In Brussels, you can find over 80 public general lending libraries and countless public and private specialised libraries throughout the 19 communes. But there are a few things you should know before walking in.
Libraries are the purview of the city’s two official language communities, the French Community and the Flemish Community. Each commune is likely to have at least one French and one Flemish library. However, both French and Flemish libraries will almost always have foreign language sections that will offer books in the other national languages, English, but also Chinese, Italian, Czech, etc.
Opening hours can be pretty hard to pin down. Every library has different hours. All will be closed on Sundays and public holidays. Plus, hours are likely to change during school holidays in the summer and over Easter.
The majority (around three out of four) of libraries in Brussels are run by the French Community. Across Brussels, they have about 60 book lending libraries as well as five multimedia libraries.
Their Bibliopass is free and can be obtained at any of the libraries. This card will allow you to borrow books for all library locations.
Anyone can walk in and browse the shelves, but to borrow books, DVDs or other articles, you’ll need a BruNo card, which is obtain from your local library and costs €2.50 per year.
The Royal Library of Belgium is responsible for keeping copies of every publication produced in Belgium and boasts an impressive collection of manuscripts, engravings and letters from Belgian history.
Belgian Comic Strip Centre, on the other hand, holds the largest collection of comic strips in the world, which you can access Tuesday through Saturday for an admission fee of €1.20.
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