The OBA offers free access to information, knowledge and culture to everyone, by offering high quality library services for education, participation, and cultural life.
The first Amsterdam Public Libary (situated at the Keizergracht) opened its doors in 1919. In 1977, the main public library moved to the Prinsengracht, and thirty years later, to a new building on the Oosterdokseiland, near Amsterdam central station. It is now the largest public library of Europe. Beside the main central library, 28 other OBA branches can be found throughout the city, as well as in Diemen and Ouder-Amstel.
The new central library was designed by the state architect Jo Coenen. Anually, the Library reaches 2,5 million visitors and users looking for information, culture, communication and education.