Library Living Lab – Barcelona


Fernando Vilariño

Computer Vision Centre, Campus UAB

08193, Bellaterra

Barcelona, Spain


The Library Living Lab – Barcelona (L3), is an open, participatory, experimentation and co-creation space, situated in the public library “Miquel Batllori” at the Volpelleres neighbourhood of Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain. This Living Lab is a genuin bottom-up implementation of a people/public/private scheme.

The laboratory was developed as a joint initiative between the Association of Neighbours of Volpelleres, the Municipality of Sant Cugat, the Provincial Council of Barcelona, the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, and the Computer Vision Centre, which is coordinating the Living Lab activities.

“The mission of L3 is to explore how technology can transform the experience of users, enable new services and applications in the cultural domain, and foster research and innovation activity through promoting the active and open participation of all stakeholders in the innovation process.”

The Library Living Lab is an actual laboratory and a thematic Living Lab. It is positioned by design and by definition firmly within the culture domain, and is defined by the particular context of libraries and archives. The lab’s focus is on technology-based solutions and on how technological advances can be meaningfully exploited within the cultural context.

L3 is the result of a bottom up initiative from the very citizens of the local neighbourhood. It was born by the restless drive of the local population to improve their area and is a fruit of local awareness. L3 was ideated jointly between the Association of Neighbours of Volpelleres (the area where the public library “Miquel Batllori” is located) and the Computer Vision Centre, a research institution in Barcelona. L3 is setup within aflexible space, designed and constructed from the beginning in order to host such an advanced infrastructure, responding both to technology challenges (easiness to create new installations) and to architectural challenges (participation friendly, open to users, respecting the character of a public library).


The Library Living Lab is setup in a public space, the public library “Miquel Batllori” at Sant Cugat, Barcelona. Its nature as a public service is important to convey its open and participatory character and foster user-driven, open innovation.

L3 is hosted by the network of libraries of the Barcelona Provincial Council (Diputació de Barcelona). It occupies a unique position within this network as it serves as the designated experimentation space within the province network of libraries, designed to host activities aiming to the innovation of library services. The provincial network of libraries counts with 216 service points, offering services to 5 million citizens (2.5 million registered users). To the best of our knowledge, this gives L3 a unique position in country and EU-wise.

Finally, the Library Living Lab - Barcelona has both a local and international commitment in its activities, and it remains open for collaborations in the framework its responsible research at EU-level.

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