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Public-images-osm logo.svg amenity = library
Used to mark a library.
Used on these elements
may be used on nodes
should not be used on ways
may be used on areas
use on relations unspecified
Useful combination
Status: Unspecified

According to Wikipedia, “a library is a collection of sources, resources, and services, and the structure in which it is housed. It is organized for use and maintained by a public body, an institution, or a private individual.”.[1] For OpenStreetmap only physical libraries as library buildings and/or as organizations are relevant. To uniquely identify libraries, the “International Standard Identifier for Libraries and Related Organisations (ISIL)” should be used with ref:isil=*.

Tags to use in combination

ref:isil=* - reference the International Standard Identifier for Libraries and Related Organisations (ISIL)
phone=*, fax=*, email=*
level=* - for libraries on a specific floor of a building
operator=* ??

Types of libraries

There are many different classification schemas to group libraries by types. Which system to use in OSM is still to be discussed.

  • mark a library as open or closed to the public?
  • mark a library as academic?
  • link the library to the institution it belongs to (for instance a university?)

A special case are library busses, see ref:isil=* for a description.


Multiple buildings and branches

Open issue!

  • Libraries can consist of multiple buildings and may have several branches. In this case the same ISIL is used for all buildings and branches. Maybe a relation can be used. Please document the best way to handle this (with example) if you know a good solution.
  • A building can host multiple libraries. Please document the best way to handle this (with example) if you know a good solution.

Similar tags

  • amenity=mobile_library - mobile libraries, library buses, bookmobiles.
  • tourism=museum - a museum. Many museums have a library. Some museums can also be treated as a library with ISIL.
  • shop=books - a bookstore or antiquarian bookshop
  • shop=newsagent - a shop primarily selling newspapers, and magazines


  1. Article Library in Wikipedia at 8 December 2009.

Related terms: <study> <library>