Sant Pau – Santa Creu Library, Barcelona, Spain

Photo: Jordi Casañas
Photo: Jordi Casañas

Name of the Library   Sant Pau – Santa Creu Library
Parent Organisation:   Biblioteques de Barcelona

Street Address:  Carme 47 – Hospital 56
Postal Address: Carme 47 – Hospital 56    08001 Barcelona
Telephone : +34 933020797
Web Address:
Library Email:
Type of Library: Medium size town library
Population served:
Project Type: Refurbishment
Size (square metres): 1.127 m2
Date of Completion:   49,225
Architect:   Is a XV Century Building. The refurbishment is from Arq Forum. SLP

Photo: Jordi Casañas
Photo: Jordi Casañas

The library Sant Pau- Santa Creu is part of Biblioteques de Barcelona (Barcelona Libraries), the entity that manages the network of 40 public libraries in the city.

The library building forms part of the former Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau site in the Raval neighbourhood in Barcelona. Though the Gothic building we see today was completed in various stages after 1401, its origins lie in a Tenth-century hospice and hospital for pilgrims. The site ceased to serve as a hospital in the early-twentieth century, when this function was transferred to the Hospital de Sant Pau.

Santa Creu children’s library and Sant Pau young people’s library were established separately in different sections of the building in 1940 and1941. In 1970, the Sant Pau library was transferred to its present premises, and five years later the Santa Creu library was also added. The facilities were reorganised and refurbished in 2010 and today form a single library with different sections to cater for all users.

Photo: Jordi Casañas
Photo: Jordi Casañas

The library collection encompasses more than 56,000 documents, on different supports and in different fields, which is increased each month by new acquisitions. A selection of newspapers and magazines is also available.

The library includes a section devoted to El Raval, with a collection of documents referring both to the neighbourhood itself and to Ciutat Vella district in general. The section also contains local periodicals that have been published over the years, some still in existence, as well as films linked to the neighbourhood. In this section, users can also visit small thematic exhibitions and consult the database.
The library has a special collection devoted to the Arab world. Also focuses on the following centres of interest:
• Learning basic Catalan and Spanish
• Vocational training
• Immigration and cultural diversity
• Oposicions (civil service examinations)
• Parents’ corner
• The Indian sub-continent

The Sant Pau-Santa Creu library organises cultural activities and programmes aimed at encouraging reading amongst different ages and interest groups: exhibitions, lectures, book clubs, storytelling, children’s workshops… The library also hosts, promotes or takes part in many initiatives that are generated in El Raval, forming networks with other organisations to develop projects. These activities are aimed at transmitting the pleasure of reading and encouraging users to discover new authors and learn more about current issues, and are always closely linked to the library collections.

The programme Molt per aprendre (“Lots to Learn”) includes two seasons: Creacions (workshops devoted to writing, oral and visual arts) and the Aula Digital (introductory activities to computers, photography, self-access language learning, freeware and creating blogs).




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