LABO: Partnership between public and university libraries

Subject:  Multidisciplinary
Library shelves with books

Coinciding with Catalonia's Year of the Library, in 2015, the public and university libraries of Catalonia signed a partnership agreement called LABO: Open Library Learning Labs.

This initiative is a pioneering partnership project between these two types of institution and an opportunity to transfer the knowledge produced in universities to public libraries and by extension to the general public.

The centres currently participating in this agreement are the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and the University of Girona, and the public libraries coordinated by the Government of Catalonia Library Service. The integration of new library networks, both university and public, is planned.

The aims that the agreement pursues are related to voluntary initiatives for ICT training, identification of best practices and innovative services, and open access for the learning resources of universities; they have the specific objective of promoting interlibrary loans, with the intention of ultimately making the entire publicly financed library catalogue available to all members of the public.

The UOC participates in the ICT training through its Codeclub, a project which initiates children in basic computer programming. The workshops are free of charge and are run by university student volunteers. In this way, volunteers from the UOC have helped children to take their first steps into the world of programming and computational thinking, through workshops held at 24 libraries around Catalonia.