Situated on the second and the third level of the Pompidou centre, the Public Information Library (Bibliotèque publique d’information) or BPI is one of the best public libraries in Paris.
It offers an exceptional collection of books that can be consulted only on-site; free admission; the possibility of 30-40 minutes of surfing (registration near the entrance to the library, from Rue Beaubourg) as well as using audio and video records. You can also watch a variety of TV programs or view archive materials.
Not only are the sources rich at BPI but it is an exceptional feeling to take a break overlooking Beaubourg or the place in front of the Centre with the usual grabbag collection of street artists. And in case you’re looking for art of a different sort, of course, the upper floors house one of the world’s most important modern art collections.
Since it’s the only library in Paris open Sundays, Sundays are crowded and the line is usually 15 minutes long. But once inside, you’ll have to admit that nowhere else can you can sit in a library and glance up at the Niki de Sainte Phalle and Jean Tinguely fountain a few meters away.
The whole experience is a real pleasure. In a single venue, you will find stunning museum, exemplary architecture, a huge reading corpus, a bookshop and cinema with auteur’s films.
My fascination with the whole Pompidou Centre never stops.