The Reading Room forms the centrepiece of the library. Across its three floors you will find 200,000 documents covering the main fields of knowledge. You can remove these documents from the shelves yourself, view them and borrow them.
Only a fraction of the BnL’s collections can be viewed in the Reading Room. The remaining documents are in the closed stacks or are available as online publications.
The Reading Room offers different ways of using its resources, from comfortable armchairs to desks with computers. Over the three floors there are also eleven carrels (group study rooms), three soundproof booths and a Music Room, as well as a Media Centre and a Rare Books Reading Room.
Information desks and soundproofed telephone booths are available in the Reading Room. The loans desk is located at the entrance. On the third floor there are toilets and a water fountain. All public areas are equipped with lifts, adapted sanitary facilities and ramps.
Good manners in the Reading Room
The National Library is the ideal place to work and study quietly. Let us be respectful of each other and limit the noise we make.
As the National Library is an archive library, it is important to protect its holdings. For this reason, bags, coats and bulky items are not allowed in the Reading Room. Free lockers are available in the foyer.
The consumption of food and drink (including water) is also prohibited in the Reading Room. You may ask why? Accidents happen and can cause irreparable damage to a document. Like most national libraries in other countries, we have decided to avoid this risk once and for all.
The Reading Room is arranged according to the DEWEY Decimal Classification (DDC), which is used by many libraries around the world today. It subdivides all knowledge into ten main classes, represented by numbers.
000 Computer science and book science
In sector 000 on the 3rd floor, you will find books on the following disciplines: computer science, information science, media, library science and general encyclopaedias.
Sector 100 on the 3rd floor contains works on philosophy from antiquity to the present day. Here you will find, among other things, metaphysics, logic and ethics. It should be noted that psychology is also included in Dewey class 100. On the other hand, psychiatry, which is related to the field of medicine, is referenced in sector 600.
In sector 200 on the 3rd floor, you will find books on religions, textbooks on the theory and history of religion.
300 Social sciences
On the 3rd floor, social sciences are listed according to the different disciplines such as sociology and anthropology, political science, statistics, economics and law. Pedagogy is also part of this section.
Sector 400 is located on the 3rd floor. It contains books and journals on languages and linguistics.
On the 3rd floor, the sciences are listed according to different disciplines such as mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, earth sciences, biology and zoology. It should be noted that works on psychiatry, surgery or pathology are to be found in the 600 Technology sector.
Sector 600 on the 3rd floor refers to applied sciences. It includes medicine, engineering, agriculture, management, chemical engineering including metallurgy and biotechnology, construction and also home economics with culinary arts as a sub-category.
700 Arts and recreation
This sector is located on the 2nd floor and contains documentation on painting, music, performing arts, photography, graphic and decorative arts as well as architecture and urban planning. On the ground floor, you will also find documents from the Dewey class 700 Sports and Leisure.
This area is located on the 3rd floor next to section 400 Language. It contains, among others, works of English, French, Luxembourgish and German literature.
900 History and geography
This area is located on the 3rd floor. The geography area is referenced by continents and then by countries, including Luxembourg in category 914.9. In the history sector, you will find genealogy and general biographies, history of the ancient world and history from the Middle Ages to the present day.
Books on the history of Luxembourg can be found in category 949.