This paper provides an overview of the development of libraries in the geographical area of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) after it joined the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) in 1990. It briefly describes the situation of libraries in the GDR and the major changes that accompanied the unification process. It also touches on a series of three nationwide studies on reading and library-user behavior, and on library legislation and major national-planning initiatives since 1989. For academic libraries, the unification process was mainly favorable, as a structured plan and continuous funding were introduced as part of higher education development. For public libraries, the process was less structured, severely reducing a previously very dense system within a very short time. Recent library statistics indicate, however, that the integration of the two library systems has benefited the remaining libraries and left no clearly visible difference between library systems in the eastern and western parts of Germany.


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pp. 197-211
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