The 87 libraries of the Goethe-Institut are public places. They offer an inspiring atmosphere for exchange and encounter. Around 800,000 analogue and digital media convey an up-to-date image of Germany and promote active engagement with language, culture and society.

Goethe-Institut Athens - Library Poto: Thalia Galanopoulou

Voices about our libraries worldwide

Our libraries are places of encounter, exchange and learning. Here, users tell us what the libraries of the Goethe-Institut mean to them.

The library has given me the opportunity to collaborate with other people outside of Alexandra and this has also given me the confidence that it doesn't matter where you come from, as long as you love what you do, you can go far. During our fantasy night we collaborated with Gumboots Dances and performed a dance around my sculpture, including a poem I wrote called Voices. From this collaboration I have now written a script called "Police State- Not yet to Uhuru". I also took away from the library that it's not bad to fail, because how are you supposed to know if you don't try. There was also a game jam at Alexandra in 2022, which was won by three young girls, giving the community the opportunity to learn and develop their own games.

The library of the Goethe-Institut Salvador played a decisive role in my own cultural education. During the years of the dictatorship in Brazil in the late 1970s and early 1980s, "the Goethe" was a cultural meeting place in the city of Salvador, where I was born and lived for 37 years. 
The library was very important for us when we didn't have the means to buy books and records. You became a member and got access to records; imported records were incredibly expensive and otherwise unaffordable. All of this together was part of our everyday life, and that was because of the library. 
The library was a meeting place and offered the opportunity to have access to all of this. The record collection was wonderful, it was the only way to connect with what was happening outside of Brazil, the library was a world of possibilities and meant getting in touch with music production in Germany and spreading the influences to the local groups. This material encouraged many people to learn German. Many friends of mine even travelled to Germany because of the exchange.

The city of Lima has a Goethe-Institut. When I started there as a student, I felt very attracted and motivated by the accessibility and openness of this lovely institution, where I was able to train in general knowledge and learn about the humanities, cities in and authors from Germany. This educational experience still characterises me today. 
The concept of the library means creating community: this is what characterises the library at the Goethe-Institut in particular. Workshops and conferences are held there. Since the pandemic has expanded the virtual possibilities, there are more opportunities to learn through the Goethe-Institut 365 days a year. 


I'm currently using the library to prepare for the Goethe-Zertifikat exams, as I've just finished my course. I visit the library quite often, about 3-4 days a week. I like the stock of books and media and the atmosphere in the library the best because I can concentrate well here. I would also recommend our library to others because it helps them to learn better and with more resources. They also get to know all the opportunities the library offers.


As a native German speaker and teacher of German as a foreign language, I have been teaching German and German conversation to children, teenagers and adults at all language levels online and on site in Warsaw since 2018. For language and grammar lessons, I have numerous textbooks and exercise books for all language levels available in the library, and the German-speaking specialist staff are happy to help and advise me if I have any questions. The pleasant atmosphere of the library always invites me to linger. I also enjoy taking part in the regular lectures, film screenings and discussions on current topics. The library of the Goethe-Institut in Warsaw greatly enriches my life in Warsaw. I love being a regular there ;-)


Insights into the Library Work

About our work

In many different projects, we work together with partners from civil society, especially from the library, media and information sector. The topics range from artificial intelligence to reading promotion, from environmental protection to cultural heritage.

The libraries are also open spaces for experimentation. They connect Germany and the world through inspiration and innovation.

Cooperation partners

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