Biblioteca Gabriel García Márquez short-listed for the IFLA's 2023 Best Public Library Award

Libraries. The library has been short-listed for the 2023 Best Public Library Award, presented by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).

The other short-listed libraries are: Janez Vajkard Valvasor Krškov Public Library (Slovenia), the City of Parramatta Library (Australia) and the Shangai Library East (China).

The winner of the award will be announced on 21 August, during the 88th World Library and Information Congress organised by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) which this year is being held in Rotterdam.

Biblioteca Gabriel García Márquez has been nominated as one of 2023’s four best libraries in the world, for its high scores in the following areas: interaction with the environment and local culture; architectural quality of the building; flexibility of spaces and services; sustainability; commitment to learning and social connection; digitalisation and technical solutions of services, meeting the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and the global vision of the service established by the IFLA.

The most recent winners of this award have been: Missoula Public Library (USA), Deichman Bjørvika (Norway) and Oodi Helsinki Central Library (Finland).

Officially opened in May 2022, Biblioteca Gabriel García Márquez is the Sant Martí district’s central library. It is housed in a lovely six-storey building with an exposed wooden structure of almost 4,000 m². It is a local, cultural facility for the district’s residents, noted for the tremendous vitality and activity of civil society, organised in the area’s social, cultural and educational associations.

The library specialises in Latin American literature and is named after the Nobel Laureate in Literature, Gabriel García Márquez. This is Barcelona’s tribute to the Colombian writer and journalist, who lived in the city from 1967 to 1975.
It aspires to become a centre for disseminating and promoting Latin American culture. Given the collaboration between Barcelona Libraries and Casa Amèrica Catalunya, cultural promotion events and activities are held there such as KM Amèrica. Latin American Literary Festival, taking place for the second time this year.

The SUMA Arquitectura studio has received the 2022 City of Barcelona Architecture Award for the building’s magnificent design.

The library’s incorporation of sustainable strategies has enabled it to obtain Gold LEED certification. This is an international certificate for sustainable buildings based on incorporating aspects into the project relating to energy efficiency, use of alternative energies, improved interior environmental quality, water-consumption efficiency, selection of materials and so on.

On 28 May 2022, the day of the library’s official opening, it recorded a total number of 7,247 visits, issued 244 new library cards and loaned out 1,147 items. The figures of this new facility since then speak for themselves.
The most notable data for these months (June 2022 – May 2023) illustrate its success. The library received visits from 277,578 people, averaging 947 a day. Seventy-five activities were carried out with almost four thousand people attending. A total of 128,695 loaned documents have been registered. And to round off with a truly special figure, the library has issued over 6,000 library cards to new library users!