Portable Reading Laboratories




Our Guest blogger , Montse, has invited her colleague Montserrat Alvarez Massó. Gerència de Serveis de Biblioteques to write this post. Montserrat can be contacted at  [email protected]

2015 Manager of Library Services launched the portable Reading Labs project with the aim to provide those in charge of the children’s areas of the libraries of the network of Municipal Libraries implementing the family activity for the promotion of reading under the name Reading Portable Laboratories.


Portable Reading laboratories have their origin in 2005 at the Roca Umbert Library, in Granollers (Barcelona), where began activities that aim to combine literature and art with the family audience. The first name was Laboratories of Letters and Images, during this time, other professionals share the project and organize reading activities with the same purposes; invites families to experience around reading.

In the context of work to grow the capacity for innovation, the Management of the services of libraries of the provincial Council of Barcelona decides to promote an initiative for the implementation of this model of activities in other libraries of the network of Municipal Libraries of the province of Barcelona. Of this sum of wills born in portable Laboratories of reading the XBM, a proposal that takes into account on the one hand, to provide new resources to work in the library; and, on the other hand, start with the participants of the project, a process of professional learning sector in the implementation of the project.



Thus, under the concept of training in the workplace, promotes a dynamic of informal learning that opens new perspectives and to enhance the ability of professionals beyond the traditional formulas. In this way, the training is closely linked with the labour practice but with a theoretical base that guarantees. Participants cease to be mere recipients of knowledge and, therefore, the possibilities of interaction are much larger. We’re talking about, in essence, the concept that is based on participation, of learning by doing experiential learning, social projects and in the workplace.

That is why, even though the reading portable Labs are designed so that they are easy to execute by a professional, it insists on a structured process of learning and of individual and shared research. This process is established on the basis of dynamic tutorial in a first cycle of the project and a work of empowerment by staff involved in a second cycle.

In parallel it was also created a community of practice between all participants with the purpose of having a space for communication and exchange of knowledge itself. The virtual space of LabdeLabs opens doors to a systemic process of improvement and creativity, and a permanent space of support. With the purpose of ensuring a continuous interaction between the participants to the project, these assume an explicit commitment of participation, which is achieved by activating a personal blog within the virtual space. The individual blog is an exercise in reflective practice where each professional relates with a free text style, pictures, what has been your experience, dynamic and/or tools used, once each of the Laboratories in the library. Creative and professional Dynamics emerge amazingly.

The portable Labs project of Reading has become a successful project, for several reasons. We have made a step forward in the promotion of reading; 60 network libraries have incorporated this activity quarterly in its programming. Secondly, we have created a community of learning and expertise among staff at the XBM, which makes it possible not only to incorporate new libraries to the project, but they, too, grow a sense of belonging based on a shared project. Finally, we have managed to take over the staff of the XBM in this format and, to improve the knowledge about children’s literature.

With the portable Reading Labs project Manager of Library Services starts a new path as is setting up new lines of work aimed at enhancing the talent and the ability of innovation of professional network. Our challenge is to produce a new leadership more facilitator to create new conditions for innovation and creativity among the libraries of the network. It is possible from staging new work frames ideal for sharing knowledge and experience, and grown the creativity of the people, as well as their capacity for collective construction.

You can see some pictures from the Laboratori « Avui és un bon dia per canviar el mon » (Today is a good day to change the world) from the library Caterina Albert in Tona (Barcelona)

Laboratoris de lectura