For the first time in its 102-year history, the American Library in Paris is bringing the Library to a French-speaking audience with On The Road, a program inspired by the American author Jack Kerouac.
If you would like to discover the American Library in Paris, anglophone culture and literature, improve your English, or simply have fun, don’t miss On the Road!
On the Road will travel to libraries, museums, and schools in the Île-de-France and Hauts-de-France regions. In each partner venue, we’ll present two days of enriching cultural activities for all ages. Whether you live in an urban area or in the countryside, you’ll be able to enjoy:
Listen to a bilingual Story Hour
Meet franch-american writers and journalists
Discover the American Library in Paris’s unique history
Explore the Library’s archives
Try out our digital resources
Create with American artists
All the events and activities are free of charge and adjusted to the audiance’s language (VF: French version, VA : English version, VM: multilingual version).
Events passed and to come
Discover the 102-year history of the American Library in Paris, which began as a resource for American soldiers stationed in Europe during WWI.
American Library in Paris History Exhibit
Meet the people who kept the Library open through the Nazi occupation, the Red Scare of the 1950s, and the riots of 1968. Discover the members of the Board of Directors, which in 1970 was considered one of Paris’s “most prestigious groups.” Go back in history to the 1920s, 1950s, and 1970s by exploring past issues of some of America’s most famous magazines.
Try out the Library’s digital resources, including our Virtual Reality English Immersion Experience, and be one of the first ten participants at each venue to win a free one-year membership to the American Library.
The American Library in Paris isn’t just about books…it’s also about authors!
We invite you to meet french-american journalists, writers, and illustrators for important conversations about the most pressing questions of our time.
We will explore:
Fake news and Disinformation
Story Hour, or l’Heure du conte in French, was brought to France in 1920 by American and other English-language libraries that were highly engaged with young readers.
The American Library in Paris began offering Story Hours in 1923, with librarians reading aloud the tales of Mme de Beaumont, who wrote Beauty and the Beast, and the Grimms brothers. Story Hour is designed to be both educational and fun, as well as a way to continue the tradition of oral storytelling from generation to generation.
We hope to inspire French children and teens with the best in English-language literature. To ensure enjoyment and participation by all, On the Road’s Story Hour swill be performed in both French and English.
After discovering American authors during Story Hour, children and teens with be led in an English-language writing exercise.
Their work will be edited by the Library team, and participants may read their stories out loud, if they wish.
This workshop will strengthen young writers’ expression and creativity, broaden their horizons, and deepen their understanding of American culture.
Each participant will receive an anthology of new American stories for young readers, Flying Lessons & Other Stories. The collection is edited by Ellen Oh of the WeNeedDiverseBooks initiative.
A manual activity made to stimulate imagination while listening to English speaking and learning new words, new ways to easily create.
Thank you for coming to show us your precious documents.
I think this was a very good expo. This has really motivated me to continue reading and try to get bck to my reading habit. I am so grateful for this experience. I’m hoping to be able to visit your library to awaken my inner bookworm!
Thank you for this experience, the children loved the virtual word. Very good presentation.
Wonderful initiative. Very interesting exhibition, wise iconographic choices. Entertaining virtual tour…
It was very interesting. I really enjoyed it and I’ll read your recommendations. Thank you!
Very interesting exhibition, despite its small size. The presentation of the magazines was very welcome. All of that makes you want to go wandering in the shelves of the American library.
Rachid Santaki, Project Sponsor
Rachid Santaki is a novelist, journalist, screenwriter, and entrepreneur. He was born in Saint-Denis (93), and his hometown and its residents continue to inspire his work. He founded the hip-hop magazine 5Styles in 2003, which he published until 2011, and he is the author of the books La petite cité dans la prairie, Les anges s’habillent en caillera and Les princes du bitume.
Santaki presents writing workshops to students and incarcerated individuals. He also organizes “dictées géantes,” or “dictations,” a tradition in French schools, both in France and abroad. He achieved a world record in 2018 for the largest ever dictée, leading 1473 participants in the Stade de France. He has won various prizes for his writing and work, and was named a chevalier de l’ordre national du mérite in honor of his contibutions to France.
He was drawn to On the Road for its unique merit as a cross-cultural celebration of the written word that brings American authors to French readers of all ages.
Picture by Sébastien Girod
Magazines and pictures archives
The American Library in Paris preserves within its collections important traces of its experience, from the First World War until today. These archives take the form of a photographic heritage built throughout the development of the library.
They are also a journalistic legacy made up of a hundred American newspapers of which the oldest issues date from 1850. Whether they are known, unknown, interesting, entertaining, funny or serious, they all bear witness to both political and cultural history, American and international.
Selection presented: Collier’s, Ebony, Harper’s Bazaar, Holiday, Life, The Paris Metro, Time, The New Yorker, Vogue…
To complete its physical collection, The American Library in Paris has developed a collection that requires no intermediary, accessible from anywhere using a computer, tablet or mobile phone. It has enough novels, audiobooks and comics to satisfy all levels of English and all tastes. Ebooks and audiobooks are available on OverDrive or directly on the Libby mobile app and transferable to e-readers. Comics are available on Comics Plus, which offers more than 20,000 titles
These resources are complemented by access to The New York Times, a reading recommendation application (NoveList) and a language learning application (Mango). Aware of the high cost of scientific articles for researchers and students we provide access to JSTOR and EBSCO. Finally, to help children and teens in their studies we put at their disposal the interactive encyclopedia World Book.
© Life © Holiday © Vogue © The New Yorker © The Paris Metro © Esquire © Collier’s © Harper’s Weekly
The accessibility will be indicated on the program page but most of the activities are free access.
No, all the activities and programs are free of charge.
For some activities, yes. The way to register will be indicated on the program page.
The language in which are conducted the activities will be indicated on the program page. According to the audience, it can be either in French (VF) or English (VA) or both (VM).
For French audience: the documents of the exhibition are in English with French museum labels so understanding some English makes the experience more enjoyable but guided visits in French, by staff of the American Library, are also open to registration.