About the library

CBS Library is university library for Copenhagen Business School and is open to the public – every day of the week.


For better or worse, CBS has existed for more than 100 years.

CBS Library is a little younger, turned 100 years in 2022, and yet it plays an important role in our common CBS story. 

CBS Library is established alongside and together with a business school, which we have later on been fully integrated into. At the same time, we have always been an integral part of the Danish library collaboration.

The library's mission and raison d'être have been, and still are, to create access to information - originally only by means of printed catalogues and materials. As such, CBS Library is built on a foundation of an old but consistent principle of orderliness. Order on the shelves, order in the catalogue and orderly behaviour towards users and employees.

Our current DNA also consists of a clear position towards relevant service and innovation.  We have always focused on demand, new products and new service offers. We have always adjusted, re-aligned and made changes.

The biggest change has been the transition from print to digital materials, but we are continuously making progress. We might be taking small steps on a daily basis, but this amounts to big steps over time.

We have willingly taken on new assignments; previously in terms of sensible growth but since then primarily by removing older assignments or by focusing, calibrating and working effectively. This means that we have been able to deal with tasks such as research support, communication, teaching and physical facilities including new study environments.

Identity and values

Today, CBS and society perceive us as a well-operated and relevant unit.  However, there is always room for improvement.

In a resource scarce and competitive situation with a focus on administrative value creation, we share the responsibility to become even better at leading, communicating, managing and taking action. And not least performing, providing service and taking individual responsibility for our own area and context.

Our culture is characterised by solidarity, experience and job satisfaction above average. At the same time, we are also characterised by deeply rooted habits and specialisation which brings with it the risk of acquiring a silo mentality. Not only internally in the library but also in our relationships with other units at and outside CBS. 

In addition to orderliness, service, efficiency and relevance, CBS Library must also adhere to a number of other values. The foundation is always based on professionalism. Professional and personal qualities are not in contrast to but instead prerequisites for each other. Other core values which deserve increased focus and recognition are respect, trust, diligence and courage.


CBS Library's existing strategy has been successful, and an internal strategy procedure (2016) has not revealed a significant need for major changes of work and focus areas.

The strategy should therefore only be adjusted according to CBS' "Transformational Initiatives" and the primary results of the strategy procedure. The latter calls for possible improvements with regard to culture, performance and collaboration as well as a special focus on the library room as a driving force for continued development of the relevance and deliveries of the library.

The strategy, which is published externally, appears as a revised version of the 2012 strategy:

CBS Library creates extraordinary value for CBS' students, lecturers and researchers. CBS Library supports education, research and communication in the best possible way. CBS Library contributes its expertise to society and the business community - both directly and indirectly.

The primary task of CBS Library is to make information, knowledge and services available in a structured and manageable way. We are an integral part of CBS and attend to tasks regarding information, learning and dissemination for CBS' students, researchers and lecturers.
In addition to this, we are a public library and make information, services and study facilities available to others than CBS.

CBS Library adheres to the highest quality in its work.  We ensure quality by focusing on the development of our culture, performances and interplay.
We create the best possible value for stakeholders and users. We support value creation by working continuously to streamline our processes, optimise our use of resources and evaluate our services.

Efforts and growth

Continued efforts (2012-)
I.    CBS Library must develop and improve the users' access to local, national and global e-archives and e-resources.
II.    We must ensure the information competency at CBS by guiding and teaching students, lecturers and researchers to navigate in a knowledge-intense world.
III.    We must increase the knowledge of CBS' research by registering, analysing and disseminating the published research.

New target areas
IV.    CBS Library must support CBS' strategic focus on entrepreneurship and innovation, development of the programme portfolio and the collaboration with the business community/society.
V.    We must maintain the library room and use it as an innovative focal point for the development of the deliveries provided by the library and its continued relevance.

CBS Library has an ambition of advancing the company significantly in the following three areas:

VI.    Structure with improved processes

  • The organisational set-up should be efficient.
  • Tasks should be solved adhering to quality.
  • Management and mutual communication should be clear, relevant and of high quality.
  • Work and decision processes should be smooth and efficient.

VII.    Employees’ ability to perform

  • The employees should have the required competencies.
  • The employees should have as much responsibility as possible.
  • The employees should be satisfied.

VIII.    Interaction with a changing society

  • The library should deliver enhanced value to others.
  • The library should understand our users, partners and stakeholders.
  • The library should develop relevant partnerships and ensure benefits are gained from them.
  • The library should be open to change and ensure the potential for development.

Questions: Library Director René Steffensen.
Download  PDF icon CBS Library Strategy 2017 (PDF)


The history of CBS Library

In 2022 we celebrated our 100th anniversary. During the year we dove into our history and wrote articles looking at our history decade by decade.

CBS Library was inaugurated in 1922 as part of the Købmandsskolen Library. In 1927, the library moved into Julius Thomsens Plads alongside the newly established Handelshøjskolen (1917), where a very dedicated Knud Larsen started building a collection for use by students of the new school. The collection was for on-site use only and a lot of the books and journals were donations.

The 1930s saw a dramatic increase in the library collections with the generous donation by Christopher Hage of his entire private library. The reading room underwent a similar transformation with an upgrade of the décor. At the time, searching for literature was very different from today, and only with the publication of the book "Biblioteksorientering for handelshøjskolens studerende" [Library navigation for CBS students] in the 1940s, was library instruction put into system. Up until the war, the literature centred on Germany, but that all changed after the war when not only the library but also CBS as such shifted their focus to the US.

As the 1950s were coming to a close, 2500 students were enrolled at CBS and the library collections kept growing. A systematic collection of company annual reports was instigated for use in student papers (make sure to check out the mini-exhibition ”Old School” which showcases old teaching materials and is on display on the 1st floor of the library, right next to the lift).

The language library was inaugurated in the 1960s. Languages always played an important part in CBS programmes but only got a dedicated library at this time. As IT solutions started to appear, the library invested in punch-card technology, which was used to compile lists of books organized by topic.

At the end of the 1970s, CBS Library employed 29 people, who were organized into self-managing teams. The development of IT solutions continued and in the 1980s, CBS Library introduced a dedicated online catalogue (discovery system) that allowed users to look up materials on a computer themselves. The system was known as Hermes and was in operation until 2004.

The advent of the internet and web interfaces in the 1990s correlated with the introduction of day-to-day practices of new public management concepts such as process optimization and evaluation. In 1999, the library moved into the magnificent new space at Solbjerg Plads, which we continue to occupy to this day and of which we are very proud.

The 00s saw an explosion in study seats, 24/7 access, as well as multiple new services for researchers, including registration of all CBS research in the Danish research database. The digital revolution was relentless and online databases and e-books became increasingly important parts of library collections.

Ever since its inception in 1922, CBS Library has had as its primary goal the provision of relevant and high-quality content for CBS students, teaching staff, and researchers alike, and we rejoice in the fact that so many people still make use of both our on-site and digital facilities and resources every day. 

CBS Library in the 1920s
CBS opened its very own library in 1920. At that time, the collection was small and for on-site use only, unlike today where the vast bulk of materials reside online and may be accessed from anywhere in the world.
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CBS Library in the 1930s
The close of the 1920s saw the start of collection systematization and this work continued into the 30s. As part of their curriculum, students received advice on how to navigate the alphabetical catalogue to find books by title or author, and the systematic catalogue to look for topics.
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CBS Library in the 1940s
The first half of the 1940s was scarred by the events of World War II, which undoubtedly also affected CBS Library. The rumour has it that librarian Per Boesen helped refugees hide in the library.
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CBS Library in the 1950s

The library has always offered generous opening hours, and the 1950s were no exception. The library was open Mondays through Fridays 10-21 and Saturdays from 10-18. The collection evolved during the 1950s and climbed from nearly 25.000 volumes to nearly 35.000 in that decade only. Lending rates also increased whereas reading room usage dropped. 
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CBS Library in the 1960s
In 1965, all books are placed on open shelves, which means that students are now free to pick up books themselves and browse shelves for interesting content. At the same time, the library introduces IT-based catalogues of books. As the reading room is now needed to house books, it is moved to a different location. Space is scarce as the advertising library is weaved into the collections.
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CBS Library in the 1970s
In the 1970s the topics that occupied the library were self-governing teams, new targets and policies, growth and IT development.
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CBS Library in the 1980s
Hot topics in the 1980s include strategy and planning, service improvements to make it easier to use the library, and new IT solutions for discovery purposes.
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CBS Library in the 1990s
Lending explodes, we travel the world and bring back new ideas, and the virtual library and library service evaluations are gaining ground. These are all characteristics of a decade that also sees the opening of the current library at Solbjerg Plads.
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CBS Library in the 2000s
At the dawn of the millennium, CBS Library has only just moved into brand new premises in Solbjerg Plads, a building that was completed just as 1999 came to a close. Everything is new and ready for the new decade, which will see big changes to library operations. 
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The page was last edited by: CBS Library // 06/11/2024


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