About Lyon Public Library

The public libraries of the City of Lyon are a public service with the mission of contributing to the leisure, information, education and culture of all.


Public reading

To allow easy access by the biggest number possible, to the essentials of French and foreign publications (whether books, journals, discs, videos or multimedia products, and in whatever domain, literary or otherwise) and to promote this.

Improving access meant the development and the networking of local services, by taking account of all types of public (children, young people, students, the working population, the elderly, job-seekers etc.) by an offer of items where the focus is on quality, is geared to expectations and practices, is diverse and balanced, and supported by a professional effort in terms of orientation and advice.

Information and education

This is a natural extension to the mission of public reading. It involves facilitating access to information and knowledge, and thus assuming the role of relay which should be played by every library in a society where information, knowledge and training hold an increasingly important place. Over and above the monitoring of publications, this also involves helping or indeed supporting users in their search for information. It also involves providing them with suitable search tools (the internet, for example) and facilitating their use of these tools.

Reference and help

This mission relates primarily to the Central Library at Part-Dieu, being a library of a large conurbation and a university metropolis. It consists of supplementing, by means of an offer which is simultaneously encyclopaedic, consistent and retrospective, the facilities offered by the other smaller or highly specialised public and university libraries.

Heritage conservation and appreciation

This mission concerns first and foremost the collections of manuscripts, incunabula, ancient books, artists’ books, prints, photographs etc., which together form the largest collection in France, after that of the National Library of France. It also concerns the Regional Legal Depository which brings together the printed memory of the 8 départements of Rhône-Alpes. It also involves a material conservation effort (rebinding, restoration, secure storage) and intellectual appreciation action (at local, national and international level) by means of databases, digitisation programmes, exhibitions, events and educational workshops.

Contribution to intellectual and cultural life

This involves facilitating encounters between different publics, creators (writers in particular) and bearers of knowledge, by means of discussions, lectures, workshops, exhibitions etc. The objective of this mission is not only to bring to life the library’s documentary treasures. It must also, independently of any document, promote familiarisation with creation, openness to the world, a spirit of critique, and a taste for exchange.