The ZB has been a public-law foundation since 1914 and currently receives 80% of its funding from the Canton and 20% from the City of Zurich. 

The legal basis for the ZB is the foundation agreement between the Canton of Zurich and City of Zurich dating from 1910, the articles of association and the library ordinance. The library’s user code can be found here.

The supreme governing body is the Library Commission, which is made up of five members appointed by the Government Council of the Canton of Zurich and five appointed by the City Council of Zurich. At present, they are:

Representing the Canton of Zurich: 
Dr. iur. Silvia Steiner, Government Council Member (Chair) Head of the Canton of Zurich Department of Education
Dr. iur. Oliver Frei Canton of Zurich Department of Finance
Prof. Dr. Dorothea Christ Canton of Zurich Department of Higher Education
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Eigler University of Zurich
Prof. Dr. Christian Schwarzenegger,  Vice President University of Zurich 

Representing the City of Zurich:
Filippo Leutenegger, City Councillor (Vice Chair) Head of the City of Zurich Schools and Sports Department
Stephanie von Harrach Presidential Department of the City of Zurich
Andrea Wild City Archive of Zurich
Dr. iur. Marc Burgherr City of Zurich Schools and Sports Department
Ulrich Sauter City of Zurich Schools and Sports Department

Members without voting rights:
Prof. Dr. Rudolf Mumenthaler, Director University Library Zurich
2 Delegates of the staff
Zentralbibliothek Zurich

Our annual report contains details of the activities of the Zentralbibliothek Zürich Foundation and current developments at the ZB.

ZB strategy 2021–2024

The Library Commission approved the ZB’s strategy for the years 2021–2024 at the end of 2020. Entitled The ZB: a compass for handling knowledge in the digital world, it covers three key themes: enhancing users’ digital skills; improved orientation amidst an abundance of information and simplified access to our information offerings; and expanding the ZB’s role as a partner for research. The 2021–2024 strategy follows on from the ZB 2020 – Die ZB zeigt Profil strategy adopted in 2016, which has guided the library’s development for the last few years.

The ZB – a university library 

The ZB is a university library and, as such, a key component of the university library infrastructure. We acquire and collect academic literature focusing on the humanities and social sciences and work with the University of Zurich to make knowledge available to students, researchers and educators. The ZB also offers students from the University an attractive place to study in the heart of the university district with over 600 workspaces.

The ZB acts in partnership with the University of Zurich on the basis of cooperation models and service-level agreements, and works with the University and the Canton of Zurich to provide foundation and ongoing training courses for librarians.

The ZB – a library for the canton and city

We provide a wide range of services for people living in the city and canton of Zurich. Our training courses and guided tours offer wide-ranging insights into our holdings and assistance in searching for and finding our media. They are accompanied by exhibitions in the Treasury and Turicensia section, readings and numerous other events. The ZB’s extensive cultural history collections preserve Zurich’s cultural heritage from the Middle Ages to the present day and make it available to researchers and the public at large. The library also collects and catalogues as much current material as possible about Zurich and from Zurich-based authors and publishers.