The Barcelona library that has been announced as Public Library of the Year 2023 

The Biblioteca Gabriel García Márquez in Barcelona, which opened last year, was recently awarded the title of Public Library of the Year 2023 at the IFLA World Library and Information Conference in Rotterdam, surpassing 15 other libraries to claim the prestigious award. 

With its extraordinary timber-framed architecture (the building was designed to resemble a stack of open books), the library is a fine example of social responsibility, and is truly a place where the community comes first: serving around 240,000 residents, the Biblioteca Gabriel García Márquez offers not only a space to discover the world through reading but also provides community activities such as language, cooking and digital literacy workshops. The library was created with sustainability and inclusivity at its core – embodying how a building can enhance and interact with its local environment and culture – and includes distinct areas that cater to specific requirements, such as a sensory space for children with additional needs opening later this year. 

Since 2015, Barcelona has been designated a UNESCO City of Literature and the Catalan city is suffused with culture and literature at every turn. Countless artists, writers, photographers and musicians have been inspired by Barcelona’s inviting streets and vibrant buzz, and as visitors wander past Gaudiesque architecture and gaze at Barcelona’s stunning sandy beaches, it is not hard to imagine why. Dozens of writers and creatives have made the city their temporary or permanent home, including George Orwell, Maria Vargas Llosa and Gabriel García Márquez (the library’s namesake), and the city itself has been featured in a number of great novels and books, including Colm Toíbín’s majestic Homage to Barcelona and Juan Goytisolo’s Marks of Identity. 

Learn more here.



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