The International Youth Library is dedicated to supporting international children’s and youth literature through collection, cataloguing, and outreach efforts. The Library’s mission is the preservation of cultural diversity as it is manifested in the world’s literature.

The central task of the Library is to promote global children’s and youth literature of high aesthetic and literary calibre and of significance for cultural literacy.

The Library’s annual program aims to realize this task by hosting exhibitions, readings, workshops, panel discussions, talks, conferences, professional development and an international literature festival.

The exhibition catalogues and international referral catalogues, which the Library publishes serve a specialist audience, while the children’s books it publishes are designed to broaden children’s cultural horizons.

An extensive offering of workshops for school, after school and youth groups shows children and young adults that literature can be meaningful, enriching and entertaining apart from curricular learning objectives.

The Library’s international book holdings and historical collections are available to researchers from Germany and abroad for scholarly use. A stipend program for foreign researchers supports research in the area of international children’s and youth literature and illustration, while also encouraging scholarly exchange and international cooperation.