Montpellier English-Language Library

How does our library work?

. Wednesday
from 2 pm to 5 pm

. Saturday
from 10 am to 1 pm
and 2 pm to 5 pm

Membership runs from January  to December.
Fees (payable by cheque please, if possible):
Individual 30 Euros
Family/Couple 40 Euros
Student 10 Euros


The Montpellier English-Language Library is a lending library. Generally, the number of books borrowed at one time is limited to four books for a period of four weeks, except for recently purchased books which are limited to two and should be returned after two weeks.


The Montpellier English-Language Library (MEL) is an Association (1901) managed by a 9-
member Board of Directors elected for two years at an Annual General Meeting. The mission of MEL is to support and promote the activity and cultural exchanges generated by the library.

A group of  Members help in running the library; any new volunteers are always welcome and should contact the library’s secretary at 
Postal address :  23 rue Lakanal, 34090 Montpellier

Three volunteer groups help with Book Purchasing, Book Covering and Book Donations.
Members of the public wishing to donate books to the library are asked to email their list of books to a dedicated email address:

One of our main aims has been to increase the number of books on the shelves and so each year we order a large number of new publications, both fiction and non-fiction.
We are lucky to have a retired librarian on the Board who has undertaken a complete inventory, and established an updated catalogue which is available to all members HERE

Members will find on our shelves good, mainstream literature: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Biographies, Crime/Thrillers, Recent Purchases and Donated Books, a “100 Best Novels of the 20th Century” Section and a Children’s Section. At present we have over 2000 books in the library. Members wishing to suggest new book purchases are invited to use the “Suggestions Book” in the library.

What goes on at the library ?

Monthly BookChat meetings have been a fixture for many years. The idea behind BookChat is to provide an exchange of news and views of books recently read and enjoyed. At aBookChat session each person participating talks briefly about a book of their choice.
BookChat sessions will let you in on who is reading what and will help you pick up on new authors, different styles and categories of fiction, special non-fiction titles and how each are appreciated. Eight to ten books will normally be covered at each session.
To join BookChat and to attend your first meeting, send your request to MEL’s secretary, including a telephone contact number. BookChat meetings are scheduled for 10 months in the year (no meetings are arranged for July and August). Any member of the library is welcome to join BookChat.

MEL’s mini-exhibitions usually feature 25 to 30 works by a single artist. They can be viewed on an Exhibition Viewing Day at the library and subsequently on days when the library is open.
Non-members can visit free of charge; they need only provide their names and contact details to the person at the reception desk.
MEL members who are artists or have contacts with artists interested in exhibiting their work are invited to contact MEL’s secretary.  
Our exhibitions are usually up for two months.


. Our sister anglophone associations, the British Cultural Association (BCA) and the American Women’s Group (AWG) use the meeting room for various group activities, with the proviso that at least one library member is present. There are poetry readings and book groups using the space, as well as the regular openings hours on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings and afternoons.

. Various events are organized throughout the year, giving members an opportunity to meet. Annual social events include the Christmas Party and the summer Garden Party, and every other year the library holds an Open Day and book sale.

. MEL is present each year at the Antigone des Associations event in September. Those wishing to join the library are welcome to approach one of our volunteers for information

The premises of the library

Since 2017 the Montpellier English-Language Library (MEL) (previously named FOAL – Friends of the Anglophone Library) has rented premises belonging to the Mairie of Montpellier in the Beaux Arts quarter of Montpellier.

Members are always welcome at the library for tea or coffee and a chat.


Address :
23, rue Lakanal 34090 Montpellier
(Tram stop: Louis Blanc)

Arising from the ashes of the old American Library (1954 – 2001), our collection was temporarily housed at a local language school.  Soon the name “Friends of the Anglophone Library” (FOAL) was adopted, for the many volunteers determined to keep it afloat while the organization underwent some uncertain years.  
After moving from the flat of one of our original members, to the study in another member’s house, the collection finally settled at our current location in Rue Lakanal, thanks to the generosity of the Mairie of Montpellier. Since arriving here in 2017, the library has become better known and is now a true part of the vibrant Beaux Arts quarter.  In 2021, long-overdue elections took place: a new Board was formed under the leadership of President Donald Crowden, and the name MEL (Montpellier English-Language Library) was adopted.


A change of name for the Library from FOAL to MEL (Montpellier English-Language Library) was voted by members in December 2022.