Berlin public libraries see memberships shoot up

Berlin public libraries see memberships shoot up

Public libraries in Berlin recorded a significant increase in the number of people registering for library cards in 2023, the Berlin Central and Regional Library (ZLB) has said.

120.000 new members at Berlin public libraries in 2023

"The number of library cards has risen very sharply," spokesperson from Berlin Central and Regional Library, Anna Jacobi, told the dpa.

118.000 people registered for a library card at one of Berlin’s 80 public libraries in 2023, increasing the number of active library card holders to 439.000.

"We believe that the number of cards has risen sharply once again due to the digital services," said Jacobi. Since 2018, the number of digital loans made, such as streaming media from the library database, rose from 1,5 million to 4,1 million.

While fewer people loaned physical media, such as books or magazines, 2023 still saw 18,1 million such loans.

Is it worth getting a library card in Berlin?

Getting a library card in Berlin costs just 10 euros per year, and that 10 euros goes a long way!

"Libraries are not just about books, they are about people," Jacobi told the dpa, “Our libraries are all full. People like to work and read on site, especially young people.”

Alongside the millions of fiction and non-fiction books available at Berlin libraries - including in English and many other languages - membership holders can book a room to play piano and borrow original artworks.

Berlin libraries are also a great place to meet new people, work remotely, attend language cafes, sewing or even dance classes! For 10 euros, the library is your oyster!

Thumb image credit: Ulza /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan

Editor for Germany at IamExpat Media. Olivia first came to Germany in 2013 to work as an Au Pair. Since studying English Literature and German in Scotland, Freiburg and Berlin...

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