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Vienna's Libraries # 2021

Insights into the big book machine

The importance and value of providing spiritual nourishment to the population became apparent during the pandemic. The city libraries made their extensive collections available free of charge via the Internet during the 'lockdown'. As soon as the libraries opened, they were stormed by their readers, who were waiting impatiently to be able to borrow supplies. The libraries have long since included films, DVDs and digital media in their distribution programs.

Almost 700,000 people come to the house on Urban-Loritz-Platz every year. You will find 350,000 books, 100,000 other media pieces as well as computer and internet access. Others come to read, study or just spend time. Some tutors for young refugees hold their lessons in this beautiful atmosphere of "unlimited thinking".

“Basically the main library is a public space, everyone is allowed to enter, you don't have to identify yourself, a place where you can meet, work or study and, importantly, it is a consumption-free place. That is the programmatic self-image of the institution.

Experienced cultural journalists state that the main library of the Gürtel is one of the most important (cultural) sites in the city. In fact, it is a special place. A public space where nobody is asked: What are you doing here? Christian Jahl - for many years the head and heart of this facility has said: "Knowledge and entertainment should be accessible to everyone - simple, extensive and regardless of what one can financially afford."

How does this great book machine work? From the impressive headquarters in the Gürtel to the small branches in the districts. What is the logistics behind the purchase of books, rentals, readings and events? What do readers like about this institution? What special (reading) experiences have you had in the course of your life?

All visitors to Vienna's libraries agree - they all are systemically relevant, as it would be called in a New German!

Production | Clever Contents GmbH on behalf of the ORF Landesstudio Wien

Genre | documentary

Director | Ernst Grandits

Production manager I Saskia Netousek

Cut I Marcus Gotzmann

Length | 25 minutes

Year of production I 2020

First broadcasting | December, 19th 2020 in Österreich Bild on ORF 2

Saskia Netousek
+43 699 10056296

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