The UOC is organizing a campaign with libraries to produce 75 open-access readings showcasing women writers

Subject:  Arts and humanities
A person listening to something with headphones
Author: Sandra Pérez (foto: Felvin Lutan - Unsplash)

Entitled Relatos compartidos (Shared stories), the initiative aims for libraries to join forces to highlight the talent of women in literature

The campaign calls on library professionals to contribute to facing the major global challenges 

75 audio readings and 61 voices. These are the results of the second Shared Stories campaign, involving participants from more than 43 libraries in Spain and worldwide, who have joined forces to celebrate Women Writers Day (16 October). The initiative, organized by the libraries of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) and Camilo José Cela University (UCJC), encourages information professionals to record themselves reading works by different authors in the public domain. The objective: to showcase the legacy of women in literature.

Visitors to the Shared Stories campaign website can listen to works by authors such as Emilia Pardo Bazán, Fernán Caballero or Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda read by staff at public and university libraries. All the recordings are available free of charge online under a Creative Commons licence, and they are accompanied by the texts of the works in the public domain.

"We wanted to highlight and raise the profile of extraordinary women in literature by producing readings their works and making them openly accessible on the internet. We were also seeking to stimulate knowledge and interest in the 2030 Agenda by means of a collaborative project among information professionals," explained the coordinators of the campaign, Mireia Castillón of the UOC Library and Marta Isabel García of the UCJC Library.

A new feature of the second edition of Shared Stories is the invitation to take part that has been extended to libraries in other countries. "I think it is a very important project for keeping the texts of inspiring women writers alive," said Yolanda Maya, the director of the library at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Mexico. "By reading their work aloud, we disseminate it in another format, and breathe life into their words," added Marcela Beltrán, the director of Special Collections at the Monterrey library. They have both chosen to read verses by the Mexican writer Juana Inés de la Cruz, to broaden the scope of the works included in the campaign.

Eva Cester, who works at the Biomedical Library of the University of Zaragoza, decided to read the Sephardic text by the writer Laura Papo, the pseudonym used by Luna Levi. "Giving a voice to women writers who have been silenced in the past is an unresolved issue. I chose her because of her story and because of my story, which have similarities in spite of their different timeframes."

In fact, the staff of the libraries of the University of Zaragoza are taking part in Shared Stories for the second consecutive year: "this activity fulfils several objectives that we are seeking to achieve, by promoting the 2030 Agenda and establishing partnerships with other libraries," explained Ana Marco Moreno, its head of quality and process coordination. "For the project, we have created a network of good practices and SDGs, which takes care of administration, coordinates all the university's libraries and provides the platform for carrying out this activity."

Shared Stories

This collaborative initiative between libraries, which aims to showcase the talent of women in Spanish literature, was started in 2022. The project aims to create synergies by means of recorded readings of works written by women in Spain's different official languages.

Follow the hashtag #RelatosCompartidos on social media.