Introducing the public library Tiergarten Süd with its innovative concept

Anja Seifert

Public library Tiergarten Süd, Berlin, Germany.

Stefan Rogge

Head librarian, public library Tiergarten Süd, Berlin, Germany.

Copyright © 2017 by Anja Seifert and Stefan Rogge. This work is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License: 


Located in the centre of Berlin, next to the Potsdamer Platz, it is one the smallest public libraries in Berlin. After struggling against closing because of financial shortages, the library finds itself in a process of transformation. Since 2013 people from its neighbourhood are working as volunteers for the library. Together with the leadership of the public library of Mitte they formed a new focus. Inspired by several projects in the close surroundings they decided to lay the main focus on urban gardening, Do it Yourself and ecological sustainability.

With the generous financial support of the EU-funded project EFRE-BISTII it is now possible to strengthen our focus and establish a new community centre for the residence. The diversity in this district in regards of language, culture and income is reflected in several activities that take place in the library. A Repair Cafe, literacy events and informative meetings about gardening topics build the base of our new concept. Supported by the first „Leihsamerei“ in a public library in Germany, a shelf with homegrown seeds from the surrounding gardens to borrow, we can show the multiplicity of a small library.


Keywords: public library, OPL, urban gardening, ecological sustainability, Do it Yourself, Repair Cafe


Presentation: pdf

curriculum vitae

Anja Seifert

Surname: Seifert, née: Müller

Given Names: Anja Eva

Title: MA, Dr.

Date of birth: 24/12/1979

Place of birth: Berlin

Business Address: Bibliothek Tiergarten Süd Lützowstr. 27

10785 Berlin Germany

Phone number: +49/30 2300 3088


Family status: Married, 2 children


Mar. 2015 –  today Librarian at the public library Tiergarten Süd

Mar. 2007 – Dec. 2011 Office employee at Satz-Rechen-Zentrum Hartmann &  Heenemann

GmbH & Co. KG Berlin

Instruction and supervision of staff in the following projects:

  • Transferring the library catalogue of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek into the online database for journals (ZDB)
  • Transferring the IFK of the Bayerische Staatbibliothek München into the online catalogue (Bibliotheksverbund Bayern)
  • Transferring the library catalogue of the Erdiözese München-Freising into the online catalogue (Bibliotheksverbund Bayern


Oct. 2005 – Oct. 2010 Postgraduate student at the Technische Universität Berlin in German


Titel of the dissertation: „Ein gemeinsames Band umschlingt  die ganze organische Natur“ Georg Forsters und Alexander von Humboldts Reisebeschreibungen im Vergleich

Degree conferred: cum laude

Study of the travelogue of Alexander von Humboldt and Georg Forster Oct. 1999 – Sept. 2005 Studies  at  the  Technische  Universität  Berlin  and  the  Humboldt

Universität zu Berlin Subjects:

  • Neuere Deutsche Literatur (Modern German literature) (major)
  • Neuere Geschichte (Modern history) (minor)
  • Bibliothekswissenschaft (Library science) (minor)

Grade of degree: sehr gut (A)

Jun. 2003 – July 2003 Internship at the National Museums of Scotland  Oct. 2002 – Jun. 2003 Studies at the University of Edinburgh (Scotland/UK) Mar. 2001 – Apr. 2001 Internship at the Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv Berlin Sept. 2000 – Oct. 2000 Internship at public libraries of Berlin-Wilmersdorf

Jun. 1999 A levels (Abitur) at Luise-Henriette-Gymnasium in Berlin


Oct. 2002 – Jun. 2003 Erasmus scholarship for studies at the University of Edinburgh