The Be’er-Sheva Municipal Public Library (founded 1950) is located on Derekh ha-Meshahrerim (next to the Conservatorium [of Music]) and provides Hebrew literature, educational reading materials, and a good place to sit and study for the entire population of Be’er-Sheva. The Library also regularly sponsors guest lectures by authors, art exhibits in the foyer, and occasional poetry readings. The Public Library also has two small branches: in the Old City (in “Be’eri” Elementary School – 08-6283958) and in Neveh Noy (in “Ma’anit” Elementary School – 08-6450908).
In 1961, with the founding of the Conservatorium, the Music Library & Archive came into being, keeping all the musical scores for the orchestra, the music teachers, and musicians, as well as exemplary record albums of classical music concerts and performances from various other times and places.
The original, basic academic library (only ca.1,500 books) was established at the Hias House in 1965 by the Institute for Higher Education to support Bachelor Degree studies in science and engineering. Then in 1969, the University was founded and the Library began to expand its collections to support studies in the new and growing faculties and to enable the granting of higher degrees (Masters & Doctorates). By 1972, with the opening of the BGU Aranne Central Library (named for the late Minister of Education, Zalman Aranne, 1899-1970) on the “New Campus” (now called the Marcus Family Campus), the Library collections held ca.71,000 printed books. Today (in 2017), the Aranne Library offers open-shelf access to over a million printed academic books and periodicals and to electronic books, articles & databases, in support of the academic fields taught in all BGU’s faculties and schools. The Aranne Library (open to the adult public without charge) also has ongoing art exhibits and academic guest lectures, occasional book-sales and a “take-a-free-used-book” table, as well as an “Aroma” Cafe in the entrance lobby for study breaks and ‘refueling’. Main office – 08-6461402; Loan Desk – 08-6461412.
The 4th floor (room 402) of the Aranne Library houses the Tuviyahu Archives of the Negev (named after the first Jewish mayor of modern Israeli Be’er-Sheva, David Tuviyahu, 1898-1975) that preserves documentary materials about BGU, David Ben-Gurion, Be’er-Sheva and the Negev Region – 08-6461425.
In 1993, the Americans & Canadians in Israel (AACI), Southern Region established the AACI Regional Public English Reading Library inside the Yud-Alef Community Center, located at 11 Mordekhai Namir St. In the true spirit of detente, the AACI has been sharing its hall with the Russian Language Sci-Tech Library. Occasionally, literary events, such as English poetry readings or book review clubs, are held here. This facility is managed by volunteer librarians. In 2017, the AACI Library holds over 6,000 reading books in all the literary genres, with some in simple English and some in large print, and the entire collection now has a computerized catalog – 08-6433953.
Award-winning community center “Beit Moriah“ (founded 1993) is located in the Daled neighborhood on Mendele Mokher Sefarim St. It has a library with hundreds of children’s books from Israel & abroad that may be borrowed – 08-6288812.
The Yitzchak Shavit Library (dedicated 2001) and the Pamela & Stanley Chais Library (dedicated 2005) at the Sami Shamoon Academic College of Technology (SCE) in the Aleph neighborhood primarily stock technical and scientific books, journals & databases. This library is located in a unique, eco-friendly, 21st century structure – 08-6475612.
Since 2017, there is a free public book-exchange located just outside “Bazar Darom” at the “Hen” Commercial Center in the Bet neighborhood (corner of Bialik & Einstein streets). You’ll see what looks like a bus-stop, but full of book- shelves where you may leave books and magazines you’ve read and no longer want and take another book, left by someone else, to read and return when done
In addition, there are a number of Judaica libraries in Be’er-Sheva, situated in various synagogues, institutes, kolels & yeshivahs, such as: the Misha’el Dahan Judaica Library located in the “Lev ha-Melakhim” Yeshivah at 125 Bialik St. in the Bet neighborhood; at the Bnei Akiva Yeshivah “Ohel Shlomo” on the Kiryat Wolfson Campus in the Daled neighborhood; at the“Orot Yisra’el” Institute at 10 Ramhal St. in Bet – 08-6222030, http://www.orotisrael.co.il; in the“Lev Ahim” Judaica Library, near the“Shevet Ahim” Moroccan Synagogue on ha-Hidah St. in the Yud-Alef neighborhood; and in the new Chabad synagogue “Bet Mashi’ah” on ha-Shelah St. also in Yud-Aleph