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News from the library world

Libraries long ago ceased to be just about books: Oliver Achilles, director of Kalk Local Library in Cologne, shows children a 3D printer. Photo (detail): © Jörn Neumann / Stadtbibliothek Köln

Makerspaces in libraries
Learning by discovering

In 2013, libraries in Germany started running makerspaces for creative projects. Has the concept stood the test of time?

Folklorist Krišjanis Barons’ “Cabinet of Folksongs” © LNB. Photo: Didzis Grodzs

Cultural heritage online
How Latvia is starting a Journey into the Digital Future

For Latvia, digitisation means more than just an economic opportunity. It also enables them to preserve the rich cultural heritage of this Baltic state and make it available to everyone online.

In social community courses young people learn to recognise fake items. Photo (detail): © PrivatJacob Lund - Fotolia.com

Media Competency
Tracking Down Fake News

False reports on the Internet are having an ever greater effect on political attitudes and thus endangering democratic processes. In the battle against fake news it is libraries in particular that can play an important role.

Prof. Dr. Gabriele Beger Photo (detail): © Private

ECJ ruling on e-books
“Libraries are allowed to lend e-books”

Up to now, e-books could not be lent by libraries as are printed books because they do not fall under the lending right. This could change after the ruling of the European Court of Justice, says the librarian and jurist Gabriele Beger.

Librarians ensure an user-oriented information transfer Photo (detail): © SLUB Dresden/Henrik Ahlers CC BY-SA 4.0

Profession: Librarian
Technical brilliance and social responsibility

Data librarian, media manager and agent of integration: the remit of a librarian is more multifarious than ever. With such different demands, can the librarian still have a unified professional profile at all?

German National Library Photo (detail): © Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, Stephan Jockel

Archiving Internet Content
For a new logic of collecting

Any item published in Germany must be sent to the German National Library. Since 2006 this has also applied to publications on the internet. Yet this is still problematic, says jurist and librarian Eric Steinhauer.


Packaging learning content in a playful way Photo (detail): © shefkate – Fotolia.com

Serious Games
A Playdate at the Library

Computer and online games are now available in a large number of German libraries. To what extent can they be used as a learning tool in the development of information literacy?

Playful exploration of the library with digital media Photo (detail): © Adam Radosavljevic - Fotolia.com

Methods of motivating visitors
You and your smartphone on a voyage of discovery

From the classic guided tour to the virtual paper chase – to arouse the interest of the users in their collections and provide a contemporary learning environment, more and more libraries are relying these days on digital tools.

The software collection of the Computer Games Museum in Berlin Photo (detail): Jörg Metzner, © Computerspielemuseum

Archiving of Computer Games
A Cultural Heritage Worth Protecting

We are running the risk of losing a part of our computer games heritage forever, because data storage devices and consoles are getting old. This is where libraries and museums can step in to relieve the situation.

Dr. Paul Klimpel teaches courses on copyright law, digitalization and cultural heritage. Photo (detail): Jürgen Keiper, CC BY 4.0

Long-term digital archiving
“The legal framework has to change”

Digitalization puts libraries, museums and archives before new challenges. In order to preserve our cultural heritage, we need new strategies, says the jurist Paul Klimpel.

Make published scientific and scholarly articles freely accessible Photo (detail): © Sergey Nivens - Fotolia.com

Open Access
“The goal is complete transformation.”

Publication fees are climbing and the changeover of scientific and scholarly articles to Open Access is still proceeding slowly. Angela Holzer of the German Research Foundation (DFG) explains why Open Access is nevertheless worth the effort.  

Mark of provenance: Provenienzhinweis: - (Neuköllner Zweig-Bibliothek der Jüdischen Gemeinde Jüdische Gemeinde zu Berlin Jüdische Lesehalle und Bibliothek Berlin), Stempel: Keine; 'Neuköllner Zweig-Bibliothek der Jüdischen Gemeinde Isarstr. 8'. Photo (detail): © CC-BY-NC 3.0, Looted Cultural Assets

Looted Cultural Assets
“We are running out of time”

Six German libraries set up a dedicated database that would allow them to combine research into looted cultural assets in their collections. Tracking down the previous owners requires some serious detective work.

Strong together: consortia for license negotiations Photo (detail): © pichetw - Fotolia.com

Licenses for digital media
Fuel for Science

The licensing of electronic media still confronts academic libraries with major challenges. These are easier to cope with when the libraries are organized in an alliance, yet a satisfactory solution is still not in sight.

The team of the Hilden City Library was honored for its innovative marketing concept. Photo (detail): © Stadt Hilden

Library Marketing
“The library as a ‘third place’ is becoming increasingly important”

Events, social media services and makerspaces: Claudia Büchel, Director of the Hilden City Library, explains in an interview how even smaller libraries can implement targeted marketing.

EconBiz goes iPad Photo (detail): © ZBW/Sven Wied

E-Preferred Strategy
Becoming a digital library

The digitalisation has changed our approach to research and publishing. However, this often conflicts with licensing and copyright restrictions. Academic libraries such as the Zentralbibliothek für Wirtschaftswissenschaften have to do something about this, but how?

Reading room of the Berlin Staatsbibliothek Photo (detail): © SBB-PK / C. Kösser

The German library system
Diverse. Cooperative. Endangered?

With eight thousand libraries, ranging from small local branches right up to the country’s national library, the German library system is impressive for its diversity. All the same, tight budgets and a lack of national structures are making their presence felt.

EconBiz goes iPad Photo (detail): © ZBW/Sven Wied

Digital Archives
Inventory Build-Up with E-Preferred Strategy

The advance of digitalisation has changed our approach to research and publishing. However, this often conflicts with licensing and copyright restrictions. Academic libraries such as the ZBW (German Library of Economics) have to do something about this.

Virtual Reality
Testing Labs for New Technologies

At the Game Science Centre in Berlin, visitors can take a look at the future and try out what will be shaping our everyday lives in the years to come – for example, virtual reality. The new technologies are also interesting for libraries.

White Ravens Festival in the International Youth Library  Photo (detail): © IJB

International Youth Library
Children’s Literature, a Cultural Heritage

In the picturesque Blutenburg Castle in Munich resides the world’s largest library for international children’s and youth literature. But it is anything but a dreamy castle of books.

Indoor navigation helps people to find their way round libraries Photo (detail): © BSB/Bokowsky+Laymann

Indoor Navigation in Libraries
Using a Smartphone to Get to the Reading Room

Navigation systems for enclosed spaces are becoming increasingly common. Visitors to libraries and museums can use them to find their way round and to access location-based information.

OA 2020 aims to transform the scientific publications market. Photo (detail) © ra2 studio - Fotolia.com

Open Access 2020
“A Transformation of the Scientific Journal Market”

In March 2016 a new Open Access Initiative was launched, to ensure that scientific literature is available online free of charge. Frank Sander, Head of the Max Planck Digital Library, explains the objectives of OA 2020 in this interview.

Book Bus BUMPER, Moscow Photo (detail): © readymedia.com

The bus that helped me discover the world

Nothing has made a bigger difference in writer Hatice Akyün’s life than the Duisburg Book Bus. Now she has met its inventor. By Hatice Akyün

Tobias Steinke and Nathalie Lubetzki Photo (detail): © German National Library

EMIL – the key for long-term archiving

Libraries have enormous collections of data storage media. The aim of the EMiL project is to ensure that they can still be accessed even after decades of technical progress. Tobias Steinke and Nathalie Lubetzki, both working at the German National Library, explain how this will be achieved.

Epochen und Sparten – Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek Visualisiert Photo (Screenshot) © fh-potsdam.de

An interview with Marian Dörk
“Visualizations make the dynamics of a library visible”

It is not only in digital libraries that the treasures which await their users often lie hidden. Professor Marian Dörk explains how visualizations can help make holdings more visible.

Dirk Wissen Photo (detail): © private

Public Relations in Small Libraries
The Courage to Cooperate

In this interview Dirk Wissen talks about how the services and products available at libraries can be presented more effectively as part of a city's educational and cultural scene.

Libraries make an important contribution to the promotion of reading. Photo (detail): © wip-studio – Fotolia.com

Study on Reading Promotion
“The Library Has to Become an Environment People Can Feel at Home in”

The Technical University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg has carried out a study on the promotion of reading in libraries. An interview about reading motivation and reading performance.

The Coding da Vinci cultural Hackathon in the Jewish Museum in Berlin in 2014 Photo (detail): © Volker Agueras Gäng, via flickr.com, licensed CC BY 2.0

Do-it-yourself Culture
Hackathons and Makerspaces

Hackathons and Makerspaces are the products of a new participation culture on the library scene.

Coworking Spaces Photo (detail): © Fachstellen für Öffentliche Bibliotheken NRW via flickr.com, Licenced CC BY-NED 3.0. DE

Coworking Spaces
Putting Libraries in a New Light

Coworking spaces are said to be pioneering new ways of transferring knowledge and collaborative working. To what extent, however, can libraries benefit from this approach?

German National Library in Frankfurt am Main – also a part of the share economy Photo (detail): © Thomas Meyer / Ostkreuz

Libraries as Sharing Partners
Anything but Old-Fashioned

In libraries knowledge and things have been exchanged from time immemorial. They are part of the share economy, even if many are unaware of this. But the “sharing” trend places libraries before a new challenge.

At an event in the series “Lesezeichen” © Goethe-Institut e. V.

“Lesezeichen” – Listening to Children’s Literature with your Eyes

Since 2006 the Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin has been organising a series of readings in sign language. It is the only library event of its kind in the whole of Germany.

RFID in Libraries Photo (detail): © Bibliotheca RFID Library Systems GmbH

Frank Seeliger in an interview
“The Potential of RFID Is Far from Exhausted”

More and more libraries are coming to rely on radio chips to manage their holdings and to improve service to readers. How much potential really lies in this technology?

Digital media in Libraries Photo (detail): © santiago silver – Fotolia.com

New Ways to Interact
“Bringing the Analogue World into the Digital World”

How can digital media be researched and accessed in libraries? An interview with Harald Reiterer from the University of Constance.

Socially oriented production of knowledge Photo (detail): © diego cervo, fotolia.com

Open Educational Resources
Collaborative Science

Freely accessible teaching materials are considered to be one of today’s most important trends in the field of educational policy. It is also a trend in which research libraries could play a key role.

International cataloguing Photo (detail): © rendeeplumia – Fotolia.com

International cataloguing
Cloud-based Infrastructure for Library Data

Three library associations are working at the moment on a project to develop a new cataloguing environment. Thorsten Koch of the Zuse Institute Berlin (ZIB) sheds some light here on the challenges.

The reading room in the library of the Humboldt University in Berlin Photo (detail): © K.H.Reichert, Humboldt Bibliothek, via flickr.com, Licenced CC BY 2.0

Libraries as Publishers
More Than Just Grey Literature

Above all the research libraries themselves are becoming more and more active in the field of publishing. The way has been paved for this by the ongoing process of digitalisation that has opened up new vistas for the publishers.

Display of electronic journals Photo (detail): © Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Digital Content You Can Touch

“JournalTouch”, the display of electronic journals, transfers an analogue library service to the digital world. This is how the digital content presents itself “tangibly” in the reading room.

Key to knowledge Photo (detail): © Oleksandr, fotolia.com

“Open Library”
A New Key to Borrowing Books

Can libraries be used outside normal opening hours? With the “Open Library” concept it is possible. In Germany a pilot project has been in operation in Hamburg since December 2014. The model may serve as inspiration for similar projects across the country.

Using the digital media to promote reading Photo (detail): © pressmaster - Fotolia

Promotion of reading
Digital Storytelling in Reading Rooms

Libraries are places where people can seek advice and meet others. The digital services are also intended to reach out to children and young people who would otherwise be unlikely to visit a library.

Rotation of media Photo (detail): © connel_design - Fotolia.com

Floating collections
Library Media on Tour

Library collections in big cities rotate freely from one branch to another. Hamburg’s Bücherhallen are trialling the “floating collections”, the first library in Germany to do so.

Knowledge and encounter Photo (detail): © Robert Kneschke - Fotolia.com

Culture of Welcoming
Library Services for Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Arriving in a new country with a different culture and language confronts all refugees with a challenge. To make their arrival easier, libraries in Germany offer many different services and so contribute to a culture of welcoming.

App Oriental Books Photo (detail): © Bayerische Staatsbibliothek

Library Apps
The World of Books in Your Smartphone

Apps for mobile phones not  only open up the  stocks of libraries. For quite some time now the apps available offer much more than a mere presentation of the books they have on their shelves.

The Goethe-Library in Bratislava Photo (detail): © Michal Hustaty

Small Libraries
“Spatial Quality Plays a Particularly Important Role”

How can you get the maximum out of a minimum of space? An interview with Jana Binder, the head of the Goethe-Institut in Bratislava, about the modernisation of the library at her institute.

Advertising campaign of the ZBW Photo (detail): © ZBW

“We have to explain what we have to offer”

Since 2013 the special library ZBW has been advertising its online service with an innovative campaign. An interview with its Head of Marketing and Public Relations, Doreen Siegfried.

New challenges to libraries Photo (detail): © stokkete - Fotolia.com

New challenges
“How Do We Present Ourselves, what Do We Post as a Library?”

Goethe.de talked to Kirsten Marschall, in charge of quality assurance at Bücherhallen Hamburg (Hamburg’s central library), about the latest trends and future developments in libraries.

Gaming in the Cologne City Library Photo (detail) © Cologne City Library

Gaming in libraries
Knowledge goes gaming

As a cultural asset, computer games have found their way into libraries. Increasingly, libraries are presenting themselves as play places. Does the future lie in the “gamification” of library use?

Hans Zeger Photo (detail): © Georg Lembergh

Information technology
“The Library As Navigator”

Electronic information technology is changing the way knowledge is accessed, and indeed is changing knowledge itself. Internet expert Dr Hans G. Zeger explains the role libraries can play here.

Exploration of new ways of working Photo (detail): © The Lighthouse - Fotolia.com

Scientific communication
Services for Science 2.0

Digitalisation is drastically changing communication in research and publishing processes. How scientific libraries are supporting this development is explained here by Lambert Heller.

3-D printer in the City Library of Cologne Photo (detail): © City Library of Cologne

Makerspaces in Libraries
The Creative Workshops of the 21st Century

The experiences have all been very positive and show that libraries and the Do-it-yourself Movement indeed go together very well.

Tor in eine neue Welt Photo (detail): © Photocreo Bednarek - Fotolia

Lyon Declaration
“Free Access to Information for All”

At its World Congress 2014, the IFLA adopted the “Lyon Declaration”. Goethe.de spoke with Barbara Lison about the goals, background and opportunities of the initiative.

Stadtbibliothek Stuttgart Photo (detail): © Eduard Oertle - Fotolia.com

New Image of Library Buildings
Anchors for Urban Development

All over the world impressive library buildings are having an invigorating effect on urban areas. In many places they have been used as an anchor point for the urban development of districts.

Computer data Photo (detail): © lucadp - Fotolia.com

Memory organizations
Challenges in Securing the Digital Heritage

Memory organizations must preserve a growing number and wide range of digital objects. This puts libraries, archives and museums before considerable challenges.

Conference participants Photo (detail): © kasto - Fotolia.com

IFLA World Congress 2014
Keen Commitment on the Part of the Germans

The German library community is impressively represented at this year’s 80th IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Lyon. And there are good reasons for this.

Library user Photo (detail): © CandyBox Images - Fotolia.com

New Libraries
Made By Users For Users

Libraries of course are all about books and other media. There is, however, more to them than that. In some European countries the focus is more on the user and his interests and needs.

Town library of Biberach in the municipal swimming pool Photo (detail): © biberach-riss.de

Libraries in Summer
Books from the municipal swimming pool

Summer time, holiday season, time for reading. The good weather, however, lures few people into libraries. So some libraries have come up with special offers for readers in summer.

Online exchange about books. Photo (detail): © Ammentorp - Fotolia.com

Social Reading in Libraries
With the Browser to the Book

In the form of social reading, the reading circle of yesteryear is enjoying a renaissance on the Web. This development has also consequences for the work of libraries.

Digital archive Photo (detail): © lagom - Fotolia

An Interview with Frank Simon-Ritz
For a National Digitalization Strategy

“Germany needs a national digitalization strategy”, urges the German Library Association. Its chairman, Frank Simon-Ritz, explains why this is so.

CV โถงอ่านหนังสือ ณ ห้องสมุดประจำรัฐแซกโซนี – มหาวิทยาลัยเดรสเด็น Photo (detail): © SLUB

Semantic Catalogue Search
“We want to beat Google”

The Saxon Regional Library-State and University Library in Dresden has developed a novel and convenient catalogue search. Achim Bonte explains the advantages of SLUBsemantics.

E-Learning Photo (detail): © viperagp - Fotolia.com

E-Learning in Public Libraries
Borrow Your Education Online

Due to the ongoing process of digitalisation public libraries are being faced with new challenges. They are now reacting to the ever-changing needs of information-seekers with various ranges of e-learning programs.

Putting the Virtual into the Real Photo (detail): © Paulista - Fotolia.com

Digitization and Media Trends
Putting the Virtual into the Real

The ongoing virtualization of library holdings calls for new forms of presentation and communication.

Reading and writing Photo (detail): © ra2 studio - Fotolia.com

Major Offensive to Combat Poor Literacy

One in five Europeans has problems understanding the world of words around them. The European Literacy Policy Network now intends to devise models to promote successful reading and writing in all age groups.

Adrian Pohl Photo (detail): private

Linked Open Data
Bibliographic data on the Internet

In our interview, Adrian Pohl outlines the opportunities which arise when bibliographic data are made openly and freely available. At the central university library of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The DFG office in Bonn. Photo (detail):© dfg.de

DFG support programme
Specialist Information Services for Science and Scholarship

The new programme of the German Research Foundation supports the development of modern information services. Christoph Kümmel explains the development plan.

Onleihe Photo (detail): © Lech Rowinski

Digital platform of libraries
Onleihe Has To Do A Lot of Persuading

Onleihe (i.e., online + on loan), the leading digital platform of libraries in Germany, is facing a multitude of challenges. Jörg Meyer explains the biggest ones.

Stadtbibliothek Bremen on Facebook (Screenshot) Photo (detail):© Stadtbibliothek Bremen

Public Participation via Web 2.0
Old Wine in New Bottles?

For many years now libraries have focused on the needs and wishes of their users. Web 2.0 is now providing users with a fast and simple opportunity to have a say and take part in decision making.

Transparant reader Photo (detail): © thomass - Fotolia.com

Data Privacy in Libraries
The Nightmare of the Transparent Reader

How secure are the data of library users? In the professional scene a critical discussion continues on the cooperation between libraries and IT companies.

Screenshot of the German Digital Library Photo (detail): © German Digital Library

German Digital Library
Time for knowledge

A project for the century has become visible: after a one-and-a-half year pilot phase, the first expansion stage of the German Digital Library will go online in 2014.

'Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria', France 1914 Photo (detail): © Jugoslovenska Kinoteka (JK)

Europeana Collections 1914–1918
Digitization Project on Everyday Culture

400,000 objects from European national libraries and archives now form part of the virtual collection in one of Europeana’s thematic portals.

Latvian rural women at work, 1920 Photo (detail): © pro.europeana.eu

Europe’s cultural treasures under one roof

Culture and knowledge without borders: the portal Europeana.eu enables free access to digitalized objects from Europe’s libraries, archives and museums.

Stuttgart City Library Photo (detail): © Südpol-Redaktionsbüro/T. Köster

Stuttgart City Library
The Book Cube

Architecturally speaking, Stuttgart’s new city library is a real eye-catcher. More importantly it is a striking endorsement in an era of digitization of the physical – as opposed to the virtual – library.

Ute Schwens Photo (detail): © dnb

German Digital Library
“A Strategy Is Needed for the Digitization Process”

Starting 2012, the German Digital Library is to be filled with content. This is one of the reasons why Germany needs a digitization strategy, explains Ute Schwens.

Library pedagogy Illustration (detail): Frida Bünzli

Library pedagogy
“We Need More Educational Content”

Because libraries are increasingly seen as centres of lifelong learning, the importance of library pedagogy is also growing. An interview with Kerstin Keller-Loibl.

IFLA 2013 Photo (detail): Ho Hwee Leng CC BY 2.0

Battling corruption
Libraries As Providers of Information

As guardians of freedom of information, libraries generate transparency and in doing so support the battle against corruption, explains Hermann Rösch.

Library user Photo (detail): © Joe Crawford/CC/flickr

Bremen City Library
Milieu Study “Customers in Focus”

Hamburg’s University of Applied Sciences has conducted a “milieu study” of Bremen City Library users. It provides a valid basis for gearing the services and products the library offers more precisely.

BibCamp 2011 Photo (detail): © Thomas Hapke

Formats for continuing education
Librarian Communication in Flux

By 2010 at the latest, librarians had developed a huge appetite for new formats: both in the area of continuing education and, more generally, for professional events.

Reading room at the German National Library of Economics in Kiel Photo (detail): © ZBW Kiel/Stefan Vorbeck

The Library Landscape in Germany
An Overview

Around 11,000 libraries in Germany, all with their own specialist areas and target groups, ensure that access to information and knowledge is as barrier-free as possible.

Guttenplag-Wiki Photo (detail): © BY-SA

Prevention of plagiarism
Plagiarism: A Challenge for Libraries?

How do libraries handle cases of plagiarism, and what contribution can they make to preventing the practice? An interview with Dr Arne Upmeier.

Oldenburg City Library Photo (detail): © Wikipedia/CC/G. Meiners

Libraries and Schools Join Forces

Five libraries and four schools in Oldenburg are taking systematic steps to improve reading skills and information literacy among pupils – accompanying them throughout their school careers.

Logo Onleihe © divibib

Online lending
Libraries at the click of a mouse

No-cost access to digital media any time, anywhere – that’s the idea behind online lending. More than 300 libraries in Germany are already offering this Internet-based service. The way forward, or a bit of technical tomfoolery?

Logo of the German Digital Library © DDB

German Digital Library
More Than Just a Dream

The German Digital Library, the project of the century that is to make Germany’s cultural heritage freely accessible to everyone, is gradually taking concrete shape.

BibCamp 2012 Photo (detail): © Südpol-Redaktionsbüro/D. Giersberg

BibCamp 2012
Exchange on an Equal Footing

On 16 and 17 March 2012, around 200 librarians and knowledge managers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland met in Cologne to attend the 5th BibCamp, a symposium with lively discussion.

Auslese prize ceremony Photo (detail): © Stiftung Lesen

“AusLese 2011”
Germany’s Leading Promoters of Reading

Since 1991, Stiftung Lesen has awarded its “AusLese” prize in recognition of outstanding initiatives that promote reading. “AusLese 2011” prize-winners exhibit an enticing blend of wit and commitment.

Website of the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Digital Library Photo (detail): © Universitätsbibliothek Greifswald

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Digital Library
Looking at the Bigger Picture

Since 2010, libraries, archives and museums in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern have been involved in a joint pilot project, laying the foundations for a digital library.

Jürgen Plieninger Photo (detail): © private

One-Person Library
A Singular Approach

A lot of libraries in Germany are run by one librarian. Jürgen Plieninger of the German Association of Information and Library Professionals reports on the difficulties and opportunities that this entails.

Buchkinder Photo (detail): © Buchkinder Leipzig e.V.

Buchkinder e. V.
Unheard Stories

Buchkinder Leipzig (i.e. Leipzig book children) is an island for unheard stories – a concept which has now been adapted all over Germany.

Ink corrosion Photo (detail): © Alliance for the Preservation of Written Cultural Heritage

KEK at Berlin’s State Library
Coordinating the Protection of Written Cultural Heritage

A new coordination office coordinates Germany-wide activities aimed at preserving written cultural heritage and prepares a national concept for its protection.

School library Photo (detail) © Südpol-Redaktionsbüro/T. Köster

School Libraries
“Essential contribution to information literacy”

School libraries play a central role in teaching information literacy, yet are attributed hardly any importance in German educational policy. Goethe.de talked to Julia Rittel.

Librarian in a library Photo (detail): © Colourbox

Library and Information Science
“Transition from information to knowledge”

Library and information science is far from being an established discipline at German universities – but appears to have good chances of success in the field of interdisciplinary research.

Senior citizens in the library Photo (detail): © Colourbox

Voluntary Library Work
Dependable Volunteers

Active citizenship is becoming increasingly important in our ageing society. Libraries are also offering senior citizens a wide variety of opportunities to undertake voluntary work.

Heilbronn mobile library “Robi” Photo (detail): © Stadtbibliothek Heilbronn

Mobile Libraries
Books on Wheels

More than 100 buses and lorries can be seen chugging around suburbs and rural areas throughout Germany, bringing library services to people living far away from the nearest city or local library.

Screenshot Worldcat Photo (detail): © WorldCat

The World’s Largest Library Catalogue

WorldCat is the world’s largest library catalogue. This central database contains information about printed and digital publications in more than 470 languages. A portrait of an extraordinary research and cataloguing tool.

Screenshot B3Kat Photo (detail): © Bayerische Staatsbibliothek

New Approaches to Catalogue Data

B3Kat, the union catalogue of the Bavarian Library Network and the Cooperative Library Network Berlin-Brandenburg, contains descriptions of more than 23 million media and is available in the form of linked open data.

Mobile version of the Gütersloh City Library catalogue Photo (detail): © Gütersloh City Library

Mobile Library Catalogues
Limited Possibilities

Library users increasingly expect online library services also to be optimized for mobile access. This requires a considerable investment which, however, provides opportunities.

TH Wildau university library Photo (detail): © TH Wildau

TH Wildau library
Award-Winning Innovation

The library of Wildau Technical University of Applied Sciences is developing technologies of the future for its users. It has now received the “Library of the Year 2012” award for its innovative spirit.

Woman in library Photo (detail): Colourbox.com

Digitizing protected work
“Copyright law is making life difficult for libraries”

The copyright legislation is making it increasingly difficult for libraries to fulfil their mandates. Arne Upmeier believes in clear applicable regulations.

Library of the HU Berlin Photo (detail): © Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin/Matthias Heyde

Libraries Bring People Together
Important Despite the Internet

Even in today’s digital age, libraries are losing none of their appeal, finding themselves in more demand than ever as pleasant, inspiring and communicative places in which to learn and research.

Children and reader Photo (detail): © Colourbox

Parents and the Promotion of Reading
Let’s read together!

It is good for children when they read a lot and actually enjoy it. But how can we get them to read? What influence can parents have? Find out in this evaluation of the situation.

iPad on an empty bookshelf Photo (detail): ©Thomas Meyer / Ostkreuz

“The right to e-read” – E-Books in Libraries

Publishers may refuse licenses to libraries for e-books. A Europe-wide campaign is making people aware of this deplorable state of affairs.

Although data is accessible for research in libraries and archives, in many cases it is not allowed to retrieve it or use it for further purpose. Photo (detail): Colourbox.com

Open Access
How museums are opening their digital archives

Museums and archives are rethinking their handling of the cultural heritage in the digital age.

Data centre at GWD in Göttingen Photo (detail): ©Thomas Meyer / Ostkreuz

German Network of Expertise for Digital Preservation

Given the rapid pace of technological change, the long-term preservation of digital objects requires constant attention. The nestor network is gathering the requisite expertise all over Germany.

Hannelore Vogt Photo (detail): © Südpol-Redaktionsbüro/T. Köster

“Virtual public libraries have taken off”

In 2007, the first German libraries launched the “Onleihe” lending system. Today, it is almost impossible to imagine any big city library not offering the service nowadays.

Website of Lernwelten Hamburg Photo (detail): © Lernwelten Hambur

Lernwelten Hamburg
Educational Services at the Click

Lernwelten Hamburg, a portal run by the city’s school library centre, provides a clear overview of the wide range of educational and learning services at Hamburg’s Bücherhallen libraries.

Frank Simon-Ritz Photo (detail): © Leo Pompinon

e-books and libraries
A Success Story?

Libraries in Germany are lending out more e-books than ever before – Goethe.de talked about this development to Frank Simon-Ritz.

E-Books Photo (detail): Dirk Ehlen@Flickr CC BY 2.0

Electronic publications
“eBooks are conquering the bedroom”

In 2012, the share of total sales of German publishers accounted for by eBooks reached 9.5 percent. Steffen Meier explains the developments on the eBook market.

technological trends © New Media Consortium

Technology Trends
Innovations in Libraries

Steffen Wawra, chairman of the Bavarian Library Network’s Virtual Library Commission explains how libraries are preparing themselves for the future.

Annette Klein Photo (detail): © private

Patron Driven Acquisition
Libraries Built by Users

Like other academic libraries, Mannheim University Library has since 2010 been trialling a form of acquisition in which the user plays a key role. Dr Annette Klein explains the opportunities.

Stefan Gradmann Photo (detail): © private

New publication formats
The Future of Academic Publishing

The print culture is being increasingly abandoned in some branches of academia. Stefan Gradmann outlines the future of academic publishing.

Library of the JVA Münster Photo (detail): © JVA Münster

Prison Libraries
“Books Open Up Worlds”

An international symposium behind bars: librarians from six countries came to Münster prison to discuss the limitations and future prospects of prison library work.

City library Stuttgart Photo (detail): © Südpol-Redaktionsbüro/T. Köster

Future of libraries
Five Statements

Five experts offer an answer to the question of what libraries will look like in future and what roles and challenges lie ahead for them.

manuscript digitisation Photo (detail): Vicswift@Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0

Orphan Works

Works whose right holders cannot be contacted pose serious obstacles when setting up digital libraries. An interview with Dr Arne Upmeier of the German Library Association.