Amerika-Gedenkbibliothek

The Amerika-Gedenkbibliothek is one of the largest public libraries in Berlin, Germany. It was co-financed by a donation from the United States. The building was designed by American and German architects, including Fritz Bornemann and Willy Kreuer. It was opened on September 17, 1954 and was originally planned to become the Central Library of Berlin.HistoryIn 1950 the American people had donated $5 million for cultural purposes in recognition of the West Berliners' keeping up during the Berlin Blockade, which took place in 1948/1949. With DM 5.4 million from the grant, and additionally the same sum from its own funds, the Senate of Berlin built the new library on Blücherplatz in Kreuzberg. On 10 September 1954 it opened to become Berlin's central public library. With the construction of the Berlin Wall and the separation of the city in 1961, this concept lapsed. The library was then the major public library in West Berlin. A third of the users were local Kreuzbergers who prior used to frequent one of the four smaller public libraries in their borough.Part of the attractiveness of the AGB derived from it being an American-type open access library, whereas most of Berlin's other libraries held by then only small shares of their bookstock in open access, usually only the non-lending collection. So opening the AGB again gave the Berlin libraries another push forwards in their development. On 31 March 1955, after years of campaigning, Alexander Dehms, succeeded in putting the Berliner Büchereigesetz through which provided for an expansion, better funding and improved equipment of West Berlin's public libraries through budgetary items earmarked for libraries.
Blücherplatz 1,
10961 Berlin

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