Member Spotlight: Goethe-Institut New York Library

Photos courtesy of Goethe-Institut New York Library
The Goethe-Institut is the cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany with a global reach.  Headquartered in Munich, the Goethe-Institut offers German language courses and cultural programs at 149 locations in 92 countries worldwide.  The Goethe-Institut New York serves both as the local outpost in the New York metropolitan area as well as the regional headquarters for North America.
The Goethe-Institut New York Library boasts more than 8,000 volumes including books, audio-books, CDs, DVDs and periodicals. The Library plans to introduce e-books later this year. One of very few German language lending libraries in the U.S., the Library makes its collection available on loan to members across the U.S.
The collection specializes in four main areas:
  • German film
  • contemporary German art
  • contemporary and classic German literature
  • German history from the late 19th century to the present
While the majority of the material is in German, roughly 20% is in English, including a one-of-a-kind collection of works of German literature in English translation.
The Current Writing blog maintained by the Library focuses on activities promoting German literature in the U.S. The Library’s literary program regularly brings German authors to New York and also includes a monthly German Book Club.
Beside its collection development and literary program activities, the Library also dedicates resources to international exchange for librarians. As the de facto German representative to the American library community, the institute is an active member of professional organizations in the U.S. including the American Library Association,  the Association of College & Research Libraries and, of course, METRO! Activities for librarians include support for international study tours, conference participation, scholarships and residencies. The bilingual Librarian in Residence blog comments on developments in both the American and German library communities.
The Library is currently located in Soho, at 72 Spring Street, 11th Floor (between Lafayette and Crosby Streets). This location opened in 2010 and will be Goethe-Institut’s home in New York until renovations are completed on the institute’s Beaux-Arts townhouse opposite the Metropolitan Museum on Fifth Avenue.
For more information, including directions and hours, please visit the Library website
Special thanks to Brigitte Doellgast (Director) and Katherine Lorimer (Reference Librarian) for their  contributions to this feature.
Jason Kucsma
Author: Jason Kucsma
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