Dear colleagues,

We look forward to welcoming you to the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg next year under the motto

Open is our city, which for centuries has thrived on the exchange of goods and information with the whole world and whose society today is characterized more than ever by diversity and a variety of lifestyles. As libraries in Hamburg, we play a decisive role in shaping this diverse and open society – because we ourselves are diverse and represent different library sectors; because we provide literature and information, especially under the keyword openness and because we, as third places, offer space for transparency, open exchange and discourse.

We work locally in all districts and neighbourhoods, in educational, research and cultural institutions from the centre of Hamburg to the outskirts. Freedom also means freedom of information. We teach media skills, provide training and also act as cultural and social centres for the local communities in all parts of the city. In this way, we contribute to a lively district culture from Bergedorf to Blankenese and from Volksdorf to Harburg, which is essential for a democratic, diverse and cosmopolitan city.

As a ‘gateway to the world’, Hamburg is also globally oriented. This means that we face up to the challenge of critically scrutinizing our history. However, we are also involved in current discussions and are thinking about a future in which the global knowledge society is increasingly confronted with fake news and must face up to the challenges posed by the spread of artificial intelligence. We libraries stand for open access to knowledge and for reliable, contemporary information transfer at a high level.

We invite you to get to know our city and to discuss how we can shape a society characterized by tolerance, openness and diversity.