open until closed until
Berliner Stadtbibliothek
open until closed until

Blücherplatz 1, 10961 Berlin

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

Children's and Youth Library

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

Berlin Collections

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

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

A community hub Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin (ZLB)

With a total of over 3.5 million individual media and currently 1.5 million visitors a year, the Berlin Central and Regional Library (ZLB) is Germany's largest public library.

Collage of AGB and Berliner Stadtbibliothek buildings

The library has two branches: the America Memorial Library (AGB) in Berlin-Kreuzberg and the Berlin Public Library (BStB) in Berlin-Mitte.

Democracy in action

The ZLB makes it possible for everyone to access knowledge, education and culture for free. It is a community hub, and place for sharing. Here, the city shares its knowledge; here, we share media, technologies and spaces. Here, people meet for conversations and discussions; here, participation is actively demonstrated in the analogue as well as the digital world.

As the Berlin state library, we are also tasked with collecting everything that is published locally in print, and all data and audio recordings released in Berlin.

The ZLB is a foundation that is entirely publicly funded; its current general director is Mr Volker Heller.

The ZLB's three pillars

Libraries, publicly funded stores of knowledge and information that are also accessible to the public, will also continue to bring major social benefits to the community in future; however, they will also change. Just like the ZLB, public libraries all over the world are working on new contents for modern librarianship. The three pillars of librarianship describe what we are doing, and why we are doing it.

Woman standing in front of plexiglass screen of circulation desk looking at screen with library worker

The ZLB: a store of information and knowledge

We share media and information technologies and actively support lifelong learning.

Three people look together at a tablet in the salon of the AGB

The ZLB: a place to spend time and to work

We share our spaces for people to spend time in, to work and to promote personal and social development

People sitting on chairs in room "Artothek" in library and looking at man with microphone

The ZLB: a community and discussion hub - a forum for the city's residents

We provide the people who live in Berlin with a platform for sharing their knowledge, their perspectives, their passions and their skills.

Shoulder glance between people looking at a PowerPoint slide with the inscription "Building Window New

More knowledge, more space. Berlin needs a new, additional library building.

Overview of the ZLB

A place run by people for people. Our staff shape the Berlin Central & Regional Library's future and make it the store of knowledge and space for collaborations that it is.

The ZLB foundation and its tasks

Logo of the ZLB with 4 colourful books that look like butterflies

The ZLB foundation is the federal state of Berlin's central public library and charged with fulfilling all of the functions of a state library.

It comprehensively collects all media from and about Berlin. and also contributes to the preservation of our local cultural heritage with its collection. It makes all of this accessible to the public. 

More about the foundation

The ZLB as a member of the Verbund der Öffentlichen Bibliotheken Berlins (VÖBB) Berlin public library association

"VÖBB Association of Public Libraries in Berlin" in blue capital letters on a white background.

"VÖBB Verbund der Öffentlichen Bibliotheken Berlins" in blue capital letters on a white background

The VÖBB consists of the twelve local district libraries and the ZLB. In the VÖBB catalogue, you can find the books, films, music and many other media available from Berlin's public libraries, and borrow them with a joint library card. The joint digital offer of the VÖBB libraries is also very extensive.

 go to VÖBB


As the Chair of the Board and General Director, Mr Volker Heller manages the ZLB together with the other directors and deputy board members. The Board is responsible for all ongoing business, and is the foundation's judicial and extrajudicial representative. 

Photo of Volker Heller, Jonas Fansa, Nicole Lohrisch (l.t.r.)

Volker Heller, Dr. Jonas Fansa, Nicole Lohrisch (f.l.t.r.)

Facts and figures about the ZLB


The publicly funded ZLB foundation was legally established on 1 October 1995 on the basis of the respective law passed on 25 September 1995. The ZLB foundation consists of the two branches America Memorial Library (AGB) and Berlin Public Library (BStB). Both libraries became one organisational and structural unit on 1 February 1996. The entire previous catalogue of the state of Berlin and the Berlin Senate Library were also transferred to the foundation.


The ZLB foundation is the federal state of Berlin's central public library and charged with fulfilling all of the functions of a state library.

As a state and universal library, it contributes to the preservation of Berlin's cultural heritage with its collections, and makes it accessible to the public in coordination with archives and other libraries in Berlin. It practices a cultural diversity policy. In particular, it is charged with the user-oriented supply of literature and information for the tertiary education area outside of Berlin's universities and universities of applied science. Its role is that of a media and librarianship innovation centre for all of the city's districts.

In addition, the foundation performs central services for Berlin's libraries, ensures that library information is available to the Berlin government, and participates in library tasks at a national level.

Executive Chair

  • Volker Heller
    General direktor

ZLB Foundation Board

  • Dr. Torsten Wöhlert (Chair)
    State Secretary for Culture - Senate Department for Culture and Europe
  • Helge Rehders (Stellv. Vorsitzender)
    Head of Policy - Senate Department for Culture and Europe
  • Heike Schmidt
    Director, Berlin Public Library Spandau
  • Stefan Rogge (Deputy)
    Director, Berlin Public Library Berlin-Mitte.
  • Jürgen Christof
    University Library Director TU Berlin
  • Professor Dr. David Zellhöfer (Deputy)
    Berlin School of Economics and Law
  • Abraham Taherivand
    Independent business owner/consultant
  • Geraldine de Bastion (Deputy)
    GF Konnektiv Kollektiv GmbH
  • Dr. Hannelore Vogt
    Director Cologne Public Library
  • Susanne Metz (Deputy)
    Director  Leipzig Public Libraries
  • Berit Johannsen
    Director  Schleswig-Holstein  State Library Kiel
  • Jana Wichmann (Deputy)
    Head of Agility & Operations bei der zero360 GmbH
  • Lothar Brendel
    Chair of the ZLB Foundation Staff Council
  • Bernhard Kuhlmann (Stellv.)
    ZLB Foundation Staff Council Representative
Image of the ZLB organization chart

Here you find the organisational structure of the ZLB

PDF Download


Our Freundeskreis (Friends Group) aims to promote and increase the public's awareness of the ZLB, and to ensure the ongoing encouragement of  democracy and openness in today's knowledge society. This not only applies to the traditional books, but also to the promotion of new media. The main purposes of the Freundeskreis particularly include the collection of donations for the funding of projects, conservation, and participation in lectures, readings and events at the library.


The Freundeskreis is financed by the moderate membership fees, donations and, to a considerable degree, by the popular book sales days that are usually held once a year. On the books sales days, withdrawn books and other media are sold to supplement the Freundeskreis's funds with the proceeds. On these days, the Freundeskreis is supported by its own extremely committed members as well as the staff of both ZLB branches.

History of the ZLB

The ZLB foundation was established in 1995 as a result of the fusion of the Berlin Public Library (BStB) on Schlossplatz in former East Berlin with the America Memorial Library (AGB) on Hallesches Ufer in former West Berlin.

  • Black and white shot of many people with books in lending area of library

    Fusion and establishment

    In 1995, the AGB (in former West Berlin) and the BStB (in former East Berlin) were united to form the ZLB. It is now one of the successful results of Germany's reunification, and of the fusion of the various important libraries in Germany's capital.

  • Historical shot of people sitting with books at long tables in library

    Donation of the America Memorial Library (AGB)

    The AGB is a gift from the people of America to the residents of Berlin, made to mark the end of the unsuccessful 1948/49 Berlin Blockade by the Soviet occupiers. It was jointly designed by German and American architects as a public library, and opened in 1954 as a symbol for freedom of speech and free education.

  • Historical photograph of people with opened books at long wooden tables in library

    Establishment of the Berlin Public Library (BStB)

    The establishment of the BStB over 100 years ago was based on the approach to democratic reform at the turn of the century that included making education accessible to a broader public. The library complex in what were once the stable buildings of the Kaiser's palace includes the Ribbeck-Haus, Berlin's oldest Renaissance building, which dates back to 1624.