If I am a US citizen in Tel Aviv, would I be able to sit in the Shaar Zion library and do work? The library website says, "Tel Aviv-Yafo residents can utilize the city’s libraries without charge upon presentation of ID card and resident card". What about non-residents—are they allowed in with some sort of registration, or would I not be allowed in at all?

  • This site (in Hebrew, which I can only read via Google Translate) seems to say that non-residents can pay a fee to borrow books. However, it's not clear to me if that fee is also required to simply enter the library. Commented Apr 5, 2022 at 20:52
  • @MichaelSeifert: It absolutely isn't. I've entered... maybe 8 or 10 municipal libraries in Israel and nobody ever asked me to prove residence in order to get in. They might check your bag for bombs though :-P
    – einpoklum
    Commented Oct 4, 2022 at 13:22

2 Answers 2


You can enter the building if that's what you're asking. The WiFi is free, but other services require subscription. Here's the price list (ILS). For books only it's 350ILS (for Shaar Zion, it is more expensive than others), for books and digital media it's 400ILS (all the same).

To register and set up a subscription you'll need to get there and do it in person (residents don't need to pay and can register online).

  • I'm quite sure free entry allows you to take a book and read it on premise. Most libraries allow this, not sure about this specific one
    – ugoren
    Commented Apr 6, 2022 at 7:23
  • @ugoren It's been a while since I used a library, but IIRC there are no large "reading halls" there, so I doubt it. You'll have to check the book out for any reasonable length of work. But worth a try, I guess.
    – littleadv
    Commented Apr 6, 2022 at 7:26
  • Indeed no reading halls, but libraries do have some chairs and desks. No problem spending a few hours there (as long as you keep quiet of course)
    – ugoren
    Commented Apr 6, 2022 at 9:21
  • 2
    @ugoren are you saying that based on your experience in that particular library?
    – littleadv
    Commented Apr 6, 2022 at 13:52
  • 2
    From personal experience gained 5 minutes ago. The library, not the one OP asks about but much smaller, has some tables and chairs.
    – ugoren
    Commented Apr 7, 2022 at 16:08

tl;dr: "without charge" regards book loans only.

The phrase

Tel Aviv-Yafo residents can utilize the city’s libraries without charge upon presentation of ID card and resident card

means residents can check out books from city libraries without charge. Libraries in Israel generally do not check for residence or citizenship status for visiting and working in the library (if they have a work area, that is). In fact, it is culturally inconceivable to restrict library access by place-of-residence - so much so that the municipality did not consider your interpretation of their notice and thus failed to clarify the wording.

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