You’ve recently moved to Luzern and are wondering how you can feed your reading habits? Look no further. Here is a simplified guide to the city’s public libraries.

There are two main public libraries in the city, namely the Zentral- und Hochschulbibliothek (ZHB) Luzern and Stadtbibliothek Luzern.

  1. The Zentral- und Hochschulbibliothek or the Central Library is located on the Sempacherstrasse 10 since 1951 and is supported by the Canton of Lucerne. Here you will most definitely find historical collections, valuable manuscripts, early prints, maps & plans and archives of varied disciplines in print and digital medium. ZHB Luzern can also be found at three other locations viz. Uni/Ph Building, Hochschule Luzern – Wirtschaft and Hochschule Luzern – Informatik.

A lifetime library card can be obtained online or on-site by paying CHF 10. You can borrow and return books/DVDs for free at any of the four locations. The standard borrowing period of a book is four weeks and DVD is two weeks which can be extended maximum five times consecutively. If you are a student at any German-speaking university or Fachhochschule in Switzerland, you can access the library for free.


[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Tip: Great source for research and reference books for school and university studies. [/perfectpullquote]


The library also offers online access. With an online user account, you can extend the lending period of a borrowed book as well as reserve a book in advance. The prepaid library card allows you access to copying and scanning facilities at minimal charges.

You can find the ZHB addresses, opening timings and other detailed information here.


[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Extra tip: On a sunny day, you can enjoy the Vögeligärtli in front of the library which has a children’s play area and a ping-pong table![/perfectpullquote]


  1. The Luzern Stadtbibliothek or City library is in the Bourbaki-Panorama building at Löwenplatz since 2000, and accomodates the latest publications of diverse genres. The Stadtbibliothek is a part of the Bibliotheksverband Region Luzern (BVL), which also includes libraries from seven different locations viz, Adligenswil, Emmen, Horw, Kriens, Luzern Ruopigen, Meggen and Vitznau.

The City library offers various yearly subscription plans, involving physical and electronic media, which can be ordered online via website or on-site. The residents of the above-mentioned municipalities pay lesser subscription fees than other municipalities. The ‘Offline’ subscription plan is most popular in Luzern municipality, where you pay CHF 50 per adult per year, kids are free. Students can avail the subscription at discounted rates. Standard borrowing period of a book is four weeks and of DVDs/Blu rays is two weeks which can be extended up to three consecutive times.

Once you are a member of the Stadtbibliothek you can borrow and return media at any of the eight BVL locations. Outside the opening hours, you can return the borrowed books in specially provided drop-boxes near the library, to avoid late fees. In addition, you can also return the books at Buchparadies at the Luzern main station. You also receive an online user account with which you can extend the lending period of a borrowed media as well as reserve a media in advance. Note that reservation charges may apply.

You can find the BVL library addresses, subscription plans, opening timings and other detailed information here.


[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] Tip: Check out BVL’s event calendar. They organise interesting book reading and story-telling events for all age groups at different locations. Extra tip: Do visit the Bourbaki-Panorama museum, which houses one of its kind panoramic painting in the world, enjoy international movies at the Kino and relish a nightcap at the rotating Bistro on the ground level! [/perfectpullquote]


Most of the books in the libraries here are in German language. But you will also find a small collection of English and French books. The e-book collection which these libraries offer is in different languages and extensive. It could be easily accessed by either library card via this website.

Did you know? Lili Centre also has a small collection of English books. Come visit us there!



-Jalashree Shrikhande

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