German Library Association

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German Library Association
legal form registered association
founding February 23, 1949
Seat Berlin
Chair Andreas Degkwitz
Members approx. 2000

In the German Library Association e. V. (dbv), the libraries of all branches and size classes in Germany are united. Equal members are large state libraries as well as small community libraries, special or church libraries, specialist offices for public libraries and training centers. Since 1997 sponsoring members from science and industry have also supported the tasks of the dbv. The purpose of the non-profit association is to promote the library system and the cooperation of all libraries. The tasks of the dbv also include the promotion of books and reading as an indispensable basis for science and information as well as promoting the use of contemporary information technology.


On February 23, 1949, the founding meeting of the German Library Association took place in Nierstein without the participation of the academic libraries. On June 13, 1973, at the general meeting in Hamburg, the statutes were changed and the name was changed to Deutscher Bibliotheksverband e. V. (general association of all libraries, including academic libraries). In the GDR on 18./19. The German Library Association was founded in Berlin in March 1964. At the joint general meeting on February 28, 1991 in Göttingen, the union of the two associations to form the German Library Association e. V. decided.


The association cooperates on behalf of its approximately 2000 members with numerous national and international bodies and organizations.

At the top of the dbv are the Presidium (President and two Vice-Presidents) at the political level and the Executive Committee (7 people) at the working level, which is advised by an advisory board with 42 representatives from the librarianship and politics. Eight subject-specific sections and 16 regional associations represent the interests of their members. The dbv is the institutional association for all libraries in Germany. He is a member of the umbrella association Library & Information Germany (BID).

President for the four-year term from 2003 to 2007 was the mayor of Tübingen , Brigitte Russ-Scherer ; since 2007 it has been the Lord Mayor of Lörrach , Gudrun Heute-Bluhm , who was re-elected for another four years in 2011 and resigned from office in 2014. In 2015, Hans-Joachim Grote, Lord Mayor of Norderstedt, was elected President for the four-year term 2015–2019. After he was appointed Minister of the Interior of Schleswig-Holstein in the summer of 2017, he had to resign on September 1, 2017. The position of president was vacant until the by-election in the general assembly on June 14, 2018.

On June 14, 2018, Dr. Frank Mentrup, Lord Mayor of the City of Karlsruhe, unanimously elected the new President by the General Assembly.

The current chairman of the association for the three-year term from 2019 to 2022 is Prof. Dr. Andreas Degkwitz . He is the successor to Monika Ziller (2010–2013), Frank Simon-Ritz (2013–2016) and Barbara Lison (2016–2019).

The first managing director in the old Federal Republic was Horst Ernestus from 1957 to 1964 , then Klaus-Dietrich Hoffmann until 1975; then Günter Beyersdorff , the long-time director of the German Library Institute , which, after its establishment, took over the library department from the DBV. From 2002 to 2005 Arend Flemming was managing director for dbv, followed by Barbara Schleihagen in 2006. The dbv provides information about its work through its dbv yearbook, through individual articles in specialist journals, at its annual meeting and always up-to-date via the Internet.


The eight sections bring together libraries of the same size or category, which share their experiences and work together on technical issues. In addition, working groups within the section deal with special topics. As part of the internal association work, the chairmen of the sections accompany the dbv board in its work as advisory board members.

  • Section 1 = Public library systems and libraries for service areas of over 400,000 inhabitants / 20 members
  • Section 2 = Public library systems and libraries for service areas from 100,000 to 400,000 inhabitants / 87 members
  • Section 3A = Public library systems and libraries for supply areas from 50,000 to 100,000 inhabitants and districts with library facilities / 104 members
  • Section 3B = Public library systems and libraries for supply areas up to 50,000 inhabitants and districts with library facilities / 1137 members
  • Section 4 = Universal Scientific Libraries / 276 members
  • Section 5 = Scientific Special Libraries / 288 members plus corporate membership (50 members) of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Spezialbibliotheken eV (ASpB) with approx. 1,000 members
  • Section 6 = national and regional library institutions and rural districts without library facilities (state and church departments, library associations, ekz) / 49 members
  • Section 7 = Conference of the information and library science education and study courses KIBA / 11 members
  • Section 8 = works libraries, patient libraries and prison libraries / 14 members


Publicist Prize of the German Libraries (Helmut Sontag Prize)

In order to draw the public's attention to the achievements of the library system, the Publizistpreis der Deutschen Libraries , the Helmut Sontag Prize , was founded in 1987 . The prize - endowed with 5,000 euros - has been awarded jointly with the Scientific Book Society since 2010 and honors journalists who have effectively promoted the library system through outstanding individual contributions or through the continuity of appropriate reporting .

Library of the year

Award of the Cologne City Library as "Library of the Year 2015" by the President of the German Library Association Hans-Joachim Grote to the director Dr. Hannelore Vogt . In addition: Laudator Gert Scobel , Mayor Elfi Scho-Antwerpes .

The Library of the Year award , the only national library award, honors exemplary and exemplary library work. The dbv awards the prize together with the Deutsche Telekom Foundation. It is endowed with 20,000 euros. In 2020, the “Library of the Year in Small Municipalities and Regions” award was given for the first time for exemplary and innovative areas of a library.

German non-fiction award

The German Library Association awarded the German Non-Fiction Prize , which at the time was endowed with DM 10,000 and donated by the City of Oldenburg .


  • Hans Joachim Kuhlmann: The Federal Association of German Library Associations and the German Library Association , in: Georg Ruppelt (Hrsg.): Library policy in East and West. Past and present of the German Library Association, in: Journal for Libraries and Bibliography, Special Issues, Issue 72, Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1998, ISBN 3-465-02999-2
  • Hans Joachim Kuhlmann: The German Library Association 1973–1991 . In: Georg Ruppelt (Ed.): Library Policy in East and West: History and Present of the German Library Association. Frankfurt am Main 1998, pp. 33–64 (Journal for Libraries and Bibliography: Special Issues; 72). ISBN 3-465-02999-2

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Press release of the dbv from March 19, 2013
  2. Organization on the dbv website (accessed July 13, 2020)
  3. Ute Klaassen: Goodbye Sir. See you again. Horst Ernestus is retiring . In: BuB - Buch und Bibliothek 42 (1990), pp. 980-984, here: p. 982