Vision of the American Library in Paris

The American Library in Paris was established in 1920 under the auspices of the American Library Association with a core collection of books and periodicals donated by American libraries to United States armed forces personnel serving their allies in World War I. The Library has grown since then into the largest English-language lending library on the European continent. It operates as a non-profit cultural association in France incorporated under the laws of Delaware.

The American Library in Paris celebrates the written word and the life of the mind. Through our evolving collections and innovative cultural programming, we promote knowledge, inspire lifelong learning, and promote a sense of community. We are a welcoming home for the thoughtful and curious in Paris.


  • Showcase a varied, curated, and enduring collection of the best English-language print and digital books, periodicals, and other materials.
  • Bring together writers, readers, thinkers, and creators of all ages for meaningful conversations through programming, workshops, and cultural events.
  • Create a welcoming space that encourages reading, writing, and thinking in English to support the pursuit of scholarship, lifelong learning, and personal growth.
  • Encourage engagement and interaction within our local and global community and honor our century-old heritage of multicultural understanding.