Reference Library


From May 13th 2020, the Reference Library will reopen its doors again to regular times: Mon-Fri 10 am-4 pm. Due to COVID-19, we need to observe strict rules for safety and hygiene and can only receive visitors after prior registration by email to

Thank you for your patience.

Please note!

Due to stock restructuring from June 2019 to September 2020 we can offer only limited service in the reference library.

Some parts of our collections are temporarily not accessible. If you have any questions regarding the availabilty, please contact Ms. Zimmermann at

Please order books at least 3 weeks prior to your stay in the reading room.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Reference Library

The International Youth Library is the world’s largest reference library for international children’s and youth literature. It collects children’s and young adult books from across the globe.

Due to its one of a kind collector profile, the Library possesses unique holdings from many countries and epochs that cannot be found in any other libraries. The literary quality and originality of the works form the core criteria for inclusion in the collection, along with their ability to inspire new directions in the development of children’s and youth literature in their countries of origin.

The International Youth Library has acquired a collection of more than 650,000 children’s and young adult books in over 240 languages and spanning four centuries. Included among these are about 67,000 historical editions (published prior to 1950). Additionally, the Library possesses 30,000 volumes of international scholarly literature and about 130 current subscriptions to specialized literary journals, 4,400 posters and 40,000 units of documentary material. Children’s magazines and comics are not systematically collected.