The Rotterdam Library (Bibliotheek Rotterdam) includes the Central Library (Centrale Bibliotheek) and 23 branches. Every year, the library draws 3.4 million people, making it Rotterdam’s most popular public institution. With 24,000 square metres of floor surface, the Central Library is one of the largest public libraries in the Netherlands.
The most striking part of the Rotterdam Library collection is the so-called Erasmus Collection. It includes the largest collection of books ‘about’ and ’by’ Erasmus in the world. In addition the Rotterdam Library also owns a collection of old children’s books numbering 6,000 volumes and growing by the year. Some 300 books from this collection have been made digitally available via the Memory website.
The Library is more than simply a place where people borrow books. The Central Library includes the Bibliotheektheater (Library Theater) and the Centrale Discotheek (Central Discotheque), along with other facilities. A number of activities are organized both in the main library and in the local branches; the Book Week, the Children’s Book Week Festival and the Readers Festival are yearly recurring highlights.