Amerika-Gedenkbibliothek
open until closed until
Berliner Stadtbibliothek
open until closed until

Amerika-Gedenkbibliothek
Blücherplatz 1, 10961 Berlin

open until closed until
  • Mon – Fri 10am – 9pm
  • Sat 10am – 7pm
  • Sun 11am – 5pm
Mon – Fri
10am – 9pm
Sat
10am – 7pm
Sun
11am – 5pm

Children's and Youth Library

  • Mon – Fri 1pm – 7pm
  • Sat 10am – 7pm
  • Sun 11am – 5pm
Mon – Fri
1pm – 7pm
Sat
10am – 7pm
Sun
11am – 5pm

Berliner Stadtbibliothek
Breite Straße 30-36, 10178 Berlin

open until closed until
  • Mon – Fri 10am – 9pm
  • Sat 10am – 7pm
Mon – Fri
10am – 9pm
Sat
10am – 7pm

Berlin Collections

  • Mon – Sat 10am – 7pm
Mon – Fri
10am – 7pm
Sat
10am – 7pm

The ZLB remains closed on public holidays. There is no on-site library consultation on Sundays.

Registering / Borrowing

You'll find everything you need to know with regard to registering, borrowing, library cards, loan periods, fees and legal information on one page here

Photo of someone extending the customer's books at the service desk in the library

You'll find everything you need to know with regard to registering, borrowing, library cards, loan periods, fees and legal information on one page here
The Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin (ZLB) belongs to the Berlin public library association Verbund der Öffentlichen Bibliotheken Berlins (VÖBB). You can also log into your library account via www.voebb.de.

You can borrow e-books, e-audio recordings, e-papers and other e-media on www.voebb.de/digital-offers.

You can also visit the ZLB if you do not have a library card, and use many of the services on offer on the premises. However, if you want to take media items home with you and/or use our full range of services, you need a library card. The easiest way to obtain a library card is to apply for one at the ZLB or at one of Berlin's other libraries in person. See this page for more information.
 

Library card facts

Young woman with very big library card in reading hall of BStB

You can apply for a library card at both ZLB branches during the times when the registration/service desks are open, and also at any other VÖBB library.

All library cards are valid for one year from the date of issue.

For all library card types, you need a valid ID card or passport as well as a registered address confirmation, and proof that you are entitled to concessions, if applicable. You do not have to be registered at an address in Germany to apply for a reader pass. Dgti supplemental ID cards are accepted, provided they are presented together with the respective official ID card/passport.

Adults can register immediately and do not have to complete any forms.

A parent/legal guardian must sign the registration form when children and young adults under the age of sixteen apply for a library card. We also need to see the ID card or passport of this person, as well as a registered address confirmation. You should also remember to bring along your child's student ID card, if applicable.

It's a good idea to already complete the registration form for children and young adults in advance, print it out at home and to then bring it with you when applying. Please remember that the form must be signed by hand.

Please note:

Schools, out of school care facilities etc. can only register at the service desks in the Children and Youth Library (KiJuBi).

If you lose your library card, you must immediately notify the ZLB or any other VÖBB library of the loss so we can block your account, as this is the only way to prevent an unauthorised use of your library card that may lead to damages for which you would be liable.

We need to see a valid ID card or passport well as a registered address confirmation in order to issue a replacement library card. A fee of 2.50 euros is due for a replacement library card.

To renew your library card, you must present a valid ID card or passport as well as a registered address confirmation, and proof that you are entitled to concessions, if applicable. The renewal fee is the same as the fee for a new library card.

Please note:

If you renew your library card, you cannot use it until all of the fees and charges due you owe to any of the VÖBB libraries have been paid.

If you have moved, please notify us of your new address as soon as possible to ensure that any letters we write to you reach you.

Library card fees

Type of card Fee
Reader card no fee
Institution library cards for:
Adults aged eighteen and over 10,00 Euro
Trainees, students, national military or civic service conscripts, voluntary social or ecological year participants, European Solidarity Corps volunteers, youth workers, members of a public library friends group or the Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin foundation 5,00 Euro
Social security benefit recipients (unemployment benefit I and II, social security and other state benefits) on presentation of the respective proof of entitlement (e.g. "Berlin-Ticket S" travel card or "Berechtigungsnachweis" proof of entitlement or proof of benefit letter) no fee

Children, school children with category I school student ID

no fee
Institution library cards for:
Schools, out of school care facilities, kindergartens, day nurseries and similar facilities. no fee
Legal persons 60,00 Euro

Legal persons and government agencies, public bodies and civil service institutions as per Section 2 Allgemeines Zuständigkeitsgesetz (AZG, the Berlin Senate's local government act)

no fee

Borrowing

See here for all borrowing-related facts and details

You can borrow a maximum of 60 media items at any one time.
You may borrow a maximum of 20 electronic media items (e-books, e-audio recordings...).

If you do not return an item by the end of the loan period, you will be charged a fine; these fines are set out in the Federal State of Berlin public library regulations and fees and charges policy (BÖBB). This fine amounts to 0.25 euros (for children and school children 0.10 euros) per calendar day and media item. 

You can usually extend the loan period through renewal.

Service: Email reminder before the end of the loan period

Would you like to receive a reminder email two days before the end of your loan periods? If so, go to www.voebb.de, log into your account and enter your email address under the tab "My Account --> Email/SMS".

We do not send out reminder letters or text messages!

Please note:
This is a courtesy service. Any fines potentially due for overdue media items will not be waived if you do not receive such an email.

 

Overview of items that can be borrowed and loan periods

Please note:

The lending terms and conditions of the individual VÖBB libraries may differ from each other. Please enquire directly at the library of your choice.

Media type/device

Number of media items/devices that can be borrowed at any one time

Loan period in calendar days
Books, CD-ROMs, comic books, computer games, slide shows, diskettes, DVD-ROMs, board games, cassettes, sheet music, records (BStB), language course, EDURINOs 60 28
Blu-rays, DVDs, audio books, children's CDs, music CDs and CD leaflets, videos, vinyl/Phonothek (AGB) 60 14

console games

5 28
Artworks - no interlibrary loans possible 20 84
Kamishibai-Theater 2 28
Ozobot-learning robot, Game&Watch console - no interlibrary loans possible 2 28
Tonie - no interlibrary loans possible 5 14
Bestseller - these items cannot be reserved, ordered, pre-ordered and collected or renewed! 60 14
Library of Things, BeepBib - no interlibrary loans possible 3 14
     
eBooks 20 21
eAudios, eMusic, eVideo 20 14
eMagazines 20 1
ePapers 20 1-4 Stunden
 
E-Reader - these items cannot be reserved, ordered, pre-ordered and collected or renewed! 1 28
Tablets - these items cannot be reserved, ordered, pre-ordered and collected or renewed! 1 28

You can collect pre-ordered media in the self-service collection area. You will find the pre-ordered media under your collection code. You can find this code online in your library account. It is also shown on every notification letter.

The collection code looks like this:
Library card number: 123114[56]609
Name: A.N. Other

Collection code: 56 Ot

Please use the self-service terminals in the collection area to borrow pre-ordered media.

Pre-ordered items from the Children and Youth Library can be found in the central collection area of the American Memorial Library (AGB.

If you do not want to borrow an item you have pre-ordered after all, please have it cancelled by our staff.

The following media can be collected only from our service desks:

  • Interlibrary loans
  • Newspapers and magazines*
  • Music CDs where a specific collection location has been specified (specific location CDs)

* At the Berlin Public Library, the collection area is located in the reading room basement.
 

At both branches, there are several self-service terminals you can use to borrow media (in the foyer, in the service area, in the collection area, in the reading room, at the Children and Youth Library and at the Berlin Senate Library).

The following media can only be collected at the service desks:

  •  Interlibrary loans
  •  Items from the "Artothek"
  •  Library of Things
  •  Media unsuited to automated processes and labelled accordingly.
  •  E-readers and tablets.
     

Completeness and damages
Please check the condition and completeness of each media item before you borrow it. Notify a staff member immediately of any obvious faults so we can record these. If there is no record of a fault, we must unfortunately assume that the damages were caused by the last person to borrow the item, meaning you. As per the Federal State of Berlin public library regulations and fees and charges policy (BÖBB), we are then entitled to ask you to pay for the damages.

Loan receipt/ E-Mail
Please check whether the loan receipt lists all of the media items you wish to take home with you.
 

There are two types of reminders:

  •  Return demand: If you do not return or renew your media items on time, you will receive a written demand for return in the post fourteen days after the end of the loan period. You will be charged a fee for this letter.
  •  Payment demand: If your library account shows that you owe us 10 euros or more in fees and/or fines, you will receive a written demand in the post fourteen days after you have exceeded the ten euro limit.

If you fail to return or pay, we reserve the right to take further legal steps.
 

Renewals

  • At the library: You can extend the loan periods yourself at the OPACs desks or at the self-service terminals. You can obtain proof of renewal showing the new loan periods only at the self-service terminals.
  • Online**: You can also manage your library account and renew media online at www.voebb.de.
  • Via email: You can also apply for a renewal via email. Renewal requests made via email must include your library card number.

**Please note:
If the online service is unavailable for technical reasons, meaning that it cannot be used for renewals, we shall not be liable for the fact that this may potentially lead to renewals becoming overdue. Should this happen, please contact one of the VÖBB libraries directly.

When 

The loan period can only be extended halfway through the current loan period. The new loan period starts on the date of renewal.

How often

You can extend the loan period twice, provided no one else has reserved the item, and your library account has not been blocked. You can borrow media you have already renewed twice again from any VÖBB library.

Exceptions

"Artothek" items

At the end of the initial three-month loan period, sculptures, photographs, artworks and oil paintings from the "Artothek" can only be renewed once and borrowed for another 28 days. However, they can be borrowed again.

Bestseller
Tablets

Renewals are not possible, as we want to make the devices available to as many users as possible.

Interlibrary loans

If the initial loan agreement does not already exclude the option of renewal, interlibrary loans may be renewed a maximum of two times, with reservation*. They cannot be borrowed again.

 

Borrowing an item again

If you want to borrow an item again, you must present it at the ZLB or at another VÖBB affiliated library.

You can only borrow an item again with your library card and the password.

A fine will charged if the item is already overdue on the date of renewal. This fine amounts to 0.25 euros (0.10 euros for children and school children) per calendar day and media item.

Please note:
The respective amount will not be charged to your library account until the media item has been renewed. Your library account for borrowing items from the ZLB will also be blocked if you own us more than 10 euros.

 

Email reminder before the end of the loan period

Would you like to receive a reminder e- email two days before the end of your loan periods? Log into you library account at www.voebb.de and click on "Email/SMS" there to enter your email address.

We do not send out reminder letters or text messages!

Please note:
This is a courtesy service. Any fines potentially due for overdue media items will not be waived if you do not receive such an e- email.

 

How to order

Ordering options

Depending on an item's location (repository, open area) and loan status (available, on loan, not on shelf), we offer you a range of options for ordering items. We will charge you a fee for some of these offers (will be shown when the order is placed). The respective fees will not be charged to your library account until you collect the item you have ordered.

You can place your orders at the library at the OPACs desks or online from home via www.voebb.de. You will need your library card and password to place an order.

Once your search for a particular item has been successful, simply click on the button "Order/reserve" on the far right and follow the instructions. The order will then be shown in the user account overview.

Items that can be ordered from the repository are shown as available in our repositories. These items are not freely available and must be ordered.

Fee: free of charge

Retention period: Six calendar days

Processing time: usually 30 minutes

Orders from the external repository can be collected Mondays – Fridays from 15:00 onwards at the ZLB branch you requested. You can find out when your order is ready to be collected in your account on www.voebb.de. 
 

Items that are freely available in the openly accessible areas cannot be pre-ordered and set aside.  
These items are freely accessible and can simply be taken off the shelf at any time during the opening hours, and borrowed in the usual way.
You cannot pre-order items from the library collections of the library you are currently visiting.

Fee: 1 euro

Retention period: Twelve calendar days

Processing time: Pre-ordering requests are processed once a day from Mondays to Fridays. 

**This is not automatically a reservation. At any time, an item may have been borrowed by another visitor before the pre-ordering request has been processed.
In that case, your pre-ordering request will be unsuccessful. You will not be charged a fee.

Reservations are orders for media items that are currently not available for some reason (they may be in the process of being added to the collection, en route somewhere or awaiting repair), regardless of their location (repository, open access area).

Fee: 1 euro
Retention period: Twelve calendar days
Processing time: The waiting time for reserved items depends on the reasons why they are currently not available.

  •   If the item status is "on loan", you can see the due date for its return when you enter your order. On the basis of these details, you can calculate roughly when the item will be available. However, it may take longer or less time if the item is returned late or early.
  •    If the loan status is "not on shelf", the date when the item will be available again cannot be calculated exactly. If you are unsure, please ask the staff at our service desks or at the information points.
     

Magazines and newspapers other than Children and Youth Library magazines and the magazine "Burda" cannot be borrowed. 

Tip:
All magazines (usually with the exception of the latest issues) can normally be borrowed from the public libraries in the individual city districts ("Stadtbibliotheken").

At both branches, the magazines are arranged according to subject. The current volume (in the case of newspapers, usually only the current edition) can be found in the open access area.

Older volumes can be ordered and read on the premises. All volumes that are older than five years are kept at the Berlin Public Library repository.

No carriage between the libraries:

Magazines and newspapers may only be read on the premises. They cannot be sent to another branch.

However, you are welcome to use our article delivery service.

How to place an order:

Bound magazine and newspaper volumes can be ordered via the catalogue. Under media type, select: "Magazine/newspaper".

  •    Search using the magazine title or the ISSN number.
  •     Follow the links to editions or volumes.
  •    Select the edition or the volume you are looking for and proceed with the order as usual.

Exceptions:

  •   Pre-2002 collection items (unless these are kept at the Berlin Senate Library or they are studies commissioned by the Senate)
  •   Non-bound magazines (usually current volumes)
  •     Volumes that are available on microfiche

In these cases, please ask the staff at our information points in the library, or call the service hotline.

Fee: free of charge

Retention period: Six days

Processing time:

On average, these items are available for collection after 30 minutes. Sometimes, you may have to wait 60 minutes. (If you want to collect a pre-ordered item on the same day, you should place the order by 19:20, or 18:20 on Saturdays, at the latest.)

Collection:

AGB: Collection from the self-service area at the service desks

BStB: Collection area in the reading room basement

We offer you the option of having media items delivered to other libraries, or also directly to your home address, for a fee. 

This usually takes two to three working days and costs 3.50 euros per media item; only 2.50 euros for media from the repository. You must have a valid Verbund der Öffentlichen Bibliotheken Berlins (VÖBB) library card; simply place your order at www.voebb.de. Select "delivery to my home address" as the collection location. The due date will be shown on the receipt for the item(s) borrowed, which you'll find enclosed with the package. Items can be returned at all VÖBB libraries in person (fees may apply), or by post as a return to the lending library.

On www.voebb.de, go to My Account --> "Pre-ordered items" to see whether something is ready to be collected.

When you pre-order an item, you can also opt for our free service of automatically being notified via email, text message or letter when the item is ready for collection. To use this service, simply tick "yes" in the field "Collection alert email, text message or letter?".

You can enter your email address or mobile number on www.voebb.de under the tab "My Account --> Email/SMS".

**We are not liable for undeliverable notifications.

Whenever you place an order, you decide whether you would like to receive a collection alert.

Collection

You can collect pre-ordered media from the self-service collection area.

The following media can be collected only from our service desks:

  • Interlibrary loans

  • Newspapers and magazines*

  • Music CDs that cannot be borrowed

*At the Berlin Public Library, the collection area is located in the reading room basement/foyer.

You will find the pre-ordered media under your collection code. You can find this code online in your library account. It is also shown on every notification letter.

The collection code looks like this:

Example:

Library card number: 123114[56]109

Name: A.N. Other

Collection code: 56 Ot

Return

Items can be returned without a library card.

Items can be returned at the self-service returns machines located in the entrance areas of both branches. You can return your media around the clock at the 24/7 self-service returns machines (located on the exterior walls of both branches)!*/**

*Please note the exceptions

** If the 24/7 self-service returns machines are unavailable for technical reasons, meaning that they cannot be used for returns, we shall not be liable for the fact that this may potentially make a return overdue.

The following media and devices can be returned only at our service desks (returns possible only during the service desk opening hours):

  •   Interlibrary loans
  •   Items from the "Artothek"
  •   Library of Things
  •   Media unsuited to automated processes and labelled accordingly.
  •   E-readers and tablets.

When you return media, you will get a receipt or an E-Mail. Please always check immediately whether all of the media items you have returned are listed. If this is not the case, please tell our service desk staff straight away.

You can return all public library association Verbund der Öffentlichen Bibliotheken Berlins (VÖBB) library media to us, and vice versa.

Exception:
Artworks on loan from the Artothek can only be returned at the America Memorial Library.

Please note:
Only returns at the library that owns the item are free of charge (both ZLB branches count as one library when it comes to returns). Returns made to another library incur a 1 euro carriage fee. The fee is charged per media item.

Please note:
The library that owns the media item is shown on all media. Before inserting a media item into the machine, you should check whether you have inadvertently taken a media item from another library with you that you do not want to have delivered to that library.
As soon as a media item has been inserted into the machine, it is booked in, and the status is set to "to be delivered", if applicable. The carriage fee is shown at the machine, and immediately charged to your account. This process cannot be cancelled.

 

A fine will charged if the item is already overdue on the date of return. This fine amounts to 0.25 euros (0.10 euros for children and school children) per calendar day and media item.

Please note:
The respective amount will not be charged to your library account until the media item has been returned. Your library account for borrowing items from the ZLB will also be blocked if you own us more than 10 euros...

 

Have you mislaid a media item at home? Do you think you may have already returned the media item, but it is still shown as "on loan" in your library account? In that case, we offer you the option of submitting a search order.

What happens next?

We will check whether the media item is back in place within six weeks. The media item is no longer shown as "on loan" in your library account, but as "lost item"?

a) The media item is found: In that case, we will immediately debit your library account and remove the fine from your account . You will not be notified.

b) The media item is not found: After a search period of six weeks, we unfortunately have to assume that the media item is either still in your possession, or that it has been lost whilst in your possession. In that case, you must replace it. The search order is automatically turned into a lost media item. A fine will only be due if you have asked for a search order after the end of the load period. In these cases, you will be charged the fines due until the date on which you requested the search order.

c) You later find the media item at home, after all. In that case, you should return it as soon as possible. The original loan period date applies. If this date has already passed, you will be charged the same fines as the fines that are due for any overdue items.

Have you inadvertently damaged or lost a media item? In that case, you must replace it.

Please note:
Damaged media items can always be returned only at the library that owns them.

In both cases, please always tell the staff at the service desk. Please bring the damaged media item with you. We will then record a media item loss. The media item will then no longer be shown as "on loan" in your library account, but as "lost item".

Excerpt from our lending terms
"Please check the condition and completeness of each media item before you borrow it. Notify a staff member immediately of any obvious faults so we can record these. If there is no record of a fault, we must unfortunately assume that the damages were caused by the last person to borrow the item, meaning you. As per the Federal State of Berlin public library regulations and fees and charges policy (BÖBB), we are then entitled to ask you to pay for the damages."

What happens next?

We will write to you within two weeks with all of the information you need to be able to purchase a replacement item. Please do not purchase a replacement without this information, as the library may have strict requirements with regard to a specific volume and edition.

You then have around four weeks time to purchase a replacement and return this to us. If this time frame is too short, or if the required item is no longer available, simply let us know by contacting the department that wrote you the letter. The period may then be extended and/or another item may be specified as a replacement.

What are the costs?

  •    (Variable) cost of the replacement purchase
  •    Replacement of the RFID tag 2.50 euros
  •    Administration fee 15 euros (only payable if you do not supply a replacement)

All fees will not be charged to your library account until the media item loss process has been completed. Again, the following applies, as it does to a search order: If you eventually find the media item at home after all, the original loan period date applies. If this date has already passed, you will be charged the same fines as the fines that are usually due for any overdue items.
 

Fees and fines

The fees are set out in the Terms of Use and Regulations for Fees (BOEBB).

Additional services may incur fees that are not specified in the Terms of Use and Regulations for Fees (BOEBB). These currently include:

  • Fees for transports and orders
  • Additional fees for interlibrary loan, if applicable

You can view the status of your outstanding fees including a detailed list of the individual items under the menu item "My Account --> Fee Account" (excluding the ID card fee). 

Please note that your user account is blocked for loans in the Central and Regional Library from a fee amount of 10.00 Euro. When renewing or issuing a library card, the use of your card is only possible after payment of all fees incurred by the library.

If you have any questions about individual items, please do not hesitate to contact our staff.

Payment methods

To pay your fees, there is a cash machine in the entrance area of the AGB and a cash machine in the BStB in the passageway in front of the café. For the payment you need your library card number or your library card.

You can pay all fees incurred by the Association of Public Libraries in Berlin (VÖBB).

For payment by EC-card you can also use the self-checkout. Here you only have the possibility to pay all accrued fees.

Notes for the handling of the automatic cash machine:

  • If you select the option "Verbund", you pay all accrued charges that are open in the VÖBB incl. badge fee. No partial payment is possible under this option.
  • If you select the option "Library", you will pay all fees incurred in the ZLB. Partial payment is also possible here.
  • In case of partial payment, the corresponding amount must be deposited appropriately. 
  • Only EC cards with the imprint "girocard" are accepted.
  • Installments agreed with the ZLB can also be paid in this way.

Installment payments can be requested on site or by e-mail to mahnstelle@zlb.de, stating the amount of the installment and the start date of the payment.

Notes on payment methods

  • Cash payments are possible with the indicated coins/notes.
  • Bills with value over 50 euros are not accepted.
  • Change will be given in small change. If it is not possible to give change, this will be indicated. In this case, payment is only possible in matching change.

Should a malfunction occur during the payment process, please report immediately to the service stations with the corresponding issued reciept.

Important: The automatic pay stations are emptied completely every day. There is no change in the machines at night!

You can also conveniently pay your fees incurred at the ZLB online. To do this, you must have an e-mail address stored in your user account.

In your user account at www.voebb.de, the payment component will only be displayed if there are fees due or if it is possible to extend the validity of your ID card.

If you wish to pay your outstanding charges, you can do so by clicking the "Proceed to payment" button. Here you will be taken to another page where the charges to be paid are listed and you can decide on a preferred payment method.

Possible payment methods:

  • Credit card (Visa or Master Card)
  • Sepa (traditional SEPA direct debit)

You can also pay your fees accrued at the ZLB by bank transfer. However, since it can take up to 14 days for your account to be credited, we recommend that you pay on the spot if you have any outstanding fees that result in loan holds.

You will need the following data for the bank transfer:

Central and Regional Library Foundation

BIC: BEVODEBB

IBAN: DE91 1009 0000 5708 920012

Credit institution: Berliner Volksbank eg.
Reason for payment: ZLB/AGB 1420 plus library card number

Legal basis

You can find the laws that govern the use of the ZLB Berlin Central & Regional Library and its offers here.