New Uses of the Public Library – Seminar in Barcelona

Members of IFLA's Public Libraries Section at Esparreguera Library

Members of IFLA’s Public Libraries Section at Esparreguera Library

The Seminar ‘New uses of the public library’, held on 26 February 2015 in the functions room of the Design Museum of Barcelona and organised by the Barcelona Provincial Council Library Services Management Office with the cooperation of the Barcelona Libraries Consortium and the IFLA’s Public Libraries and Library Buildings and Equipment sections, provided a forum for debate on the changes that are taking place in the use of the public library and how they affect services, users, spaces and professionals.

One of the challenges currently facing library professionals is defining the library model in a global context marked by profound change and social and economic uncertainty. A constantly evolving society characterised by factors such as the increased use of technology, changes in cultural consumption, a trend towards immediate access to knowledge, a diversity of interests and multiculturalism.

These social factors are changing how citizens approach libraries and create new challenges in responding to needs and expectations in the design of library services and amenities. To address this, three round tables were organised on Users, Services and Professionals and composed, in all cases, of a local moderator, a professional from the Barcelona Municipal Libraries Network (MLN), a member of the Public Libraries section and a member of the Buildings section. The programme concluded with a presentation of good practices applied in the province of Barcelona.

Our colleagues in Barcelona have now provided a summary of discussions. I know that everyone who was in attendance will agree that it was an outstanding program that set the stage for ongoing debate and conversations.