Digital citizen laboratories – Bibliolabs

Promoted by Xarxa de Biblioteques Municipals de la Diputació de Barcelona

Role and tasks at Bitlab

Coordination and implementation of two pilot projects

Digital citizen laboratories for open and collaborative innovation in library buses and small libraries at the Pedraforca Library Bus and the Sallent Library

The digital citizen laboratories are a space for the development of the digital capacities of the citizens, with an environment that allows people to be more effective in the use of digital digital technologies. Through active participation in the development of a practical project of cultural or social impact and community impact, impulses from the library, the citizens are empowered digitally and become aware of the possibilities and dangers of new digital technologies. In this way, citizen are empowered as co-leaders in the creation of digital solutions to their local challenges, generating social value and technological sovereignty. In short, the digital citizen laboratory is the physical location where the activities take place, but also the methodology for generating and mobilising an ecosystem around digital technologies, assets and skills as a commons. The innovative ecosystem finds in their local library a nurturing environment to generate social value with open digital technologies.

In the period from September 2019 to March 2020, this methodology has been deployed in two modalities of pilots, which have been completed in municipalities on hi have librarians or bibliobusos of the XBM.

Pedraforca Library Bus – «The 1994 forest fires in the Berguedà region»

The scenario of the Pedraforca bibliobus pilot aims to create an open digital archive that constitutes a documentary and photographic compilation of the fires that affected seven municipalities in the Berguedà region 25 years ago. 25 years ago there were no social networks, and therefore the participation of the citizens of Olvan and Montmajor was necessary to successfully identify, collect, digitize and catalog all the material in the digital repository that has been enabled.

In this pilot, the involvement of the municipal schools of Montmajor and Olvan, grouped in a Rural School Zone (school unit distributed in buildings of several municipalities, with permanent teachers and itinerant specialists) has taken special relevance. The process of generating the repository has benefited from its inclusion in the curriculum of students in grades 5 and 6 of the two schools as a special activity, in the spirit of youth journalistic investigation of the fires of 1994 and digital training to edit and publish these journalistic stories.

The City Councils of Montmajor and Olvan have also participated, which through their respective Councilors for Culture have made an open appeal to citizens to contribute videos, photographs, newspaper clippings and any other material that may contribute to the understanding and disclosure of the terrible experience that the fires of 94 meant for the municipalities of the region.


Sallent Library – “The experience of women working in the textile factories of Sallent and Cabrianes»

The Adona’t entity, an association that works for the equality of women, set itself the challenge of recovering the experiences of the women who had worked in the factories of Sallent until the last century and denouncing the unfavorable working conditions they had suffered. The Sallent Library, within the framework of the Bibliolabs program, offered to support methodological, technological and innovation to promote this project.

Thus, the aim is to collaboratively create a website or repository, open to contributions from citizens, to expose digitized photographs and personal stories in audiovisual format of female textile factory workers – already disappeared – from Sallent and Cabrianes, as well as documentation and data on the exploitation and unfavorable working conditions of these women.

With the completion of the project, the entire population will have access to information and resources that are close to them (in Sallent all families have ancestors who had worked in textile factories), but that new generations are unaware of. The project aims to reach many people in the population: the elderly who had worked in the factories and who have been interviewed, relatives who keep documentation, and local historians who contextualize these experiences.


Professional partners

Xarxa de Biblioteques Municipals de la Diputació de Barcelona