What are the advantages of becoming a member?

Members enjoy unlimited access:

– to a lending library of 200,000 books,
– audio recordings of all lectures and discussions organised by the Société,
– a large selection of Swiss and international periodicals in our reading rooms and on your    tablet or Iphone by accessing  Pressreader, a platform with 7000 newspapers and magazines
– free WiFi throughout the building,
– use of our reading and study rooms,
– a subscription to our monthly literary magazine Plume au Vent
– preferential rates on events and activities
– Members also enjoy a half-price discount on rental of our Salons spaces for private events, parties or work seminars.

When will I receive the events and activities programme?

Members receive our programme by post twice per year, in late August and early December. You can also download the programme from our website: www.societe-de-lecture.ch

How do I register for an event or activity?

You can reserve a place by email or on line. We do not accept reservations by phone.

 Members receive our programme by post twice per year, in late August and early December. Members have two to three weeks to register for the events of their choice before registration opens to non-members (subject to availability).

Can non-members receive your events programme?

If you are interested in our activities, we invite you to join the ‘Friends of the Société de Lecture’. You will receive our programme twice per year by post, and you will be notified by email if seats are available for our events.

How can I access recordings of lectures and talks?

Please log in to the members’ section of our website to listen to recordings of all past speakers.


How do I pay my membership dues / activity fees


You can pay via direct bank transfer to the account specified in the letter or by card and Twint at the SdL.

You will receive a renewal notice every year on the date when you first joined.


We will confirm your reservation by email as soon as possible after receiving your request.

 Payment for the activity must reach us within 15 days of the date of the confirmation email we send to you.


Please cancel your reservation at least 8 days before the event date for a full refund or to exchange your ticket for a different event or activity. If you are not eligible for a refund, we suggest that you give your ticket to a person of your choice (note that non-members must pay the difference between the member fee and the non-member fee).

Do you offer a seniors’ discount?

No, we do not offer a seniors’ discount.

Do you offer a student discount?

Yes, we offer several types of student discount.

University and high school students pay CHF 10 to attend our lectures and lunchtime discussions.

Student membership fees are as follows:

  • High school students (aged 15–19): CHF 100 / year (full rate CHF 370)
  • University students (aged 20–25): CHF 195/year (full rate CHF 370)

Can I invite a non-member to an event? Can I attend an event without being a member?

Our events and activities are open to non-members and guests (subject to availability). Non-member fees apply.

Can non-members attend events at the Société de Lecture?

Non-members can attend our events (subject to availability). Non-member fees apply

What if the event I want to attend is fully booked?

If an event is fully booked, you can add your name to the waitlist. We will then call or email you on a first-come, first-served basis when a seat becomes available.

If the same event takes place again, or if an event moves to a larger venue, we will give people on the waitlist priority before opening up registration to members and friends of the Société de Lecture.

Who chooses new books for the library?

The Reading Committee is responsible for book selection. The 12-member volunteer committee read shortlisted books and meet once per month to decide which ones to purchase for the library. Members can suggest books for consideration by the Committee.

Can a non-member accompany me to the library?

Members may invite guests to the library in exceptional circumstances.

Can non-members access the library ?

The study rooms, library and loan desk are for the exclusive use of members. Researchers can apply for a day pass.

I'm looking for a specific book — how do I know if it’s in the collection?

The collection can be searched on our online catalogue, regardless of the date of publication. You can also inquire with the librarians at bibliotheque@societe-de-lecture.ch or by phone at 022/310 67 46.

Can I borrow books from the library?

Yes if you are a member. Most of the books in the library are available for loan, up to a maximum of eight per person at one time. For conservation reasons, however, some books can only be read at the library.

How do I find books in the library?

There are several ways to find a book in the library. Start by clicking on the title of the book in the online catalogue to access detailed information (publisher, page numbers, description, etc.), the reference number and the room where it is held. You can also consult the library map in the entrance of the library to locate the correct floor and section.

Please don’t hesitate to ask the librarians as well: they are always happy to help!

Is there WiFi in the library and the Salons?

There is free WiFi across all four floors of the Société de Lecture.

Does the library have a children's section?

Young readers can choose from more than 1,500 picture books, fiction and non-fiction titles as well as comics in our children’s section on the 3rd floor.

I plan to hire the Salons for a private event. Does the Société de Lecture manage catering, or can I choose my own caterer?

You are free to choose your own food supplier. We are happy to share a list of recommended caterers we have worked with in the past.

Can I hire the Salons for events that include dancing?

Unfortunately, dancing is not allowed in our Salons.

Is there WiFi in the Salons?

Yes, Wifi is available throughout the building, including the Salons.

The Yellow Salon is also equipped with a projector, a retractable screen and a lectern with two fixed microphones and two hand-held microphones.

What is the maximum capacity of the Salons?