General FAQs

1. Is your building handicap accessible?
Our building is handicap accessible and equipped with an elevator that stops on each floor.
2. Le français est ma langue maternelle. Qu'y a-t-il à ma disposition?
Chacun est le bienvenu au French Library. Nous proposons des cours pour enfants bilingues, une médiathèque riche d'oeuvres classiques et contemporaines, et des evènements en français. Un petit coin de France à Boston!
3. How do I get to the French Library?
The French Library is located at 53 Malborough Street in Boston, Massachusetts. We are at the corner of Marlborough and Berkeley streets in the Back Bay neighborhood. Public Transit We are easily accessible by the Red Line (Charles/MGH Station), Green Line (Arlington Station) Orange Line and Commuter Rails (Back Bay Station). Parking Parking is available at the Boston Common Parking Garage (located at Zero Charles St, below the Boston Common Park) on Saturdays all day and on week days after 4pm for $10. Buy your discounted ticket with our receptionist.
4. Do you have parking?
There is no free parking available at the French Library. Metered parking is available on the street. Discounted parking is available at the Boston Common Parking Garage (located at Zero Charles St, below the Boston Common Park) on Saturdays, all day, and on weekdays after 4 pm for $12. Buy your discounted ticket at our reception desk.
5. What's the story of your building?
It was built in 1867 by Sturgis and Brigham as the home for wine merchant Edward Wainwright Codman and his wife Leslie Prince (Tilden) Codman. The architecture is the French Academic Beaux-Arts style of the late 19th century. The mansion was donated in 1957 by Katherine Lane Weems, and in 1985, the townhouse next door at 300 Berkeley Street was joined to the main building for additional classroom space.

Library FAQs

6. How many items can I borrow at a time?
Borrowing privileges are reserved for members of the French Library. Different levels of membership have different borrowing limits. Check out our policies for details.
7. How do I renew items?
Library books renew automatically, one time only, for three additional weeks if they have not been reserved by another patron. DVDs and games are non-renewable. Please e-mail or call the library with any questions.
8. What are my options for returning items?
If you cannot make it to the circulation desk during our opening hours, place items in our drop box at any time. It is located next to our front door. You can also mail items back at your own expense.
9. Do your films have subtitles? Can they be viewed with a US player?
We purchase zone 1 DVDs which you can view on an American DVD player or computer. You can search our catalog for DVDs with English subtitles or French subtitles.
10. How can I access my Library account?
You can access all the Library features such as renewal, holds and purchase suggestions by clicking the "Library Catalog" green arrow on the Library Page of the website. Or simply save this link to your favorites!
11. Can I donate materials to your library?
Due to a lack of storage space, we are unable to accept donation at this time. We appreciate your generosity and we thank you for your understanding. Merci !
12. Do you have any books in translation?
Our Library houses a wide selection of books, films, CDs, magazines, and games in their original French language formats. We do not purchase translations of popular language materials for children and adults.
13. How can I access the library catalog?
Click here to browse our catalog, search by author or title, or make purchase suggestions. Members can login to access their library accounts.

Classes FAQs

14. I took French a long time ago. How do I know what class to sign up for?
If you are not sure of your level of French and if you have never taken a class with us before, we ask that you please take our placement test. This will help us to best recommend the class and level that fits your knowledge of French.
15. I signed up for a class, but now I can’t attend anymore. What should I do?
If you need to drop a class, aucun souci (no worries)! We will apply your tuition to a credit balance (valid for a year), which you can use towards another class or private lessons. To drop a class, please contact the Education Department by phone at 617.912.0415 or by email at Please note that if you drop out of class after it started, you will get a credit for unused classes only. Refunds are not issued except in the case of class cancellation by the Education Department due to low enrollment (minimum enrollment is four students per class).
16. If I can’t make my normal class, can I attend the same level class on a different day to make it up?
Unfortunately, we do not allow make-up classes. If you are going to miss a class, you can go onto our online forum CANVAS, to find that week’s assignments to keep up with the class material.
17. Do you offer any proficiency exams?
As of now, please note that we do not offer the DELF / DALF anymore. By the end of 2023, we hope to offer again the TEF. You can read more about these different exams, including dates, prices and how to register, here.
18. How do I purchase books for my online class?
For online classes, you can purchase your books with our partner MEP Education. Please visit and look for "My School, My Class" at the top left or simply look for your class here. All your class material can be purchased at a preferential rate. For new students in language courses: unless you register for the A1.1 course (which means you have never taken French before), please do not purchase your book set until your teacher confirms that you are in the right level, which s/he will let you know after your first class. In the meantime, you will have access to a PDF version of your textbook for the first few sessions.

Digital versions of all necessary textbooks and workbooks can be found below:
For levels A1 to B2 = Edito A1, A2, B1 and B2:
Edito A1 2022 Edition - workbook and textbook.
Edito A2 2022 Edition - workbook and textbook.
Edito B1 2018 Edition -workbook + textbook
Edito B2 2022 Edition - Workbook and Textbook.

For C1/C2 levels = Tendances C1/2: Please contact the Education department at or call 617-912-0415 to purchase your code (only valid for CLÉ International supplies/class material).


19. Do I need to be a member to use the Library?
The public is welcome to browse the Library, but a membership is required for borrowing privileges.
20. Can I pay my membership dues in monthly installments?
21. How can I join or renew my membership?
Online, over the phone, or in person.
22. When is my membership active?
As soon as it has been processed, usually within one business day. You will receive your card in the mail within 7-10 business days.
23. Do members receive special discounts at French-inspired businesses and at French cultural events organized by other organizations in the Boston area?
Local businesses that are part of our Club Avantage offer special discounts to our members. Keep an eye on the Members' Corner section of the eNewsletter for other special discounts and offers throughout the year.

Families FAQs

24. Do you offer enrichment for children who already speak French at home?
Mais oui! We offer classes for both non-native speaker and bilingual children. In the library, our children's collections are also an excellent resource for French books, movies, and music for all ages. Additionally, keep an eye out for special seasonal children's events.
25. At what age can my child start taking a class?
Classes start as young as age 1. An adult must accompany the child in our 1- through 3-year-old class levels.