Frequently Asked Questions

Are you wondering about how the library works or about its collections?
Consult the most frequently asked questions in this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and you will certainly find your answer. Click on the question for the answer to be displayed.

Otherwise, fill in the contact form and we will answer you as quickly as possible. Thank you.

Ways of accessing the Bpi

Do you need to register to access the Bpi?
No registration is necessary to enter the library. Free and open access. Be careful as every exit from the library is definitive. You will need to revisit from the outside and wait in the waiting line, if there is one, to be able to come in again.

Does everyone need to join the waiting line?
Priority access through the staff entrance is authorized for the disabled, people over 60 and pregnant women on presentation of suitable evidence.
For more information, you may refer to the Practical information section (Access).

What times are advised to avoid the waiting line?
Sundays and school holidays are periods which are generally very busy. During the summer, visitor flow is smooth every day.

In order to know the amount of crowding at the entrance to the library, you can consult the webcam on our site or download for free the application Affluences (Rush hours) to know the current waiting time and the forecasted waiting time for each hour of the day.

Security measures

What security measures are in place to guarantee security to visitors to the library?
Three points of vigilance are observed:

The entrance to the Public Information Library is located at the back of the Center Pompidou, rue Beaubourg. Persons with priority access (over 60 years of age, pregnant women, the deaf, hearing impaired and mentally handicapped) as well as persons with impaired mobility or mobility impairment and persons with visual impairments may use the staff entry of  the Pompidou center, located at the corner of Renard and Saint-Merri streets.

At the entrance of the library
A control at each entrance comprising of porticos with metal detectors, is operated, made complete by a bag search.

Inside the library
Security agents carry out regular rounds in the library. In case of need, do not hesitate to get help from the librarians posted at the nearest information desk.

Can you refuse to be searched?
Any person who will not submit to these security controls will be denied entry.

Are bags and luggage allowed in the library?
Access to the Public Information Library is not permitted for visitors who are carrying bulky items, suitcases, backpacks and other bags and luggage larger than the authorised dimensions. (40 cm x 55 cm x 20 cm).
Only two bags are allowed per visitor.

They are liable to be confiscated?
The following items are prohibited in the Library:
- Alcoholic drinks and illicit substances
- Motorbike or scooter helmets
- Wheeled objects (roller-skates, scooters, skateboards, etc.)
- Arms and munitions of any kind
- Explosive, flammable and volatile substances

Why must we not leave bags unattended?
We recommend you to be vigilant with regard to your own bags, to respect scrupulously security measures and to point out to staff any package or object which appears to have been abandoned.
Attentive to each of you, we thank you in advance for your trust, good will and understanding.

Document access terms

Is it possible to borrow a document (a book, a review, a manual...) from the library?
The Bpi is not a lending library. You can only consult documents in situ, inside the library’s own space.
Can you ask for a document from another library to be transferred to the Bpi so as to be able to consult it?
The transfer of documents from one library to another, at the request of a reader, is not possible at the Bpi.

Eating and drinking in the library

Can you eat and drink in the library?
For reasons of hygiene and respect for the integrity of the collections, it is forbidden to eat inside the Library. Beverages are allowed if they are in closed containers. A cafeteria for visitors is available on level 2.

Is it possible to warm up a meal in the cafeteria?
A microwave oven is installed in the cafeteria. You can use it free of charge to warm up a meal that you have purchased in the cafeteria. On the other hand, if it’s a meal brought in from outside, you’ll be charged 2€ for this service.

Lost objects

How can you recover an object lost or forgotten in the library?
As soon as possible after the loss of your object, go to the reception desk General information situated on Level 1 so as to be able, if need be, to recover that object.

Working conditions

Can you work in a group in the library?
The Library does not have rooms dedicated to work in groups.

Are there power points available to plug in personal devices (laptop, tablet, smartphone)?
Power points are present on the work tables on a level with the lamps to recharge your devices. It is strictly forbidden to unplug the library’s electrical devices.

Do you have access to office software in the library?
The office suite Libre Office is installed on the library’s work stations.
Don’t forget! Document recovery is different according to the type of work station used:

1) On work stations connected to the Internet, you have the opportunity:
- to print a document
- to send a document to your personal messaging service
However, you cannot register a document on a USB flash key.
2) On computers in the Autoformation (Self-learning) area (without an Internet connection), you can:
- recover your document only to print
Good to know: whatever the work station used, all documents created can be recorded. It’s a temporary safeguard for these documents will be erased at the end of your session.


How to access the Internet from within the library?
You have two ways to access the Internet freely and free of charge at the Bpi.
- From the work stations in the library without reservation or time limitation.
- From your personal equipment (laptop, tablet, smartphone) by connecting to the “Wi-Fi-bpi” network of the library.
Good to know: A wide selection of web sites (including Pôle Emploi French job center) can be consulted from the multi-media terminals.


Is it allowed to make photocopies or to photograph documents in the library?
Self-serve photocopiers and print servers can be found on levels 2 and 3. In order to know the prices of them, consult the Practical information section - Other services.
Photographing documents is authorised if they are reserved strictly for private purposes and not for public use.

Can you print documents from a computer in the library or your own personal computer?
It is possible to print documents using the computers available in the library and from your personal computer, tablet or smartphone connected to the library wifi (wifi-bpi).

Is it possible to print documents stored on my USB flash key?
Printing from a USB flash key is possible by going to the Photocopying space situated on level 2 of the library.

Can you download onto a USB flash key electronic documents found on the Internet or on one of the library’s electronic resources?
No, it is not possible to download electronic documents on a USB stick, USB ports are not accessible.


How can you contact the library?
Vous pouvez joindre la Bpi :

You can contact the Bpi:

By phone:
+33(0)1 44 78 12 75 (Reception desk of the Library)

By mail:
Bibliothèque publique d'information
75197 Paris cedex 04

Do you want more information on a specific topic or to send us a message? Please complete this form.

Employment and internships

How do you apply for a job at the library?
You can apply by filling in the form corresponding to your request (placement, temporary and permanent positions) by accessing the section Jobs and placements.

In the event of a spontaneous application, please send an email to:

Remote documentary resources

Can a librarian help me from home with my documentary research?
You can access from the comfort of your home Eurêkoi, a free of charge question and answer service open to all. Questions can be put via the Bpi website (Eurêkoi section), the public Facebook group Eurêkoi or directly on the Eurêkoi website. You can also download free of charge the Eurêkoi application.

Answers are given in less than 72 hours by Bpi librarians or by libraries in partnership within the Eurêkoi network. They will answer all your questions apart from those that call for a medical or legal diagnosis.


How can I access from home the electronic resources that the library subscribes to?
Most of the electronic resources of the Bpi are only accessible in the library’s spaces from any apparatus connected to the Internet (smartphone, tablet and laptop). Nevertheless, three platforms allow for remote consultation after the creation of a personal account or download of an application dedicated to the inside of the library:
- Bibliovox
- Numerique Premium: ebooks in history and human sciences
- Pressreader: press shop online (application to be downloaded)

You can browse from home the complete range of electronic resources of the Bpi by consulting the catalogue or the section Other Internet on the website.

Suggestions for purchases/ Donations

May suggestions for book purchases be envisaged to enrich the library’s shelves?
You can suggest document purchases via the contact form of the site (choose from the list: “suggestions for acquisitions for the catalogue”) or in situ from librarians in the information desks (readers’ suggestion book).
Your suggestions will afterwards be studied as they come in as a function of the documentary policy of the library. You will receive an answer as quickly as possible.

Is it possible to donate documents to the library?
The Bpi does not accept donations from private individuals, organisations or publishers.


How can you know if a document looked for in the catalogue is available?
You will find under the notice for the document the information relative to any copy or copies that the library possesses. These indications will allow you to know the location of the document on the shelves when it is available (relevant level and space) or to access it directly online in the case of an electronic resource.
Certain documents already appear in the catalogue while they are not yet on the shelf. These are documents that have been ordered but not yet received, or are being processed or repaired. Their arrival on the shelf varies from between a few days to a few weeks. Do not hesitate to approach a librarian who can suggest to you other interesting resources while you are waiting.

Good to know: the catalogue allows you to refine the results of your search as a function of document availability.

Does the Bpi offer collections for children?
The Library does not have a Youth section and its documents are mainly designed for adults, but some of its documents and activities might nevertheless interest young children.
The smallest children will be able to watch animated films and filmed shows (comfortable viewing seats are available on Level 3 of the library, Arts section), listen to recordings of stories or nursery rhymes.
Elsewhere in the library, slightly older children will be able to play certain video games (watch out though, as the selection is regularly renewed, check the minimum recommended age for each game), learn languages, browse through documentaries...
Discover our special family leaflet and consult on the website the page: "Are you a family?"

Events diary

How can you know the programme for cultural events and mediations organised by the library?
In order to know all the activities, put forward by the library, you can consult:
- The diary section on the website
- The monthly publication Actu Bibliothèque (Library News) available at the Bpi
- Touch screens installed all around the library
- Flyers presenting the cultural events.