The Gabriel Garcia Marquez Library beckons readers with its comfortable and stylish furnishings, Source: Ajuntament de Barcelona

This Barcelona library is now the best in the world

This Barcelona library is now the best in the world

It was named after Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the legendary Nobel laureate

Yesterday, the World Congress of Libraries, taking place in Rotterdam, announced the winner of its prestigious Public Library of the Year 2023, and it’s - Biblioteca Gabriel García Márquez in Barcelona. The Spanish library came out on top thanks to its exemplary spirit of interaction provided to its users.

This recognition is not only for Gabriel Garcia Marquez Library. It’s for the entire team of Barcelona libraries, the architects and the municipality of Barcelona. It’s a gift for the citizens. The democratic and social rights and values are key to our library. This recognition is an award for the Barcelona people,” stated Ferran Burguillos, managing director of the Barcelona Libraries City Network.

The design of the library building itself resembles an open book with folded pages. The floor plan is smartly designed, creating distinct spaces that cater to different needs and activities. 

You can find the library in the Sant Marti district. Its specialized profile is Latin American literature, hence why it bears the name of the Colombian Nobel Literature Prize winner. However, there’s another link since Gabriel García Márquez spent seven years of his life in the Catalonian capital.

Locally, it’s the third largest library in the city, counting 4,000 m2 of space – spread over six floors. The building's sustainable strategies have seen it earn another award - the Gold LEED award for green buildings.

The other contenders

The Barcelona library came out on top, though there was strong competition. The final shortlist of nominees also included another European public library - the Janez Vajkard Valvasor Krškov Public Library (Slovenia), and two from other continents - the City of Parramatta Library (Australia), and the Shanghai Library East (China).

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) annually bestows the Public Library of the Year award together with USD 5,000 in prize money to the winning entry.



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