Copenhagen Library Tour: Hovedbiblioteket

Main Entrance

This post is first in a series that will explore the libraries in Copenhagen! There are 2 library systems that I will cover during this tour, the Public Library System and the Royal Danish Library System. I plan to visit as many branches around the city as possible during this tour.

Well, in Denmark, your yellow health insurance/CPR card also acts as a library card. (The CPR number is the Danish equivalent of Social Security). All you have to do is register your CPR number as a member of the library systems and there you have it! Imagine that, the library books that you check out are linked to your social security number! 🙂

The first library I will write about is the main public library. The public library in Copenhagen has many branches throughout the city’s boroughs. The “flagship” library of the public library system is “Hovedbiblioteket”, which literally translates to “The Main Library.” It is located in the city center, not too far from Nørreport station.

Hovedbiblioteket is quite large and has multiple floors, accessible by escalators (and of course, stairs). The design is very open and welcoming. Plus, the stacks, tables and chairs all have a very light, modern and modular feel. It looks like a mall. There is also a cafe that sells drinks and light snacks near the main entrance.

To check out books, most people use the self-checkout system. You swipe your library card (e.g. your Social Security card) at a computer terminal and then follow the instructions on the touch-screen kiosk to complete the check-out process. If you can’t visit the library or any of its branches, you have have books delivered to you at home for free once a month (via the “The Library at your Doorstep” program).

I have visited Hovedbibliotek quite a few times to study!

View from above!

View from the Top

In the stacks…


Color-coded lights for each floor

Main Entrance

More photos can be found here: Hovedbiblioteket

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