General Library


Barcelona City Council's Documentation and Knowledge-Access Service (SEDAC) was founded in 1983, following the example of other similar services found in European and North American cities, to meet the Council's document information and research needs while also providing the general public, institutions and enterprises with opportunities to consult public municipal documents.

Its name and duties have evolved over the years: first as the Administrative Library, then the General Library and currently the Document and Knowledge Access Service.

SEDAC and the City Council's departments

SEDAC works with all the municipal government's departments to attend to their information requirements. It provides documents as the basis for firm evidence for taking appropriate decisions, preparing regulations, drafting programmes and achieving the goals that are set out in the planning tools for each term of office. It offers them documentary and library services for the purposes of improving municipal efficiency; it subscribes to and manages databases and other e-resources at the corporate level and is tasked with improving municipal workers' skills in using information resources.

SEDAC gives advice on and clears up information queries from municipal bodies, drafts documentary reports for decision-making purposes, provides the domestic and international information needed for documenting the drafting of future regulations, works in a team at all levels of the authority and offers support to elected representatives, directors, professionals and all the other staff who are at the service of the municipal authority.

SEDAC sees to the efficient use of municipal information resources and, using selective and sustainable criteria, helps to highlight printed collections by opting for their digitisation.

SEDAC and the public

SEDAC is open to everyone, for the purposes of promoting free and unlimited access to public municipal documents in any format and medium. It offers its own online website and a consultation room on the ground floor of the City Hall's Palau building (Pl. Sant Jaume, 1), to ensure physical and digital access to everyone concerned, residents or visitors, individuals, institutions and/or companies.

SEDAC offers all concerned both individual and inter-library loans of municipal information as a means to providing knowledge on the city's local authority, promoting project consultations, municipal initiatives and organisation, enabling the public to exercise their rights and municipal activities to be monitored, by contributing to the public opinion-making and participation.

SEDAC works alongside the city's other players to raise the profile and promote the discovery of Barcelona's public documents. Users can use the Internet and Wi-Fi service for free.

It also offers new library services for fostering the re-use of municipal document contents, enabling innovative uses, new ideas and new solutions, and helping to boost the city's economic growth.

About the collections

The documentary collection, held in a variety of media and formats, is a reflection of municipal policies over time, ranging from a series of statistical data to reports, plans, regulations, budgets, government measures, magazines and videos, to enable users to get short-, mid- and long-term perspectives on the municipal terms of office, thereby helping to improve municipal transparency and acting as a means of improving public opinion-making and participation. A very high percentage of these materials have been drawn up by the councils of the democratic era, although there are other documents available that date back to the 19th century.

The collection also responds to the different goals and needs of the Municipal Corporation, which is why part of it specialises in public and local administration, legislation, social sciences and other similar disciplines.

Users can access documents through a variety of library search tools, such as the Collective Catalogue for Barcelona City Council Libraries CBAB, the University Union Catalogue of Catalonia CCUC, which the City Council is part of.

Unless stated otherwise, the contents of this website are subject to a Creative Commons licence.