The Government of Catalonia declares 2015 Year of the Library17 March 2015
French translation [PDF]
2015, Year of the Library, marks the centenary of the Network of People’s Libraries set up by the Commonwealth of Catalonia
According to the government’s public-reading map, 93% of the Catalan population has a library service in their town.
The government will introduce a single catalogue with unified access by all municipal libraries, a single library card for the whole of Catalonia and an interlibrary lending service spanning all Catalan libraries.
The Ministry of Culture will extend its support to 160 municipal libraries which have not yet received funding, many of them in towns with fewer than 5,000 inhabitants.
2015: Year of the Library
The Government of Catalonia has declared 2015 Year of the Library to mark the centenary of the Network of People’s Libraries set up by the Commonwealth of Catalonia.
The Government of Catalonia will introduce several measures to support libraries nationwide and boost cooperation between different administrations.
The Network of People’s Libraries was one of the Commonwealth of Catalonia’s most striking achievements and also expresses one of Catalonia’s defining features today: its belief in culture as the key to development.
According to the government’s public-reading map, 93% of the Catalan population has a library service in their town. The number of libraries increased from 333 in 2008 to 378 in 2014; the average library grew in size from 774 m2 to 921 m2; and the number of per capita library loans rose from 1.78 to 1.86.
The Ministry of Culture and Barcelona Provincial Council have signed an agreement to support municipal libraries across Catalonia.
This cooperation agreement sets out the mechanisms so that different administrations can work together to improve Catalonia’s Public Reading System—the country’s network of library services—and establishes a timetable for delivering a series of commitments:
- To create a single catalogue with unified access by all municipal libraries during 2015, with a view to rolling it out in the first half of 2016.
- To introduce a single library card for the whole of Catalonia that users can use in any municipal library, regardless of where they first signed up.
- To set up an interlibrary lending service spanning all towns in the Public Reading System in the second half of 2015. This lending service will be available at all municipal libraries throughout the country, as well as at the Ministry of Culture’s Loans and Special Services Centre (CePSE).
The Ministry of Culture will increase its support to municipal libraries in towns with fewer than 5,000 inhabitants.
It will also extend its support to 160 municipal libraries that have not yet received funding. This initiative is based on Article 26 of the Catalan Library System Act, which stipulates that access to public library services is an inalienable right at all municipal libraries.
Of these 160 municipal libraries, 11 are located in towns with over 5,000 inhabitants, 29 are in towns with between 3,000 and 5,000 inhabitants, and 120 are in towns with fewer than 3,000 inhabitants, where there is no legal obligation to offer a library service.
By joining the Catalan public library network, run by the Ministry of Culture, these libraries will be able to access the single municipal library catalogue.
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French translation [PDF]
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