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Library advice

The Brandenburg State Office for Archives and Public Libraries coordinates nationally oriented programmes for the state of Brandenburg, in the implementation of which the specialist library offices are involved. In addition to the introduction and support of innovative state-specific projects, it is responsible for the implementation of national and international project developments for the state's public libraries. The integration of the library services in the Potsdam University of Applied Sciences is supported by the close integration of research, teaching and practice, the strategic implementation of future transformation processes in the field of public libraries.

ABC of library work

Public libraries – Mission statement

Public libraries are municipal infrastructure facilities for education, culture and leisure. They offer multimedia and multifunctional services in real and virtual space.

Mission statement

Association of Public Libraries (VÖB)

The network of public libraries virtually unites the public libraries of Brandenburg and their collections.

Association of Public Libraries (VÖB)

eMedia networks

The public libraries in the district and at regional level have joined together to form e-media associations in order to offer users virtual digital lending of media.

eMedia networks

Library development

Position papers and publications with recommendations for concepts, descriptions of fields of action and arguments on the social significance of public libraries.

Library development

Support programmes

The regional office provides information, advice and support to public libraries on issues relating to the various funding programmes.

Support programmes

Project examples

Past funding programmes are stored as examples of project ideas.

Project examples

Statistics and analysis

The regional office supports the libraries with the German Library Statistics. Other statistical data is also collected and evaluated for the work of the regional office.

Statistics and analysis

Building and furnishing advice

The regional office advises libraries on planning principles, on accessibility as well as on room concepts and expert opinions.

Building and furnishing advice

Brandenburg Reading Summer

The regional office coordinates the Brandenburg Reading Summer and provides materials. Information on the programme, ideas, instructions and materials can be found in the "Internal department" section.

Brandenburg Reading Summer


The "Public Libraries Newsletter" of the Brandenburg State Office for Archives and Public Libraries informs you regularly about library-relevant specialist topics and events.



The topic of "sustainability" is also relevant for public libraries. You can find helpful links here.

Internal department

In this section, we provide you with password-protected information, protocols and materials on the following topics:

  • Working groups Bibliotheksarbeit mit Kindern und Jugendlichen" and "Digitale Angebote", State conference
  • Brandenburg Reading Summer
  •  Actionbound and Onilo consortia
  •  further suggestions/ideas/concepts from libraries, recruitment via LFS

Public libraries - Mission statement


  • 127 full-time + 57 part-time or voluntary libraries + 5 mobile libraries


The public library is a cross-generational public place for the promotion of community life. In this sense, it fulfils the tasks of a multifunctional educational, cultural and recreational institution. It is one of the most visited institutions of cultural education.

The public library is:

  • cultural experience centre with a variety of analogue and digital event and communication formats.
  • place of leisure for individual and community activities
  • place of learning for everyone with opportunities for self-determined, innovative and experimental learning.
  • Educational partner for schools and day-care centres with a focus on reading promotion, media education and imparting information competence
  • Hybrid media venue for education and information with physical and virtual offerings
  • Creative and experimental place, especially with new information technologies
  • Forum for democratic discourse in urban society

Association of Public Libraries (VÖB)

The network is a cooperation project of the public libraries of the state of Brandenburg, managed and coordinated by the Brandenburg State Office for Archives and Public Libraries.

The participating libraries list their analogue media holdings in a common electronic, searchable union catalogue, which is gradually being expanded.

Current status (June 2023):

  • Around 1.3 million titles indexed

eMedia networks

In the state of Brandenburg, public libraries are grouped into 13 e-media associations, mostly in the respective districts.

Library development

  • 21 good reasons for good libraries
    Image brochure published by the umbrella organisation BID - Bibliothek & Information Deutschland e.V. in 2009
  • Basics for good libraries - guidelines for decision-makers
    Annex to the image brochure "21 good reasons for good libraries" published in 2009 by the umbrella organisation BID - Bibliothek & Information Deutschland e.V. The performance figures and metrics presented here set benchmarks to ensure that public libraries can fulfil their social tasks in the long term.
  • Public Library 2025 - Guidelines for the Development of Public Libraries
    This paper describes new guidelines for the development of public libraries up to 2025. It formulates the prerequisites for contemporary and future-oriented library work. "Public Library 2025" sees itself as an argumentation aid for the debate on the positioning of public libraries in a rapidly changing society. It describes the necessary fields of action for the transformation process into a digital society and a third place. Published by Deutscher Bibliotheksverband e.V., 2021
  • Libraries and Democracy
    Statement of the Deutscher Bibliotheksverband e.V. (2019) on the specific contribution of libraries in political education and the promotion of democratic discourse. Further information from the dbv on the topic here.
  • Sustainable promotion of libraries - especially in times of crisis
    Joint statement by the United Services Trade Unions ver.di and the German Library Association (dbv), 2022
  • Liveable city centres of the future
    The paper describes challenges facing cities and the role of various players - including culture. This appeal was written in 2022 by the German Association of Cities, the German Trade Association, ver.di, the German Institute of Urban Affairs and the German Cultural Council together for liveable inner cities.
  • Digital Agenda of the Ministry of Science, Research and Culture of the State of Brandenburg 2021
    Description of the tasks of public libraries under point 3.4 "Digitisation in the area of public libraries and the Potsdam City and State Library (SLB)".
  • "Cultural education - a cross-sectional task of public libraries".
    This position paper of the "Brandenburg State Office for Archives and Public Libraries" was prepared in 2012 and updated in 2022. It describes the specific contribution of public libraries as actors in cultural education.

Support programmes

The Brandenburg State Office for Archives and Public Libraries supports public libraries in applying for and implementing funding programmes at state and federal level.

"The funding programme Gemeinsam Digital! Creative with Media is an initiative of the German Library Association and the programme Kultur macht stark. Alliances for Education, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

With the programme "Together Digital! Creative with Media" programme, the German Library Association (dbv) supports local digital reading promotion projects for children and young people aged three to 18. The aim is to reach children and young people in particular who are growing up in risk situations and to open up additional educational opportunities for them. The programme is part of the third funding phase of the federal programme "Kultur macht stark" (2023 - 2027) of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

The projects are intended to awaken the desire to read with the help of digital media and to encourage and enable participants to create their own media content. It is central that the participants themselves work creatively and actively help to design and implement the projects".

The Cultural Education Participation funding programme of the state of Brandenburg supports projects that contribute to the diverse cultural participation and education of all people in the state.

Project examples

The funding programme Total Digital! - Reading and storytelling with digital media was an initiative of the German Library Association and the programme Kultur macht stark. Alliances for Education, which was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Total Digital! funded institutions nationwide in projects to promote reading in conjunction with digital media.

"The project is aimed at children and young people between the ages of three and 18 who have difficulty accessing education and media. Within the framework of the funded activities, they are to learn about stories and be encouraged to express themselves creatively with digital media. It is central that the participants themselves work creatively and actively shape and implement the projects. Extracurricular activities build a bridge from everyday media use to reading promotion and address the interests of the target group.

The funding programme hochdrei - Stadtbibliotheken verändern (High Three - Changing City Libraries) supported city and municipal libraries in projects, for example in the form of creative event formats, which were developed and implemented jointly with actors from urban society. The focus was on developing libraries as a space for encounters, cultural exchange and social debate in a future-oriented way. This funding programme is a programme of the Federal Cultural Foundation and ran until 2022.

You can find examples of the funded projects here.

The funding programme WissensWandel was a digital programme for libraries and archives within Neustart Kultur. With it, the German Library Association supported libraries and archives in their digital development.

This programme was part of the rescue and future programme NEUSTART KULTUR of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM). It sought to mitigate the consequences of the Corona pandemic for libraries and archives.

The funding programme Vor Ort für Alle (On Site for All ) of the German Library Association promoted contemporary library concepts in municipalities with up to 20,000 inhabitants nationwide. The aim of this emergency aid programme was to strengthen libraries as third places, especially in rural areas, and thus contribute to equal living conditions.

This programme was a project of the German Library Association within the framework of the Culture in Rural Areas programme of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM). The funding came from the Federal Rural Development Programme (BULE) of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

The programme ran from 2020 to 2023.

Statistics and analysis

The regional office supports the public libraries in their work on the German Library Statistics (DBS), which is supervised, carried out and evaluated by the North Rhine-Westphalia University Library Centre (hbz). The work of the libraries is documented here on a national level and thus enables a comparison of performance on the basis of statistical data on equipment, holdings, loans, finances, expenditure and staff.
You can call up concrete data in the variable evaluation.

Furthermore, the Regional Office collects additional statistical data on public libraries every year. These are also processed and published here.

Building and furnishing advice

DIN 67700 "Construction of libraries and archives - Requirements and recommendations for planning".

DIN standard 67700 was published in May 2017 and replaces DIN technical report 13 "Construction and utilisation planning of libraries and archives" from 2009.
This standard specifies requirements and recommendations to be taken into account when planning libraries and archives. It applies both to new buildings and to the conversion of existing buildings or rooms. Available from: Beuth-Verlag

Handbook on the Construction and Equipment of Public Libraries

The handout is an online publication of the Conference of Library Experts in Germany and was updated in 2016. It is intended to support librarians and planners in library construction projects (new buildings and renovations). It serves as a checklist, a reference tool for building regulations, provides basic knowledge and compares technical solutions and product types. The handout is available in PDF format and can be downloaded as a complete file or chapter by chapter.

Determination of space requirements

The Fundamentals for Good Libraries - Guidelines for Decision-Makers, published by the umbrella organisation "Bibliothek Information Deutschland" (BID), also gives recommendations for the professional standard for calculating the space requirements of a public library. At least 60 sqm per 1,000 inhabitants of the library's catchment area is taken as an indicator of the space available.

Specialist conferences on building and furnishing issues

The AG Bau (Construction Working Group) of the Conference of Library Experts in Germany regularly holds construction seminars on library construction and library furnishing issues. The scripts and presentation slides of these events are available on the Internet.

The future of library construction

Nationally and internationally, a development trend is emerging in which libraries will open up more in the future in order to operate in a common house with new partners in the municipal network. It is about a paradigm shift "from libraries for books/media - to libraries for active people". How this development idea can be reflected in new spatial concepts for libraries is presented in the following lectures.

In German, accessibility refers to the design of the built environment as well as information, communication, etc. in such a way that they can also be used and perceived by people with impairments without additional assistance.

In a broader sense, the principle of accessibility means that not only people with impairments, such as older people with walking, visual or balance impairments, but also people with small children (prams) or those dependent on walkers are included in the freely accessible use of the built environment. This broader view no longer differentiates between individual groups of people; rather, the needs of all people should be taken into account.

Further publications:

We offer the following services free of charge for building and furnishing planning or in the event of spatial changes to libraries:

  • On-site consultation
  • Expert opinions on the suitability of rooms and buildings for library purposes
  • Calculation of space requirements
  • Preparation of sustainable library concepts (mission statement, target group, media and service and event offerings, staff)
  • Development of integrated space utilisation concepts with description of the individual functional units including space requirements as well as equipment with specialist furniture and information technology
  • Arranging visits to exemplary library buildings

Library in the railway station, Luckenwalde
Opening: 19.06.2008
This library was awarded the Brandenburg Building Culture Prize in 2009.

Library in the Kontor, Wittstock
Opening: 23.04.2012
This library was awarded the Brandenburg Building Culture Prize in 2013.

Brandenburg Summer of Reading

The "Brandenburg Summer of Reading" is a reading promotion event that focuses on the joy of reading and fun outside of school hours. The most important cooperation partners are the schools.

Pupils of certain grades, which are determined by the library itself, are invited to participate. During the summer holidays, pupils become members of a summer reading club. Books are provided exclusively for club members.

The participants read books and keep a log book. When they return the media, they answer questions about the book they have read. For this they get a stamp in the logbook. Those who can prove that they have read three books are rewarded and receive a certificate. Some libraries also organise class competitions. The class with the most books read receives a challenge cup.

Many libraries enrich the reading club in the summer with numerous creative activities such as painting together, handicrafts, reading books aloud and talking about them, analogue and digital adventure games, authors as guests in the club and much more. The spectacular end of the project is the closing event.


In the context of our event "Sustainability and Democracy Promotion", Dr. Michael Czolkoß-Hettwer (Netzwerk Grüne Bibliotheken) has provided a list of links. This list offers, among other things, an overview of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the concept of Green Libraries and working aids as well as some project examples from libraries in German-speaking countries.


Newsletter of the Brandenburg State Office for Library Advice

Newsletter Landesfachstelle Bibliotheksberatung Januar 2024 (PDF, 118.13 KB)
© Landesfachstelle für Archive und Öffentliche Bibliotheken Brandenburg

Newsletter Public Libraries 2023:

Newsletter Bibliotheksberatung Landesfachstelle September/Oktober 2023 (PDF, 87.49 KB)
© Landesfachstelle für Archive und Öffentliche Bibliotheken Brandenburg
Newsletter Bibliotheksberatung Landesfachstelle Sommer 2023 (PDF, 127.16 KB)
© Landesfachstelle für Archive und Öffentliche Bibliotheken Brandenburg
Newsletter Bibliotheksberatung Landesfachstelle März 2023 (PDF, 98.4 KB)
© Landesfachstelle für Archive und Öffentliche Bibliotheken Brandenburg


Lutz Sanne
Manager of the Brandenburg State Agency for Archives and Public Libraries
Susanne Taege
Staff member of the Brandenburg State Office for Archives and Public Libraries
Staff Member of the Brandenburg State Office for Archives and Public Libraries