The huge loss of library collections in Germany during and following World War II prompted surviving libraries and information centers to work together more closely. As early as October 1945, representatives of industrial libraries in northwestern Germany assembled for technical discussions. This led in 1946 to the founding of the Working Group of Technical-Scientific Libraries. Its first and, for the time, immediate task was to compile a “Register of Periodical Collections and Serial Works from the Fields of Natural Science and Technology,” which became known by the abbreviation TWZ. In 1961 the Working Group changed its name to the Working Community of German Special Libraries (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Spezialbibliotheken or ASpB). Its establishment as a registered association (e.V.) took place in 1967. From the summer of 2001 to the end of 2013 the Association for the Library System and Documentation System of Farming (GBDL) was a corporative member of the ASpB, thereby laying a cornerstone for the continued integration of specialized library working groups.
The ASpB was a member of the German Library Conference (Deutsche Bibliothekskonferenz) during the latter’s existence from 1973 to 1989. Close organizational ties with Section 5 (Special Libraries) of the German Library Association (dbv) and corporative membership in the DBV was approved in 1989. In 1997 the Federal Union of German Library Associations (BDB) was founded. The ASpB/Section 5 in the dbv has since held a seat of the dbv on the executive board of the BDB.
- promotes cooperation among specialized libraries and information specialists,
- supports the exchange of expert knowledge,
- conducts the qualification and continued education of its members,
- represents the interests of its members toward institutions, politics and in public.
This takes place through cooperation e.g. in:
- the DBV advisory council (as Section 5)
And through cooperation with:
- regional bodies
- specialized working groups
- specialized library / documentary associations.
The chief services of the ASpB are:
- conducting the Work- and Continuing Education Conference (every 2 years)
- organizing practice-oriented workshops
- finding experts
- informing members through its homepage and newsletter
The ASpB is organizationally tied to Section 5 of the German Library Association.
Together with the DGI, the ASpB is the sponsoring organization of the Berlin Working Group on Information (BAK).
The ASpB is a registered association (e.V.) with the following official forums:
- Executive Board: 1 chairperson, 2 deputies
- Advisory Board: 9 members
- 4 honorary members of the ASpB
- Chair: Kerstin Schoof, Max-Planck-Institut für empirische Ästhetik, Frankfurt a. M.
- 1st vice-chairwoman: Monika Sommerer, Gedenk- und Bildungsstätte Haus der Wannseekonferenz, Berlin
- 2nd vice-chairman, treasurer: Thomas Arndt, Zentralbibliothek – Forschungszentrum Jülich
- Corinna Haas, ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry, Berlin
The members of the Advisory Board 2019 – 2021 have been elected at the 37. ASpB Conference in Sept, 2019 in Frankfurt a. M.
- Yvonne Brzoska, RWTH Aachen
- Mathis Fräßdorf, WZB Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung
- Dr. Sonja Grund, Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesbibliothek
- Dr. Werner Köglmeier, Julius Kühn-Institut, Siebeldingen
- Michael Normann, KIT-Bibliothek, Karlsruhe
- Dr. Jürgen Plieninger, Institut für Politikwissenschaft der Universität Tübingen
- Karin Schmidgall, Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach
- Tillmann Tegeler, Leibniz-Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung, Regensburg
- Prof. Dr. Rudolf Laux, Berlin (Ehrenmitglied)
- Prof. Dr. Jürgen Warmbrunn, Herder-Institut Marburg (Ehrenmitglied)