or people who get expense allowances. Taking part in these activities is usually free of charge, there is only a charge for the material. Promotion is being done mainly via social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Blog as well as via a mixxt community. The only traditional means of advertising is a flyer with a very modern and ‘cool’ design. People register online and the first feedback is encouraging. Many are delighted and surprised that a library offers such a programme of events. This has been profoundly changing the way people perceive the library and the image they have of it – the library is being seen as an innovative and modern place where to join in doing things.
At the start of the programme in March 2014 there was a choice of 20 courses. They range from an introduction into SketchUp to Arduino workshops and painting with the iPad.
This programme of events is being organized by the ‚makerspace-team’ – a cross-hierarchical team made up of innovative staff members from all age groups, who are happy to try out new things. All team members are also doing their regular jobs, no additional staff was recruited. They are all inspired by a fascination with new developments. We plan to continue steering this course, the programme will be updated and modified – the makers are the people of Cologne. The Makerspace project gets funds from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia as it is a pilot project.
Another new concept is called „Digitale Werkstatt – Programm für Einsteiger“ (Digital workshop – a programme for beginners). This is the motto for two-hour taster workshops on blogging, skype, tablets, podcasts, facebook, twitter, searching the internet, internet safety, digital photo albums and much else. What is special about this low-threshold programme – which addresses mainly best agers – is the organisational structure behind it: there are always two staff members in charge of a workshop and there are cross-hierarchical teams including trainees as well as library managers. We offer two series of workshops (about 20 workshops each) per year, in spring and in autumn. This means that each staff member in charge of a workshop has to hold it only twice a year. Staff members who were going to hold a workshop could choose a topic and took part in a ‘Train the trainer’ workshop. The focus of the taster workshops is mainly on trying out things after a short introduction. When a series of workshops is over it is evaluated and the programme is updated and optimised. Our customers can take part in the workshops free of charge. The ‘Digitale Werkstatt’ is part of the EU project „DLit 2.0“ in co-operation with the Foundation “Stiftung Digitale Chancen”.
Another programme to be mentioned in this context is geeks@cologne, which addresses mainly young people who are interested in new technologies. At a so-called Twittwoch (derived from Twitter and Mittwoch=Wednesday), people were offered UFO fizzy lemonade and talks on the role of social media in space travel. At a Science Slam young scientists were given the chance to present their topics and research projects for 10 minutes. Geeks in Education was about adding new aspects to the image of education. The librarian Eli Neiburger from the US talked about the advantages of gaming and his gaming projects in Michigan. André Spang, a teacher from Cologne, gave an insight into his iPad classes. At an event called “Webcomics – Die Notwendigkeit zu Bloggen” (‘Webcomics – the necessity to blog’) the participants could feel like comic bloggers. These are only some examples of this series of events, which is publicised almost exclusively via social media channels. The events attracted 80 to 250 participants, which shows that they were well received.

Awards, case studies, further information
Award: 365 Places to see in Germany
Further project:
Blended Library Research Project with the University of Konstanz, Germany

Stadtbiblitohek Bremen, Germany


Name of the Library: Stadtbiblitohek Bremen
Parent Organisation: Free Hanseatic City of Bremen

Street Address: Am Wall 201
Postal Address: 28195 Bremen
Telephone :
(incl Country code) +49 421 361 4757
Web Address:
Library Email:

Type of Library Central/ Main Library
Population served: all citizens of Bremen
Project Type: Conversion
Size (square metres): 8,600 sqm
Date of Completion 2004
Architect Thomas Klumpp, Bremen

Kindergartengruppe in der Kinderabteilung der Zentralbibliothek Bremen, Am Wall

External design: Façade of the old Central Police Station (1908) – Mario Puzo mentions the bulding in his novel: “The dark Arena “
Internal design: mix of old and new premises with special features like “Reading-Garten”, “Germany’s Thriller Library” (in the old Police Conference Room), 600sqm Children’s library on top floor, 300 sqm youth space “Teen Spirit”
Many partnerships: over 200 partners for exhibitions, programms etc. 75 % of the Bremen schools are “Partner Schools”; 50 % of Bremen’s Kindergartens are partners as well
Check-out / Check-in self-service since 2004 (actually installation of the next technical generations
Special kid’s website (
Opening hours per week: 50
More than 300 programs per years


Awards, case studies, further information
Initiative “Germany – Land of Ideas”