On the Road

This program is generously sponsored by
the U.S. Embassy
& Consulates in France
with support from
The Hauts-de-France and Ile-de-France regions
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 French-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.
Exhibition: After the darkness of war, the light of books
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.
Digital Showcase
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
Social cohesion
Women’s rights
Global warming
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.
A convivial, playful and educational moment, Bilingual Story Hour conveys the pleasure of reading, stimulates children’s minds and helps them progress both in 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.
Lean how to search, check and cite with our librarians, information professionals.
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!


Really interesting lecture! The speaker was an expert in their field, it was very enriching! 


Wonderful initiative. Very interesting exhibition, wise iconographic choices. Entertaining virtual tour…


What a warm and welcoming cultural experience! Keep up the good work, I loved it. 


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

Resources brought

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

Digital resources


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.