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Regulations for use of the Idescat library

1. Presentation

1.1 History

The Library was created in 1969 as a documentation centre for the Mixed Commission of Statistical Coordination. This institution became, in 1973, the Consortium of Information and Documentation of Catalonia.

The Statistical Institute of Catalonia (Idescat) was created in 1989. It absorbed the Consorci d'Informacio i Documentació de Catalunya (Consortium on Information and Documentation of Catalonia). Idescat is an administratively autonomous institution affiliated to the Ministry of the Vice-presidency and of Economy and Finance of the Generalitat de Catalunya. Its library depends on the Department of Communication and Dissemination of the General Sub-Directorate of Information and Communication.

This long history and specialisation since its early days in statistical information is reflected in the composition of the Library's collection which, as shall be revealed later, contains important historical series that, in some cases, are only offered by this Library.

At present, and after a process of change and adaptation to the new social and technological situation, the Library has reoriented its services in order to promote support not only for users that come to the library in person, but also "virtual" users.

1.2. Mission

The Idescat Library is the official deposit of statistics in Catalonia. Its mission is to conserve, disseminate and facilitate, for free, all of this information, whether produced by Idescat itself or by other entities forming part of the Catalan Statistical System, and to provide personal support for the work done by the Institution's staff.

1.3. Access

The Idescat Library can be accessed freely. Like any public building, identification must be provided to the security staff in order to gain entry.

1.4. Ownership

The Idescat Library is publically owned.

1.5. Specialisation

The Library is specialised in official statistics relating to the Catalan region.

1.6. Documentary collection

The Library specialises in publications of a statistical and methodological nature, on a Catalan, regional, state and European Community level. It also contains a major historical collection of Spanish statistics, which is complemented by data on the autonomous communities and a selection of statistics offered by the European Union and the main international organisations.

For the purchase of documents, the Library has an annual budget, which is divided into different sections in relation to the subjects of the publications. The selection of these documents is governed by criteria passed in March 2008.

1.7. Catalogue

The whole of the Library's collection is digitally recorded. This catalogue can be accessed from the Idescat website.

The cataloguing of documents in the Library is governed by the following standards:

  • anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR2)
  • ISBD Standard bibliographic descriptions
  • MARC 21 format
  • the Library's own specifications (currently being revised)

Given the specificity of the collection, the Library has, on the one hand, its own classification of large subject groups that is used for cataloguing documents and ordering them in the Hall, and on the other, a thesaurus for the indexing of documents (Thesaurus de termes estadístics. Barcelona. Institut d'Estadística de Catalunya, 1993).

1.8. Address

Statistical Institute of Catalonia. Library

Via Laietana, 58, 08003 Barcelona

Tel. +34 935 573 100

biblioteca at idescat dot cat

To find out how to get here, check Where are we.

1.9. Opening hours

  • General: working days from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • No service: 24 and 31 December
  • Special: during the month of August there is no in-person service

As for the telephone service, the Library answers direct calls to +34 935 573 100 for statistical information, a service which is also available in August.

Outside these hours you can make your request for statistical information by accessing the Queries service. You may also send us your Suggestions.

2. Equipment

The Library has two rooms for users to make consultations, which offer the following resources:

  • 21 reading points
  • 1 printer
  • 1 photocopier
  • 3 computers with Internet connection
  • 1 scanner
  • Wi-Fi service

In terms of work spaces and document deposits, the Library offers:

  • a work zone, annexed to one of the consultation rooms
  • a restricted space for the deposit of electronic resources
  • 2,500 metres of documentary deposits on paper, also restricted access

3. Users

The users of the Library are all members of the public with an interest in viewing the collection, as well as the staff of the Statistical Institute of Catalonia. Services offered make a distinction between:

  • internal users: Idescat staff
  • external users: Departments and organisations of the administration and members of the public with an interest in the materials belonging to the Library

The following section details the services offered by the Library. When the service is only available to internal users, this is specified. However, some of the services that are currently only offered to Idescat users are susceptible to being extended to Administration staff.

4. Services

The Library offers a series of services destined to cover the information needs of its users.

4.1. Customer support

4.1.1. Specific hotline for statistical information

This service provides users with support in their searches for information. It provides users with all the information they need to find the data they require, via our website, and other pages produced by members of the Catalan Statistical System or other specialised centres or institutions. In certain cases, they are guided to other areas of Idescat or to the Made to measure request support service. If feasible, they are provided with some data via telephone. This service is governed by criteria that serve as a guide in order to maintain the coherence of responses.

4.1.2. Personal consultation in Library hall

Access to the Library is free. Users can enter the Library and consult any of the documents contained in the centre.

On accessing the Library, users are asked to fill in a form where they are asked what data they are searching for and what type of user they are (private, student, researcher, etc.), in order to extract statistics referring to the most common requests, the most commonly used materials and to know who the users of the service are.

In the hall, users can use the reprographics service, a scanner and three computers with Internet access. Certain restrictions are applied to these computers to avoid misuse.

4.1.3. Selective diffusion of information

Via a distribution list, the Library provides a series of information/notes:

  • News service: this is a monthly service for internal users. All subscribers on the distribution list receive, for free by email, all new items to have been acquired either by purchase, donation or exchange. This service can be extended to staff in other Departments.
  • Issue of announcements of arrivals of journals: this is a service for internal users. When the Library receives new issues, users with an interest in any title receive an abstract or link to the complete text of the publication. This service can be extended to staff in other Departments.

4.1.4. Made to measure request support service

Idescat has a made to measure request service that deals with any data that is not available on its website. The Library responds to any consultations assigned to it.

4.1.5. Suggestion box

Users have the option of sending Idescat any suggestion or opinion. The Library takes responsibility for responding to or forwarding, as appropriate, these suggestions.

4.1.6. Reprographics service

The fees for this service were approved by Decree published in the DOGC.

Private users many photocopy, for research purposes, parts of documents at the Centre itself, subject to the conditions of current legislation.

4.2. Lending service

4.2.1. Lending to internal users

All of the documents are available to Idescat staff. They can be lent for one month, a period which can be extended twice more, as long as the document has not been reserved by another user.

Users that due to their work for Idescat need a document for an indefinite period, may be granted permanent lending. The Library must have access to these documents for inventory purposes and also to cater for consultations made by other users. If it is detected that any document is requested very frequently, the Library may consider the possibility of acquiring additional copies.

4.2.2. Lending to external users

External lending is only permitted to staff of the Departments of the Generalitat de Catalunya.

4.2.3. Inter-library lending

Idescat's Library provides lending services to other libraries (specialised, public and university libraries, among others) and other departments or institutions belonging to the Administration.

Inter-library lending is a service that enables other centres to consult original documents or copies in our collection. Similarly, our users can obtain documentation from other Institutions. The aim is to facilitate the exchange of documents between libraries.

The Library has documents that are excluded from lending and which are identified as such in the Library catalogue. However, the Library reserves the right not to lend any document for reasons of conservation or any other reason that it considers appropriate.

5. Charter of rights and obligations of Idescat users


  1. To use adequate information facilities, equipment and resources
  2. To obtain information through consultation and inter-library lending
  3. To enjoy broad opening hours
  4. To be guaranteed confidentiality with respect to personal details and consultations of information
  5. To receive personalised, correct and efficient attention from the Library staff


  1. To contribute to the maintenance of the information facilities, equipment and resources
  2. In order to safeguard proper hygiene, not to bring food or beverages into the Library
  3. To respect the other users and staff of the Library
  4. To respect the opening hours of the Library
  5. To look after personal items, for which the Library accepts no responsibility
  6. To respect Intellectual Property Law