E-Reading Foto: Goethe-Institut/ Loredana La Rocca

Goethe-Institut eLibrary

The eLibrary is the virtual library of the Goethe-Institut for the USA. This service allows you to borrow digital media, such as ebooks, audio and video files, and electronic newspapers and magazines, for a predetermined period of time, by downloading them from our eLibrary.

Returning media isn't necessary - at the end of the loan period, media automatically becomes unavailable.

With our eLibrary, borrowing media is at your fingertips 24/7.

Anyone who has a primary residence in the USA and who has registered with the Goethe-Institut New York for access to the eLibrary may use the services of our eLibrary.

Disclaimer: the use of eLibrary media on Apple and Linux powered devices is limited. The use of eLibrary media is not possible on Kindles. Why? Because Apple and Kindles have their own digital rights management (DRM), which are not compatible with the eLibrary's DRM. We recommend you confirm that your PC or Mac operating system is compatible prior to signing up.
Prior to registering for the eLibrary, please check that your PC or Mac meets the minimum technical requirements for use (PDF: What works where). We highly recommend a broadband Internet connection (DSL, cable) for streaming video, music and audiobooks. Please make sure that your eBook reader is compatible.

The following formats are currently used in the eLibrary:
  • for eBooks: PDF-format and/or ePub-format
  • for eAudio: Streaming
  • for eVideo: Streaming
  • for ePaper: PDF-format
As a technical prerequisite for using the eLibrary, your operating system must be capable of installing the following software for diverse media types:
  • Adobe Digital Editions and Adobe Reader for eBooks
  • Onleihe app for use with smartphones and tablets
In order to open files in ePub and PDF format on a tablet or mobile device, you can use the free Onleihe app, or download a free external reader such as Overdrive Media Console or Bluefire apps and sign in with your free Adobe ID.

ePapers are currently not available for download onto mobile devices and are only available on desktop or laptop computers. eAudio, eMusic and eVideo are streaming only, and no longer downloaded. Streaming media can be viewed in a browser or within the Onleihe app while it is connected to the internet.  

The eLibrary is not a stand-alone piece of software, rather it requires the intertwining of many, diverse systems. Many of these are outside the scope of the divibib. Please understand
that due to technical reasons, our offerings may not be compatible with every system and device available on the market.
The following steps are necessary to register for the eLibrary:
  1. Complete the Application form and click on "Send application" at the bottom of the page.
  2. Access to the eLibrary requires a yearly fee of $10, which you may pay online via PayPal (the link to PayPal is on the application form).
  3. Once we've received your application and verified that payment has been received, a staff member will contact you via email – during the work week generally within 24 hours – with a registration code. Should you have not received an email from us within a few days of applying, please check your email's spam filter. You may also call us at +1 (212) 439-8688.
  4. Visit the myGoethe.de personalized web platform and create a new user account (registration and use are free of charge). Click on the navigation point "my eLibrary" and enter your registration code.
Step-by-step instructions on how to register (PDF, 378 KB)

From the moment you first enter the registration code, you will have access to the eLibrary service for one year. After one year, this access automatically expires. If you wish to continue using the eLibrary service, you will need to fill out another registration form. You will then obtain a new registration code to renew your access to the eLibrary.

If you're interested, please apply for the eLibrary:
Application Form
Not sure how our eLibrary works? Need clarification on the registration process? Pratt Institute library science student Lisa Peet answers all your eLibrary questions in the short video below.