Country profile

The Country profile is a sort of Library Manifesto on sustainable development at national or local level, it illustrates the nature and the level of effort deployed by library associations and their partners in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in libraries.


Download Germany Country profile – PDF version with link references and contact information.
(Excerpt from the 2nd European Report on Sustainable Development and Libraries, prepared by EBLIDA and National Library of Latvia.)

The city of Berlin supported an ERDF library project: BIST (Bibliotheken im Stadtteil, “Libraries in the City area”). BIST I benefited from an ambitious ERDF investment equal to 6.67m (combined with Land support worth 13.17m) having the following objectives:

  • improvement and adaptation of the social infrastructure (construction or renovation and modernisation of libraries);
  • social development of library services in disadvantaged neighbourhoods (intercultural library work, welcome culture, family library);
  • Further development of library services (active services, collection development, new services).


The BIST II programme (2014-2020) aims to improve social integration in disadvantaged neighbourhoods and to ensure opportunities for participation targeted at all population groups. The library space is offered for partnerships with schools, kindergartens, after-school care centres, neighbourhood centres, businesses and other actors in neighbourhood. There are 21 library projects running in various Berlin districts, which are supported by ERDF from 2017 to 2023 for an overall budget of € 6 m.

The German Union of library is associated in two projects implementing SDGs in libraries: “Treffpunkt Deutsch“ – a cooperative project between a library and the immigrant community, providing access to language training and educational resources, implemented at the Stadtbibliothek Heilbronn (meeting SD Gools 4 and 5) – and “Ernte Deine Stadt” (Harvest your city) – the library becomes a urban garden and library rooms are transformed into spaces for reflection and creativity about Sustainability (meeting SD Goals 4, 11, 12, 15, 17.

Within ERDF 2007-2014, two projects were funded in Oranienburg – a city of 40,000 inhabitants in the region of Brandenburg – and Waltershausen – 13,000 inhabitants, in Thuringia. In Oranienburg the region decided to restore the library with a tourist information and a Galerie after having requalified the Old Castle, the Castle Park and the Havel promenade (EFRD support was worth €3,432,750). The Stadtbibliothek Waltershausen was reconstructed in 16th century premises and ERDF support was in the order of €1,111,538.

summarize Related projects on E-PANEMA

Archived project
“Total Digital!” provides funding opportunities for the creation of digital scavenger hunts, the discovery of picture books using multimedia, programme robots or the elaboration of original stories to be filmed.
Archived project
In 2014, the city of Bremen developed a project called “Future Training Opportunities” (Zukunftschance Ausbildung ), targeted to help those with refugee status gain entry-level qualification (EQ, Einstiegsqualifizierung) with accompanying language lessons and socio-educational support. In addition to acquiring language skills, the vocational qualification is essential for successful and sustainable integration into the labour market in Germany. The EQ prepares refugees and asylum seekers for an apprenticeship and a dual training programme in Bremen public service and in private companies. The library joined this city-wide project as an apprenticeship site in 2015.
Archived project
As a key part of the city’s ‘Refugee Help Forum’, the Hamburg Public Library System, Bücherhallen Hamburg, joined forces with the as the Volkshochschule adult education centre to support refugee language acquisition. Bücherhallen Hamburg do this through their ‘Dialog in Deutsch’ volunteer project, which is the largest volunteer language acquisition project in Hamburg. Through 109 conversation groups across 33 libraries, refugees and migrants are able to apply and practice their German speaking skills.
Archived project
The Potsdam City and State Library at the Bildungsforum, Potsdam developed a creative integration initiative for children, where twelve German and refugee children took part together in a reading promotion project lasting several weeks. In cooperation with institutional and associated partner organisations, children between 9 and 11 year-old created large-format photos with tablets, digitally edited them, creatively alienated them, added texts and finally presented them in a joint exhibition.
Archived project
The Heilbronner Stadtbibliothek has set up a project on language skills of immigrants through conversation with volunteers. These services have been very helpful in providing free and open access for all, computer and internet workstations, literature for learning German, personal advice.
Archived project
In 2015, the Bad Oldesloe City Library made use of the political and social trend towards “urban gardening” as an occasion to organise for series of events on gardening in urban areas. Their aim was to spread knowledge about the cultivation of food in the city, to deal with the question of the origins of food and to stimulate discussion within the community.

Main organizations

Germany has a long tradition of “Green Libraries“ which dates back in the 1970s with their first attempts to link Library architecture to collections. The Union of German Library Associations created a focus on UN SDGs  and drafted in 2016 a Position Paper where, Goal after Goal, possible orientations for projects are identified.

newspaper Related news

At the 20th EBLIDA Annual Council Meeting (10 May 2012, Copenhagen, Denmark), Mr. Klaus-Peter Böttger (Director of the Public Library Essen, Germany) was elected President of EBLIDA for the period 2012-2015, succeeding Gerald Leitner.

calendar_month Related activities

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