Frequently asked questions
Do you have questions about how the library works or its collections?
See the questions asked most often in this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section and you’ll certainly find your answer. Click on the question to show the answer.
Otherwise, fill in the contact form and we’ll answer you as soon as possible. Thank you.
Ways to use the Bpi
Do you have to register to use the Bpi?
No registration is necessary to enter the library. Access is free and free of charge. Please be aware that leaving the library is final. To come back in you will need use the main entrance and wait in the queue, if there is one, to come back in.
Does everyone have to queue to enter the library?
Disabled visitors, visitors over 60 and pregnant women on showing proof have priority access through the staff entrance.
For more information, please seen the section Practical information (Access).
What safety measure have been put in place to guarantee visitors safety?
Three points of vigilance are observed:
The entrance to the Bibliothèque Publique d’Information is behind the Centre Pompidou, on rue Beaubourg.
Visitors with priority access (visitors over 65, pregnant women, deaf and hard of hearing visitors, visitors with psychiatric or mental disabilities) as well as visitors with physical disabilities or reduced mobility and visually-impaired visitors can use the Centre Pompidou staff entrance, on the corner of rue du Renard and rue Saint-Merri.
At the entrance to the library
A check, at each entrance, including security gates with metal detectors, is carried out, along with bag checks.
Inside the library
Security agents carry out regular patrols in the library. If needed, feel free to ask the librarians at the nearest information desk.
Can you refuse to be checked?
Anyone who does not accept these measures will not be able to enter the library.
Are you allowed to bring bags and luggage into the library?
Visitors are not authorised to access to the Bibliothèque publique d’information with bulky objects, suitcases, backpacks and other bags and luggage exceeding the authorised size (40 cm x 55 cm x 20 cm).
Two bags per visitor are allowed.
Can objects be confiscated?
It is forbidden to bring into the library:
– Alcoholic drinks, illicit substances
– Motorbike or moped helmets
– Objects on wheels (rollerblades, rollerskates, skateboards, etc.)
– Weapons and ammunitions of all categories
– Explosive, inflammable or volatile substances
Why should bags not be left unsupervised?
We recommend that you stay vigilant with regards to your own bags, to scrupulously respect the safety instructions and to notify the staff of any object that appears to have been abandoned.
We are attentive to each of you and thank you for your trust, goodwill and understanding.
Terms of consultation
Can you borrow a document (book, magazine, manual…) from the library?
The Bpi is not a lending library. You can only consult the documents in paper format on site, in the library spaces.
However most of the digital resources available in the library give the possibility of downloading the content on your personal computers, in order to then be able to read them offline, at home. Finally there is one exception: some digital platforms are accessible outside the Bpi.
Can you ask for a document from another library be transferred to the Bpi to be able to consult it?
Transferring documents from one library to another, at the request of a reader, is not possible at the Bpi.
Drinking and eating in the library
Can you drink and eat in the library?
For reasons of hygiene and to respect the collections integrity, it is forbidden to eat food in the library spaces. Drinks are tolerated in closed recipients. A cafeteria is available for visitors on the second level.
Is it possible to heat a meal in the cafeteria?
Unfortunately, it is not possible to reheat a meal in the cafeteria.
How do you get back something you have lost or forgotten in the library?
See the general information desk on level 1 as quickly as possible after you notice you have lost your belongings, to be able to collect them if this is the case.
Can you work in a group in the library?
The library does not have rooms reserved for group work.
Are electric sockets available for powering personal devices (laptop computer, tablet, smartphone)?
Electric sockets can be found on the work tables by the lamps for charging and powering your devices. It is strictly forbidden to unplug the library’s devices.
Do you have access to office software in the library?
NB: Recuperating documents is different depending on the workstation used:
On Internet workstations, you can:
– print the document
– send a document to your personal email
On the other hand you cannot save a document on a USB flash drive
On the independent learning workstations (without an Internet connection), you can:
– only recuperate your document by printing it
Good to know: whatever the workstation used, all documents created can be saved. Saving is temporary as these documents will be deleted at the end of your session.
How do you access the Internet in the library?
You have two possibilities for freely accessing the Internet, and free of charge.
– from the library’s freely accessible workstations, without booking and with no time limit.
– from your personal device (laptop computer, tablet, smartphone) by connecting to the library’s “Wifi-bpi” network.
Good to know: A wide selection of websites including Pôle Emploi (the French job centre) can be browsed on multimedia computers.
Photocopying / Printing / Storage
Can you make photocopies or photography documents in the library?
Self-service photocopiers and printing servers are available on levels 2 and 3. To find out the rates, see the section Practical information – Other services.
Photographing documents is only authorised if it is strictly reserved for the photographer’s personal use and not intended for collective use.
Can you print documents from a library computer or your personal computer?
It is possible to print documents from the library’s computers and from your own computer, tablet or smartphone connected to wifi-bpi.
Is it possible to print documents stored on my USB flash drive?
Printing from a USB flash drive is possible by going to the Photocopies space on level 2 of the library.
Can you download electronic documents found on the Internet or another electronic resource of the library to a USB flash drive?
No, it is not possible to download electronic documents to a USB flash drive, the USB ports are not accessible.
How do you contact the library?
You can contact the Bpi:
by telephone on:
+33(0)1 44 78 12 75 (library reception switchboard)
Bibliothèque publique d’information
75197 Paris cedex 04
Do you want to get information about a particular subject or send us a message? Fill in this form.
Jobs and internships
How do you apply for a job at the library?
Remote documentary services
Can a librarian help me with my documentary searches when I’m at home?
When you are at home you can access Eurêkoi, a question and answer service that’s free of charge and can be used by all. Questions can be asked via the Bpi website (Eurêkoi section), the Eurêkoi public Facebook group or directly on the Eurêkoi website. You can also download free of charge the Eurêkoi app.
Answers are given in less than 72 hours by Bpi librarians or partner libraries in the Eurêkoi network. They’ll answer all your questions, except those which require a medical or legal assessment.
How do you access the electronic resources the library is subscribed to at home?
Most electronic resources of the Bpi are only accessible in the library from the Bpi workstations and for almost all devices connected to the Internet (smartphone, tablet and laptop computers). However, several platforms allow remote consultation after creating a personal account or downloading a dedicated app in the library. Discover these platforms and what to do in the section Remote services – Digital collections.
From home you can look up all of the electronic resources offer at the Bpi by browsing the catalogue or the Digital Bpi section on the website.
Suggestions for purchases/Donations
Can you make suggestions for books to purchase to enrich the library’s shelves?
You can make suggestions for documents to purchase via the website contact form (choose in the list: “suggestions for catalogue acquisitions”) or on site with librarians at the information desk (readers’ book).
Your suggestions will then be studied, as they arrive, according to the library’s documentary policy. You’ll receive an answer as soon as possible.
Is it possible to give documents to the library?
The Bpi does not accept donations from individuals, organisations or publishers.
How do you find out it a document searched for in the library is available?
Information relating to the copy(ies) the library has can be found under the document instructions. These indications will enable you to know where the document is on the shelves when it is available (level and space concerned) or to access it directly online in the case of an electronic resource.
Certain documents already appear in the catalogue whereas they are not yet on the shelves. These are documents on order, being processed or repaired. Their arrival on the shelves varies from a few days to a few weeks. Feel free to see a librarian who can suggest other interesting resources while waiting.
Good to know: the catalogue allows you to refine your search results according to document availability.
Does the Bpi offer collections for children?
The library does not have a Children’s section and its documents are mainly intended for an adult audience but some documents may be of interest to younger visitors.
They can watch animated films and filmed shows (comfortable workstations to watch them are available on level 3 of the library, Arts section), listen to recordings of fairy tales or nursery rhymes.
Elsewhere in the library, older children can play certain video games (please be aware that the selection is renewed regularly, please check the minimum age recommended for each game), learn languages, look through documentaries, read BDs and online journals…
See the page on the website: “You are visiting with your family“