German National Library of Economics named as Library of the Year 2014: excellence and radical innovation convince the jury

Berlin, 30th June 2014  
The German Library Association (dbv) honours the ZBW – German National Library of Economics – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics as “Library of the Year 2014”. The ZBW will receive the only national library award at a prize-giving ceremony on National Library Day, 24 October 2014. It is the fifteenth time that the “Library of the Year” award is bestowed.

The award to the ZBW honours a library which meets the challenges of technological change and combines excellent digital performances with high-quality services for researchers and students. The library uses social media to forge new paths in the services for information provision far beyond the usual library standards. The ZBW is a radically modern library whose customer- and innovation-oriented approach is exemplary for other libraries. The ZBW shares its knowledge with national and international libraries and thus contributes to the development of the library community.  

The ZBW was chosen from a field of excellent competitors encompassing eight nominated libraries. The jury judged all nominated libraries by the following criteria: the quality and innovativeness of their librarianship, their future orientation, sustained impact, attractive services, effective public relations, international engagement, and their local, regional and international networking.  

The ZBW initiated in 2013 the Leibniz Research Alliance Science 2.0 promoting transdisciplinary research into the changes in research and publishing processes engendered by social media. In addition, it established its own international group of researchers in Science 2.0 to explore the effects of these changes on scholarly information provision, and to develop new library services based on these findings.  

The ZBW optimises its services in close dialogue with its customers. It concentrates on the fields of Open Access, publishing processes, integration of heterogeneous information, personalisation of services in collaborative environments, user research, and digital preservation.  

The ZBW offers international information in economics free of charge in its portal EconBiz. International researchers can use it to access almost one million free online documents, with an EconBiz app for mobile use. The Open Access publication server EconStor is Germany’s largest repository with more than 70,000 economics documents. Almost 250 institutions use it for the digital dissemination of their publications. The ZBW is active in digital preservation to ensure the long-term accessibility of these documents. It is also newly active in the fields of research data in addition to classical text media.  

The ZBW also uses social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ in its communication with its target groups and is a leader in this field among German libraries.  

The jury headed by Gudrun Heute-Bluhm, president of the German Library Association, put particular emphasis on the fact that despite its national mission and focus on novel online services, the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics aims for close ties with its local partners. “The library offers a very attractive working and learning environment and provides interesting events for local users, such as book presentations or its participation in the “Night of Knowledge,” the president said during the jury’s meeting.  

Date of the Award Ceremony:

24 October 2014, 11:00h  

More information:

German Library Association (dbv)
The German Library Association unites almost 2,100 libraries of all kinds and sizes in Germany. The non-profit organisation has been promoting librarianship and library cooperation for 65 years. It aims to show the impact of libraries on culture and education and to strengthen their place in society. Promoting books and reading as the indispensable basis for science and information is a major task of the association, as well as promoting the use of modern information technologies.  


German Library Association
Maiken Hagemeister, Press Officer and Head of Communication
Telephone: +49 (0) 30 644 98 99 25

ZBW – German National Library of Economics – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
Dr Doreen Siegfried, Head of Marketing and Public Relations
Telephone: +49 (0)431 8814 455

Press release in pdf-format