Since last Monday, the General Reading Room and the current photography exhibition "MUNICH, LOOK here!" have been open again, albeit with a number of limitations, like all other areas of the library. Thus, for example, the total number of available working places has been reduced due to the applicable distancing rules. Demand by our users has been enormous; all services of the library are highly sought after.
"There is still a long way to go to reach normal operation," says Director General Klaus Ceynowa. "Currently, we can offer 40 percent of our reading-room seating capacities for use at least. Against the background of the current situation, this is actually fairly remarkable. We want to understand this crisis also as an opportunity and have continued enhancing our digital services during the time of closure of the library. Our newly introduced online registration system for the reading rooms, for example, could also be a tool for counteracting overcrowding in the future."
The step-by-step reopening of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek has taken place on the basis of a detailed "hygiene, safety and user-management concept" approved by the Bavarian Ministry of Public Health and Care Services. The loan service and book return service were the first to be reopened (27/04), followed by the research reading rooms (04/05) and the Periodicals Reading Room (13/05), however with reduced/ adapted opening hours. The latest step has been the opening of the General Reading Room and of the exhibition rooms for the library users. The operation of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek has thus been restored almost in its entirety and the complete holdings of around 33 million media, including a great variety of special collections, can be used again.
For the time being, the library will also continue offering services introduced during the time of closure. Among these, there is a low-cost book delivery service directly to our users’ homes and a simplified registration process for all new users. The diverse digital services and holdings of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek of course continue to be available in their entirety.
"We are very pleased, of course," says Ceynowa, "that the use of our digital services, which had been intensive already before, has almost gone through the roof during the time of closure. But we are even more pleased that, slowly and in a controlled way, visitors have started filling our house with life again."
Press release for download (PDF, 456 KB) (in German)
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