They’re not new but probably you didn’t realise yet their offer: Berlin’s public libraries give you access to English e-books, international newspapers, e-learning platforms and movie streaming – for less than €1 per month. Here is how it works.
Do you know the most expensive video streaming service these days?
Yes, libraries. Those houses with books inside which you can borrow and then need to bring them back in time. Lot’s of walking and carrying. But nowadays, this is much easier – since also Berlin’s libraries have a big online offer. And they cooperate with other platforms, so your membership is valid in many places.
What do I get?
- Overdrive: E-books & audio books, fiction + non-fiction, recently published, not only in German but also in English, French, Italian, Russian, Arabic.
- Onleihe: E-books, e-papers & magazines
- Pressreader: International newspapers & magazines (e.g. Guardian, Washington Post, Forbes, Vogue, Le Figaro, El País, Wyborcza, Izvestia)
- Statista: verifiable and relevant statistics on markets, politics and social issues from 18.000 sources
- LinkedIn Learning: Online courses on IT, business and creative topics
- Lecturio: Online courses on career, finance, lifestyle, medicine, software
- LinguaTV: Online language courses in English, French, Italian, Spanish and German as a foreign language
- Duden: Full access. The “German Oxford dictionary” – what Germans check when in doubt about their language
- Ava: Artsy films and documentaries, some with English subs
- Filmfriend.de: Movies, series, documentaries
And of course, there are still the classic libraries with paper books, not only in German. And not only books, but also DVDs and board games! Take a look into their collection, the whole website is also available in English.
How much does it cost?
The regular fee is €10 for a whole year, students pay €5, and if you are unemployed, it is free.
How do I become a member?
There are around 80 public libraries in Berlin, and one pass works for them all.
- Go in person to one of them (check their opening times, they are also on Google)
- bring your ID or passport, and if it does not contain your address: your Meldebestätigung (=receipt of your Anmeldung)
- if you want a discount: proof for being a student or unemployed
- fill out a form on the spot
- pay the yearly fee
- get your new library ID
And that’s it: You are ready and equipped for the next lockdown.