Les biblioteques populars de Barcelona com a espais de socialització durant el segon franquisme, 1957-1975

Sala de lectura de la Biblioteca Mossèn Homar de l'Hospitalet (1963) (Anuario..., 1968, p. 248–249)

Objectius: analitzar com han evolucionat les activitats culturals de les biblioteques populars de la província de Barcelona en iniciar-se el període que va de 1959 a 1975, l’anomenat — Objectives: to analyse how the cultural activities of the popular libraries in the province of Barcelona evolved in the second period of Francoist Spain, that is between the years 1957 to 1975. This paper examines the type and nature of these activities; the interest they generated among the respective communities and the way in which the activities were adapted to a society that was undergoing profound changes; the importance of various social and cultural movements that emerged with particular strength in those years; the role played in them by Catalan language and culture; local alliances, and the extent to which these activities were guided by the authorities or responded to the initiative of the librarians.

Methodology: an exhaustive report and analysis were undertaken of the activities organised in each of the popular libraries of the Provincial Council of Barcelona between 1957 and 1975, as reported in the Anuario de la Biblioteca Central y de las populares y especiales. The study examines all the popular libraries and the stable branch libraries that had a person responsible for their running.

Results: it was during the sixties that the popular libraries were most active in promoting cultural activities. In general, they were well integrated within their respective communities and, thanks to the efforts of those responsible for their organisation, readers were able to follow closely the cultural movements that emerged in the capital: plays staged in the independent theatres, play readings, film forums, recitals of Nova Cançó promoting Catalan music etc. The libraries recovered their role as disseminators of culture, which they had had on being founded, and dedicated themselves once more to the task of promoting Catalan language and culture. Likewise, as in that earlier period, they once again became politically neutral spaces, but a neutrality that was characterised by its exclusive, non-integrative nature, which explains why they remained on the sidelines of certain social and political worries of the civil society of the day.