Wednesday, February 15, 2012

American Corner – Wroclaw’s English Language Library

Overlooking the main square, the City of Wroclaw’s English language library may be small but it bursts with variety.  Called American Corner (beware, you are greeted by a life-size cardboard cutout of Obama as you enter), it is actually only a part of the larger Lower Silesian Public Library.  The majority of items available are donations from expatriates or social and library programs in the US.  As such, a person can find a light but healthy selection, including novels, biographies, poetry, language learning materials, reference books, young adult, children’s, history, magazines, and more.  Non-paper media available includes a nice selection of DVDs, as well as a computer area which features approximately ten consoles, a printer, and internet access. 

The selection of books on hand small but quality, it would be impossible for any reader not to find something to enjoy.  Library staff all speak excellent English and are most helpful in locating what you need.  The card catalog is digital and can be accessed either in the library or online. (  The comfortable reading area with soft, plush chairs available while you peruse a book you’d like to borrow is a nice touch, the sounds of the main city square drifting in from the window.  (As a side note, the Lower Silesian Public Library also features the Goethe Institute - a German library - and Romanian and Korean libraries alongside its Polish collection.) 

Though I have not (yet) been to the British Council Library located nearby, I can say I’m more than pleased to have American Corner as part of my city.  To be a foreigner living in Poland, yet have access to public books in my language is a small blessing I’m appreciative of.  As such, I recommend stopping by 58 Rynek in the heart of Wroclaw (between Literatka and Jazzda as in the photo in the upper left) to have a look around and support the library.  If you have English language material in good condition but want to throw it away, by all means donate it to American Corner instead.  Perhaps someone else might gain some enjoyment from it?  

American Corner is a luxury which mostly depends on its community for survival.  Even if paling in size to many American libraries, I’m proud to support it.  So if you’re a foreigner spending time in Wroclaw, I guarantee it’s worth a look.

Click here for library website (note: website only in Polish, so it's better to visit the library in person).

No comments:

Post a Comment