Berliner Büchertisch e.V.
Contact person: Cornelia Temesvári
- Media project
- Educational policy/project
- Volunteers are welcome.
The Berlin Bookshelf is a community project, founded in 2004, which distributes books and other media forms. We accept donations of books and supply them to schools, kindergartens, non-profit organisations, scientific libraries and many other facilities. In addition, we provide books for the free-book centres in Berlin and Brandenburg. We finance ourselves by selling some of the donations in our shops. We would also dearly like to offer people new prospects, not just give them books. So we arrange employment and trainee placements to a heterogeneous groups of people, from academics to one-time homeless people. In 2012 we were awarded the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg medal for our work.
We are a second hand bookshop, venue for events, bookshop, training centre, meeting point and much more.
The Berlin Bookshelf organises various projects in the community. Permanent ones are:
- The Berlin Reading Troll: with the Berlin Reading Troll we send schoolchildren on a reading journey. We pack suitcases with books and lend them to school classes and other educational institutions in poor inner city areas of Berlin and Brandenburg. Each case holds an average of 20 books, audio books and games. Children take it in turns to take the Reading Troll home, giving the whole family a chance to take part. This is particularly important for immigrant families, as reading together can be a language learning experience for them all. Moreover, it boosts the exchange of opinions between parents, siblings and classmates. The children talk about stories and subjects, recommend their favourite books, read aloud to each other and much more.
- The give-and-take box: in the passageway to the courtyard of the Berlin Bookshelf shop in Mehringdamm there are two give-and-take boxes. Second hand goods such as clothes and crockery can be deposited here or taken away gratis. The idea originated from Heidemarie Schwermer, who has been living without money for several years and has often visited the Berlin Bookshelf.
- One child, one book: when visiting one of our two shops, any child under 16 can choose a book every day and take it with them free of charge.
- Books to combat the recession: once a week we publish a book tip from customers and colleagues. We choose one from all the suggestions that are handed in each week. The lucky winner receives a copy of the book free of charge (as long as the publisher agrees to it) and can get reading. The discussion appears on our blog.
- Buy books, do good: by buying books from the Berlin Bookshelf you play an active part in realising our various projects. 10% of the profit from each purchase of a new book in our shop or from us online is donated to encourage the rising generation of young readers. Currently, part of the profit goes to school libraries in Berlin and Brandenburg, thus supporting their School Library Day.
- Edition: the Berlin Bookshelf Edition is still at the beginning stage. We publish books which arise from the Bookshelf or the nearby area. We focus on Kreuzberg literature and up-and-coming authors from Berlin, as well as social and ecological sustainability and involvement in society.
- Publications: our most successful book so far is “Kreuzberg cooks. Portraits – Interviews – Recipes“, which was produced by voluntary workers at the Berlin Bookshelf. In presents 55 initiatives, societies and private individuals who define the area by virtue of their community work. Included are The Princesses' Gardens, the SO36, The Rainbow Factory and the Archive of Youth Culture. Each project includes a cookery recipe.
- Kreuzberg Literary Workshop
- The Romantic
- Water committee
Cornelia Temesvári is in charge of public relations for the Berlin Bookshelf.
On request we can offer other net participants advice, give a presentation, and provide up-to-date information and contacts in the field of our work.