EKZ library service

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EKZ library service
legal form GmbH
founding 1947
Seat Reutlingen , Germany
management Jörg Meyer
Number of employees 281
sales EUR 49.17 million
Branch Librarianship
Website www.ekz.de
As of December 31, 2018

Ekz.bibliotheksservice IMG 0530 by Vux.JPG


founding 1947
place Reutlingen
Website www.ekz.de
Stand of the ekz Group at the 106th German Librarianship Day 2017 in Frankfurt

The EKZ library service is a service company based in Reutlingen , whose offers are mainly aimed at public libraries . It maintains a network of lecturers that sifts through around 90,000 new publications in German every year and selects 14,000 to 16,000 titles for the “library inventory”.


The EKZ was founded in 1947 under the name Purchasing Center for Public Libraries by public corporations in Reutlingen (see also shareholder structure ). The foundation of the business was a book store of the department store for public libraries that was moved from Leipzig to Reutlingen during the Second World War .

In 1952, the company moved into the premises on the corner of Bahnhofstrasse and Bismarckstrasse in Reutlingen, which is still in use today. At times up to 420 employees worked here and in the record year 1980 achieved sales of over DM 45 million; In 1987, around 140 people were employed in the company's own large bookbindery alone. Since then, the number of employees has declined steadily while sales have increased overall (see the 2011 annual financial statements).

In 1975 the company changed the name to Central Purchasing for Public Libraries , in 1994 to Central Purchasing for Libraries , and in 1999 to the current name.

The ekz is a member of Bibliothek & Information Deutschland and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).

Shareholder structure

For many years ekz had a special position in the German library system as a commercial enterprise owned by the public sector. The number of shareholders increased from 18 when it was founded in 1947 (5 states, 12 cities and one municipal association) to 71 (including all states including the city of Bremen and the Hamburg Public Library Foundation , 56 other cities, 3 regional authorities and one ) in 1987 further foundation) and again after the fall of the Wall.

Since the first time in 2005, the ekz has been successively privatized, the number of public shareholders has been reduced to 18 (as of 2012) who hold 32.9% of the shares; the remaining shares are held by Jörg Meyer, who has been managing director since 2004 and main owner of ekz since 2007.

Business areas

The core business areas are

  • the distribution of media to (public) libraries, including formal and subject indexing ,
    • Books and a. in various special bindings;
    • For a long time also processing of flat printed sheets into books;
    • so-called ready-to-borrow processing of media (including incorporation of RFID , security and property labels, affixing of signature labels and interest group stickers )
  • Development and sale of library accessories (including bookends, library technology) and
  • Development and sale of library furniture (including shelving systems, counter furniture, book trolleys).

There are currently u. a. Offers in project consulting for libraries, for school libraries, at events for library staff and participation in library societies (currently in Monheim am Rhein , previously in Siegburg and Schriesheim ).

The company is regarded as the most efficient library supplier with the largest market share in Germany.

EKZ information services

Just one year after it was founded, ekz presented printed lists of offers for books, which have been included in the monthly book gazette for public libraries , which has been published independently since 1954 . Essentially, reviews by employees of the library specialist journal Bücherei und Bildung (later Buch und Bibliothek , today BuB - Forum Bibliothek und Information ) or abstracts of the reviews that appear in the extensive review section of this journal were used. At the same time, an ekz information service was set up in 1969, which is still published in slip form today .

Both publications were included in the 1976 Lektoratskooperation with the Association of Librarians of public libraries (VBB, a predecessor of today's Professional Association Information Library ) and the German Library Association introduced; From 1976, according to plan, 9,000 reviews have meanwhile grown to around 20,000 reviews for books and nonbooks in various publications. The magazine Meetings, Annotations , the successor to the Buchanzeiger since 1976 , was discontinued in 2010 due to demand.

Group of companies

In 2000 and 2001 branches were established in Austria and France. In Switzerland, ekz holds shares in SBD.bibliotheksservice ag, which was founded in 2001 . In other European countries, including Russia, ekz works with partner companies.

In addition, EasyCheck, a technology supplier for libraries, and NORIS Transportverpackung in Nuremberg, a manufacturer of media packaging, are a subsidiary of the group of companies.

4Readers has also been part of the ekz group since 2010 . It operates the online portal sofortwelten.de, which sells entertainment media and specialist books as download or mailing products to end customers.

In addition, ekz has a stake in divibib , the operator of the Onleihe , a service for online lending of digital media to libraries.


  • Rupert Hacker: Basic librarianship. 7., rework. Edition. Munich: Saur 2000, ISBN 3-598-11394-3 , p. 57.
  • Library Calendar 2005 . Bock + Herchen, Bad Honnef 2005, p. 175, ISSN  0720-4310
  • SWR, radio broadcast October 1, 2000, 26 min .: Libraries for East and West from Reutlingen - ekz.bibliotheksservie GmbH becomes a european player.
  • 40 years EKZ: a documentation for the company anniversary in 1987. EKZ-Verlag, Reutlingen 1987
  • 1947–2007, there for you for 60 years! EKZ, Reutlingen 2007
  • Hans Joachim Kuhlmann: Librarians, libraries, ekz: the relationships between ekz and the associations of the public librarianship up to the agreement on the cooperation between the lecturers. ekz, Reutlingen 1993. Table of contents
  • Henner Grube: Future of the Library, Use of Digital Resources, School and Library. ekz, Reutlingen 2000, ISBN 3-920279-15-8 . ( ekz concepts. 8, ISSN  0945-7135 ).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Annual financial statements as of December 31, 2018 in the electronic Federal Gazette
  2. Astrid Herbold : Read and let read. In: Der Tagesspiegel . March 24, 2015, p. 25.
  3. Michael Sieber: Only those who change remain true to themselves. Tasks of the ekz in libraries , celebratory speech 2005 on history and tasks since 1947, pdf, accessed on June 28, 2012
  4. a b c d 40 years ekz. Documentation on the company's anniversary in 1987. Reutlingen, 1987, p. 46.
  5. 40 years ekz. Documentation on the company's anniversary in 1987. Reutlingen, 1987, p. 47.
  6. 40 years ekz. Documentation on the company's anniversary in 1987. Reutlingen, 1987, p. 51.
  7. 40 years ekz. Documentation on the company's anniversary in 1987. Reutlingen, 1987, p. 44.
  8. Annual financial statements for the financial year from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011 from the Federal Gazette , accessed on January 30, 2013.
  9. a b 40 years ekz. Documentation on the company's anniversary in 1987. Reutlingen, 1987, p. 50.
  10. GND 2042156-4 , GND 5153980-9 corporation records of the common authority file
  11. GND 5153980-9 , GND 2179271-9 corporation records of the common authority file
  12. 40 years ekz. Documentation on the company's anniversary in 1987. Reutlingen, 1987, p. 43, list of shareholders p. 45.
  13. a b Michael Sieber: Only those who change remain true to themselves. Tasks of the ekz in librarianship (PDF file; 47 kB)
  14. City of Essen: Participation Report 2013 , p. 208.
  15. Overview of the offers on the company's website, accessed on July 12, 2012.
  16. Overview on the company's website, accessed July 12, 2012.
  17. Konrad Umlauf: Books and information brochures online version
  18. DNB 01184955X , DNB 010741933 Title records of the German National Library .
  19. 40 years ekz. Documentation on the company's anniversary in 1987. Reutlingen, 1987, p. 49.
  20. ^ Library Services, Details , accessed June 28, 2012.
  21. Meetings, Annotations , Issue 12/2010, p. 2.
  22. a b c group of companies , accessed on July 12, 2012.
  23. ekz in Europa , accessed on July 12, 2012.
  24. Sofortwelten website and ekz press release .
  25. ^ Onleihe website , accessed on November 6, 2013, and homepage divibib .