How to use the public library in Prague
Did you know the Czech Republic has the densest public library network in the world? There are approximately 5,410 public libraries in the Czech Republic with more than 42 branches of Municipal Library of Prague in the capital city. Here’s a simple guide how to become a member of the library and make use of all its services if you’re a student in Prague.
The first public library in Prague opened in 1891 on the street Na Zderaze. Today, you can lend one of more than 344 000 books at one of 42 branches of the Municipal Library of Prague which are situated around the city. The library does not only have books for people of all ages and tastes in literature, but lends films, newspapers, music CDs or LPs, audiobooks, sheet music and maps, too. Since 2010, you can also borrow an e-reader here.
The branches of the Municipal Library of Prague also serve as local community centers, where cultural events such as public readings, small concerts, exhibitions, art workshops, lectures, training sessions, seminars, theatrical performances, or film projections take place. These events are held for a small fee or completely free of charge.
You can also use library’s computers for internet access and most of the branches offer black and white copying. At some branches, there are designated rooms where you can listen to your favourite CDs or LPs. You can even find a digital piano for playing compositions in the Central Library and in Bohnice. The Art Library in the Opatov branch lends pictures and graphic works.
To borrow books, music or films to take home and use other services of the library, you must become a member.
If you are an EU citizen, it costs 60 CZK a year in case you have the “Lítačka” city card, “InKarta” from České dráhy or an ISIC Card which then serve as your registration card. If you do not have any of these, you have to pay an extra 20 CZK for the special reader’s card.
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Citizens of other countries can become members based on proof of residence in the Czech Republic (e. g. residence permit). If you cannot prove your stay, you can still become a member if you submit an ID and a deposit instalment of 1 000 CZK or request the presence of a guarantor. For detailed information visit https://www.mlp.cz/en/services/.