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11th National Congress of Public Libraries / XI Congreso Nacional de Bibliotecas Públicas

The General Directorate for Books, Comics and Reading of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, through the General Sub-directorate for Library Coordination, will organize the 11th National Congress of Public Libraries on October 18, 19 and 20, 2023 at the Baluarte de Pamplona Conference Center
Organizer: The General Directorate for Books, Comics and Reading of the Ministry of Culture and Sports

Introduction

The General Directorate for Books, Comics and Reading of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, through the General Sub-directorate for Library Coordination, will organize the 11th National Congress of Public Libraries on October 18, 19 and 20, 2023 at the Baluarte de Pamplona Conference Center, in collaboration with the Department of Culture and Sports of the Government of Navarra and the support of the Scientific Committee, made up of professionals from Autonomous Communities, foundations and professional library associations.
This biennial congress is being held at a key moment, since the IFLA / UNESCO Manifesto on public libraries was updated in 2022. First published in 1994, the manifesto has guided library policies internationally. The update of the manifesto redefines the role of public libraries and identifies them as agents of sustainable development and accessible spaces for the exchange of information, culture and civic engagement. In addition, it recognizes the importance of users in the creation of knowledge.
In 2022, the new EU Work Plan on Culture for the period 2023-2026 was also unveiled, which includes for the first time an action dedicated to libraries, recognizing their significant contribution to the consolidation of democracy, the involvement of citizens and the participation of the public in activities, as well as its ability to accommodate heterogeneous groups and provide access to plural and reliable information and diverse cultural content.
Both texts constitute an excellent starting point to reflect on emerging trends in libraries and the opportunities and challenges facing our profession. In this sense, the 11th National Congress of Public Libraries will focus on the theme of “Democracy and European policies for public libraries” and will revolve around three axes.
Democracy and European policies for public libraries
Traditionally, libraries have played an important role in the educational ecosystem and in the formation of the critical spirit of citizens through reading. Currently, information and training needs are more complex than ever, and libraries are a privileged place to acquire knowledge and skills such as digital, economic and legal literacy, necessary to exercise active citizenship and participate in public life.
In relation to Europe, the congress will explore the opportunities presented for European public libraries, particularly after the recent alliance between NAPLE, EBLIDA and Public Libraries 2030, as well as policies related to open government and citizen participation in libraries. Finally, European grants for libraries will also be explored, which are often not well known among professionals.
Reading
The book and reading constitute the heart of the library, starting point and reason for everything that happens within it. What and how we read has a lot to do with literacies and critical thinking. Knowing how to identify reliable sources, detect disinformation campaigns and develop critical thinking is more necessary than ever.
Rurality and sustainability
Finally, one of the great challenges that public libraries have in their role as the main meeting point with their community is that of care in the rural world, one of the great issues that has been reflected in the current Strategic Plan of the Spanish Library Cooperation Council (2019-2023). In the same way, the sustainability of library services over time and their relationship with environmental sustainability will be part of the transversal axes that will be the backbone of this edition of the Congress.
More information in English & Spanish

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