Ateneu de Dades – Bibliolabs

Promoted by Xarxa de Biblioteques Municipals de la Diputació de Barcelona

Role and tasks at Bitlab

Design and implementation of four pilot projects within the Bibliolabs network

Citizen data innovation laboratories in public libraries of Manlleu, Mataró, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat and Sant Adrià – La Mina

Open citizen-centered innovation represents a new paradigm for generating social value for the digital age, making tangible a vision of empowering everyone to innovate. In the field of digital data, citizen laboratories for open data innovation, or Open Data Labs, are one of the approaches to democratize innovation processes and skills. Open Data Labs are a model of a citizen laboratory where different actors can co-create digital tools, based on open data, that address a series of urban problems.

In the Open Data Labs paradigm, digital data is conceived as a common good, a resource that should be effectively accessible to all members of society. Not as a new oil or new oil to be exploited unequally, but as a new soil or new soil to be managed sustainably for the common good.

The project methodology is based on the learning by doing philosophy, that is, learning through activity. In this case, what interests us is developing activities in which the agents of the libraries can rehearse and experiment together with the rest of the local agents, or provide improvements or implementations, if necessary, in those that are already being developed. In this way, in the course of the visualization workshops, or the co-creation processes of open data solutions to real challenges, citizens and librarians learn to make effective use of open data to solve specific challenges of your life or work reality.

Between June 2018 and February 2019, the Ateneo de Datos project was deployed in the municipalities of Manlleu, Mataró, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, and the neighborhood of La Mina de Sant Adrià del Besòs. The result of these participatory and community innovation processes took the form of four scenarios for the application of open digital technologies to solve a community challenge of a social and cultural nature.


Manlleu – “We unveil the memory”, interactive virtual exhibition of the Can García Apartments in the Barri de l’Erm

In collaboration with the Museo del Ter, a digital artistic intervention is proposed that combines photographs of the Can García Apartments in the Erm de Manlleu neighborhood with literary witnesses in a virtual transmedia exhibition. The process aims to dignify the memory of this Manlleu neighborhood, bring its history closer to the inhabitants of the rest of the municipality, and integrate its collective life with that of the whole of the town.
This pilot is developed in collaboration with the Museo del Ter, which is carrying out a documentation process of photographs provided by the inhabitants of the neighborhood. Every Tuesday, they carry out participatory workshops where they ask for the collaboration of the neighbors to take their domestic photographs, digitize them and document them.

The pilot reuses the open repository of photographs that is being generated, and complements them with life stories from older people in the neighborhood. A team of literary volunteers, energized by the Manlleu Library Data Athenaeum, attends these meetings, and collectively and literarily work, together with the attending grandparents, the oral history anecdotes of the neighborhood that arise around the Photographs. The volunteers do a quasi-ethnographic work, digging into the most relevant comments and relating the collective and personal levels. These testimonials are edited in short paragraph format (‘long captions’), and are collected in an open digital repository. The categorizations of digital content are co-created with the community (crowdsourcing), to reflect the experiences of the neighborhood as they were lived by those who have lived a lifetime.

The tangible result of this process is a virtual transmedia exhibition, which tells the story of the Erm District, integrating digitized images, literary witnesses, voice cuts and other multimedia content that may be complementary (videos, audio, links, etc.)


Mataró – Digital repository of the Mataró Giant Book community project

The Giant Book of Mataró is a community project, deeply rooted in the territory, consisting of a large book that has been published collaboratively every year since the 1980s. The Pompeu Fabra library in Mataró is the custodian of the archive of these books and has The process of digitizing them has begun, but at the moment it only has digitized images of the first four books. Currently the images are stored in a set of USB sticks, not accessible to the general public, and do not have associated metadata.

To promote, make visible and give value to the giant book project, a cultural intervention of digital innovation is proposed, consisting of generating an open repository accessible online that can host these images being digitized. This repository will be the starting point to involve the community of participants (past, present and potential) of the giant book in the process of creating the metadata, in a structured but adaptable format, that the participants can become their own to help catalog, edit and enrich with your own comments those digital pages of the giant book they made when they were little.

This repository would be complemented by a physical space in the library, from where users could access the contents of the repository in a playful and dynamic way, viewing the pages of the giant book projected onto a surface of the library and turning the pages “virtually” with a movement of the hand.

L’Hospitalet – The Comic Archive of the Tecla Sala Library

The objective of the project is to visualize the wide bibliographic collection of the Tecla Sala Library archive, specialized in comics and which not only functions as a library loan, but also as a reception and cataloging of funds from private donations. Currently, this library has some 9,000 comic references that are in the room and therefore visible, but it has more than 17,000 more comic book entries, many of them of great artistic and historical value, than to have to be on file, outside from the visual reach of the public, they do not receive all the attention that their quality would make them deserve.

To address this challenge, an open digital repository of comics will be created, with metadata that the user can edit to add specific comments, ratings, and recommendations. In a first phase, it will start from a subset of about 60-80 historical comics, selected from among the crown jewels of the Tecla Sala catalog (“El Jabato”, “Flechas y Pelayos”, “Hazañas Bélicas”, etc. ).

The selection of this subset will be made in order to reuse this first archive comic database to generate a virtual digital exhibition, building the account of the Civil War and the immediate post-war in L’Hospitalet through how it is History has been seen and explained in the world of comics.

Sant Adrià – ‘Anima La Mina TV’, the digital newsletter of the La Mina neighborhood

To promote citizen participation in the activities of all entities in the neighborhood, a web platform will be implemented that brings together the news and monthly activities of neighborhood, cultural and educational entities in the neighborhood of La Mina de Sant Adrià del Besòs, and the present dynamic and attractive in multimedia format.

The proposed mechanics is that, each month, each entity can agilely fill a small standardized template, and edit a 1-minute summary video with the most outstanding information with open digital tools. These templates will show the name of the entity, basic contact information, descriptive text of the entity’s objectives (10 lines), 1-minute video summary of the month’s activities, short text describing the activities. The textual content will be stored in an open repository, while the videos will be hosted by an ethical and safe provider. The set of templates for each month will constitute the newsletter of the Digital TV of the Barrio de La Mina, where the community can find out what will be done in the neighborhood.

In addition to the free access mode on the network, this digital agenda on the web can also be accessed from a physical device in the library, with a large screen connected to the Internet from which to facilitate access from the library for those users with more difficulties.

Professional partners

Xarxa de Biblioteques Municipals de la Diputació de Barcelona