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Biblioteca de Salamanca : Public Library Casa de las Conchas

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Introduction

The Public Library Casa de las Conchas was formally inaugurated in November 1993. This library is a centre of open and plural communication and participation that offers its users a wide range of informational, cultural and technological resources as its aim is to strengthen their creative, social and learning skills. It is an active centre that looks towards the future and takes great interest in social changes and new ways of expression.

To undertake these TASKS the Library relies on:

  • A unique building, La Casa de las Conchas, where 3,800 of working space is available.
  • A collection of books, films, CDs and regular publications that add up to 140,000 titles.
  • A professional team that counts on with 34 people who are constantly updated.
  • A broad range of external contributors from different areas and backgrounds.
  • Free wifi access and 15 computer booths with the Internet access.
  • A rich and varied cultural activity programme throughout the year.
  • Various rooms for meetings, events and exhibitions.
  • A website, Pregunte (a virtual reference service), and a growing presence in social media.
  • Reading clubs, workshops and training sessions in different fields.
  • And a much more…

If you want to actively cooperate in our project you can do it through our Library Friends Association.

The building

La Casa de las Conchas is considered to be one of the most outstanding examples of the Spanish Gothic architecture and, at the same time, one of the most beautiful buildings dating back to the time of the Catholic Monarchs. The exact date of its construction is unknown, although it is believed that the works began in 1493 and were completed in 1512.

It initially belonged to Dr. Rodrigo Maldonado of Talavera, Knight of the Order of Santiago. He was also a Professor of Law at the University and, at that time, a member of the Royal Council of the Catholic Monarchs. It was consequently inherited by his grandson Pedro Maldonado Pimentel, who was, unfortunately, executed after the defeat of the Comuneros in Villalar. Later, it belonged to the Marquis of Valcarzana and then to the Count of Santa Coloma.

The façade is decorated with more than 300 scallop shells. While some authors see in them the symbol of the Order of Santiago, others think they can be associated to the heraldic pattern of the Pimentel family. Experts think this because Don Rodrigo’s son, Arias Maldonado, married Juana Pimentel, whose family Coat of Arms includes shells in its design.

It should be noted that on the outside, the building contains Gothic bars on the two lower windows and on the main floor windows. These are divided by columns that combine French Gothic decorations and Renaissance ledges. The Coat of Arms of Don Rodrigo rests on top of the lintel of the entrance door, which is off-centred as in most Renaissance buildings. It has five fleur-de-lis which are hold by two lions. Underneath, three pairs of dolphins appear, a Renaissance symbol of love, which in this case relate to the marriage between Maldonado and Pimentel. At the top of the façade, the Coat of Arms of the Catholic Monarchs can be found.

The inner courtyard is composed of two floors:

The ground floor includes combined arches that can be found in other buildings of Salamanca. There are lion heads attached to the arches spandrels with the rings hanging from their mouths, which support the guige form Maldonado’s shields. These shields are decorated with their respective fleur-de-lis.

The upper floor has segmental arches with Corinthian columns erected in Italian white marble. It is worth mentioning that the building also includes coffered ceilings both on the courtyard staircase and in the main rooms.

The original building consisted of two towers on each corner. One was demolished in the eighteenth century and the other was preserved, although it’s height was reduced. It underwent several remodelling works throughout the eighteenth century. Finally, in 1701, the façade corresponding to the Rua street, work of Pedro de Acosta, was added.

Throughout the twentieth century the building has had various functions, such as a teaching centre and temporary headquarters of the Provincial Museum. In 1929 the building was declared a National Monument.

Finally, after many years of being closed, it was opened to the public in November 1993 as a public library. The adaptation works of the building to remodel it as public library were carried out by Victor López Cotelo and Carlos Puente, who searched the proper definition and construction of the essential elements needed for the building’s new functions, and tried to make them cohabitate with the traditional construction materials. The wooden framework of the ceilings and the smooth, white texture of the walls, contribute to a warm and homelike atmosphere.

Bibliography

ÁLVAREZ VILLAR, J. La Casa de las Conchas de Salamanca. Salamanca : Caja Duero, 2002.

CASANOVA TODOLÍ, U. Salamanca biografía de una ciudad. Salamanca: Amarú, 2002.

V. LÓPEZ COTELO y C.PUENTE. Lectura pública en la Casa de las Conchas. In: Arquitectura Viva. ISSN 0214-1256. Madrid: AVISA . N. 33 (Nov.-Dec. 1993), p. 50-58.

Organisation of the Library’s collection

The Public Library of Salamanca has some special features that certainly define it:

  • It is open to every user above 14 years of age, and, especially for them, we have a small selection of resources in the Youth Section.
  • It does not have a study room. However, it offers a reading room for consultation. It does not have a children’s room either.
  • Most of the resources are available for loan, collection references are located in both consultation room and displayed between works of the general collection.
  • It has an integrated collection which is ordered having in mind the content of its resources, and not the physical or technological support of them (books, magazines, maps, plans, DVD, CD-ROM...). We aim to ensure that all documents dealing with the same topic are gathered together, thus making it easier for our users to find them.

The resources of the collection are structured in several sections:

Creativity and Expression Area

It gathers all these works aiming at developing the creative universes and the abilities of expression of our users.

World and Diversity Area

Resources from thematic areas that show us and help us to understand our World’s diversity.

Music and Cinema

Music and cinema resources

Green Space Area

Ecology, nature, environment, gardening, landscaping, zoology and pets.

Literature

Wide representation of creative literature and collection of essays in Spanish and other significant languages of our surrounding.

Science and Knowledge

Resources of different areas of knowledge presented in a variety of formats.

Areas of interest

Different resources presented in an informal, agile and user-friendly way.

Newspaper archives

It gathers national press, official publications and magazines
Library cards

TABI application:   Application form for the user card of the Library System of Castile and León

The user card is the only requirement enabling access to the services offered by the Salamanca Public Library.

The user card is personal and non-transferable. Its exceptional use by another person must be authorised directly by the owner of the card and duly authorised in each case.

Each user card is unique and valid for all libraries of the Library System of Castile and León.

The cardholder commits to comply with the current regulations to make use of the libraries of the Library System of Castile and León.

Library System of Castile and LeónWhat type of card can I apply for? 

Children and Youth card (valid until the user reaches the age of 14)

Adult card (above 14 years of age the card is valid for an unlimited period)

Researcher card (to access special resources such as the old repository and the book collection of the local section, valid for three years)

Documentation Professional card (to access the specialized resources of Library Science and Documentation, valid for three years)

Group card (for schools, associations and institutions, valid for three years)

Book Club card (for managing loans of book sets to the book clubs, valid for three years)

The user card is personal and non-transferable. Its exceptional use by another person must be authorised directly by the owner of the card.

What are the requirements? 

Children and Youth card, which will be issued to users who are under thirteen. This card shall be requested by the father, mother or other legal guardian of the child, and must be signed by them, even if the card is issued in the child's name.

Adult card, intended for users aged fourteen or over.

For the other types of cards, see the following document:

Requirements (76 kbytes)

How to modify user data? 

The user is obliged to keep updated the data included in the user card’s application form such as the address, telephone or e-mail. These data enable the user to access the services and information resources of the libraries included in the scope of application of this order.

In regard to the Children and Youth card, the cardholder, a parent or any other legal guardian of the child, shall report any modification that occurs, or an error detected in the information provided in the user card’s application form. The notification will be sent to any of the libraries of the Castile and León Library System and, preferably, to the library that the user is member of.

How to report the loss of the user card?

The cardholder and, in regard to the Children and Youth card, the parent or any other legal guardian of the child, shall notify the loss or theft of the user card.

The report will be made in the shortest time possible to any of the libraries indicated and preferably to the library that the user is member of.

Where and how to submit it

In person:

At any library of the Library System by filling in, at that moment, the application form or the report, or by handing in the printed form that automatically appears in the computer application.

Information and registration offices of the Junta de Castilla y León

In any of the places set out in the Article 38.4 of Law 30/1992 (LRJAP)

Online:

Online via the computer application User Card of the Castilla y León Library System (TABI) 

You can access the application at https://www.tramitacastillayleon.jcyl.es/

Any interested party wishing to use the application must have an electronic ID card (DNIe) or an electronic certificate recognised by the Administration of the Region of Castilla y León. If a person does not have an ID card or electronic certificate, he/she can use the application to fill in the application form or the report that he/she wishes to submit.

The application allows the online payment of the corresponding fee in the cases provided, through authorised financial entities.

Fees for issuing duplicates and replacement copies

Fee for issuing duplicates and replacement copies of the user card, established

by Article 127 of Law 12/2001, of 20 December, on Public Prices and Fees of the Autonomous Region of Castilla y León. *Updated annually by the Taxation Measures Law, Administrative Law and Financial Law.

Files and library fees (642 kbytes)

Loan

The library offers its users an extensive collection of books, discs, DVDs, CD-ROMs and magazines for home loan.

The loan is free of charge, you only need to present a user card.

Loan for adults

Number of documents

Days on loan 

Renewals

Reservations

Books

5

21

1

2

Syllabus of public examinations

5

7

No

No

Magazines

2

7

No

No

DVD (films)

2

7

No

No

DVD (educational)

2

7

No

No

CD-ROMs

2

7

No

No

CD (audible)

2

7

No

No

E-readers

1

21

No

No

Musical scores

5

21

1

2

Maps

5

21

1

2

E-books

2

21

No

2

Overdue return

The overdue return will be sanctioned with the temporal suspension of the loan with a day for each day of delay and for each item returned late.

Loss or damage

Preferably, each lost document should be substituted by another identical or similar one. In case this is not possible the amount at issue should be payed in cash. The service will be interrupted until the document is replaced or the payment is done.

Renewal

Book renewals can be done only once and only if the item borrowed has not been reserved by any other reader.

The renewal of a book should be done within five days before the return date, online, by phone or in the library at the loan desk.

Reservations

  • Reservations can only be made for books that are already borrowed and with only one reservation.
  • Each book only allows a maximum of 2 reservations at the same time.
  • Each user can reserve a maximum of 2 books.

Reservations can be made online by phone or in the library at the loan desk.

The library will notify the user about the availability of reserved materials by post or e-mail. The user will have six clear days from the date of the notification to collect the material from the library. Once this period has run out without the book having been collected, the reservation will be cancelled, and the book will be placed at the disposal of the next reader who has reserved it or at its corresponding place. The failure to collect the reserved material will result in a temporary penalty without being able to use the library loan service.

Telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of the loan service:

Tel. 923-269317

Monday to Friday from 9am to 9pm (in summer from 9am to 3pm)

Saturdays from 9am to 2pm

E-mail address: bpsalamanca@jcyl.es

Interlibrary loan:  How to order documents from other libraries?

What materials can be ordered?

As a general rule, any type of material available in libraries can be ordered. However, in certain cases, there might be possible exceptions:

  • Only documents not available in the library or in other locally accessible public library may be requested.
  • Conservation equity funds (Legal Deposit and old repository), some reference works (dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc.) or fragile materials with special conservation needs are excluded from the service.
  • Some libraries exclude materials such as DVDs or CD-ROMs from this type of loan.
  • In the case of literary works and films, it is only possible to request requested those that have been in the lending library for one year since the registration date, when they have been edited in the previous or current year. The previously edited items can always be ordered.
  • In the case of non-literary works, documentaries and music, only may be requested those works that have been registered in the lending library for at least 6 months, when they have been edited during the current or the previous year. The previously edited items can always be ordered.

When articles from periodical publications or parts of a work are ordered, a digital or paper copy shall be provided that should be paid by the user.

How to apply for an interlibrary loan?

To formalise the request, the Interlibrary Loan Application Form that will be provided in the library, must be completed. You can also apply online by filling in the appropriate form that can be found in the links on the right-hand side.

Each user may request a maximum of four documents per month as well as their corresponding attachments. The same user may not request the same document twice; he or she must wait at least six months to do so again.

How to complete the Interlibrary Loan Application Form? 

In addition to the user's personal and location data, it is very important that the bibliographic data provided in the document are correct and sufficient for identification purposes.

When the identification of the document involves any doubt, the Bibliographic Source box must be completed, quoting the work where the document has been described and, also, a photocopy of the reference source, must be included.

How much does this service cost?

The interlibrary loan is not always for free.

In the case of a loan between public libraries, the shipping costs and the return of the works are generally assumed by the institution.

However, there are some libraries (university, national, investigational, foreign, etc.) that charge their own fees for this service, and in this case, the user is responsible for the generated expenses.

In the case of the request of copies, the user should pay the official fees charged by the supplier entity and commit to use them according to the current legislation regulated by Intellectual Property.

A previous quote can be requested in the library, optionally the maximal charge that you are willing to pay can be indicated in the request application form.

When is the document received?

Requests are managed in each case by the fastest way: email or fax.

The response time depends on the type of document that is requested and on the supplier library. Aspects such as whether the book is borrowed, whether it is a material that needs to be reproduced, etc., can significantly delay the delivery.

How is the user informed about the arrival of the requested material?

When the requested document is received the interested person is informed through a phone, email or post.

It is of significant importance that the user’s location data are updated in his or her library user sheet.

In case the user does not collect the documents he or she asked for within six days since the notification, he will be penalized and will not be able to benefit from the services of the library network for a week.

How long does the loan last?

The loan period is given by the supplier library, but it is usually of 21 days for books and of 7 days for audiovisual materials. Check with your library for the loan term in each case.

The user is responsible for the loaned work and its return and, as such, must answer to the lending library, even if it may be through the library from which the work was borrowed.

Can I take the requested materials home with me?

The use conditions of the requested materials are established by the supplying library.

In most cases, it is possible to take home the works obtained through this service, but in other cases, the user must consult the requested document in his or her own library.       

Can I apply for an Interlibrary Loan if I have a penalty on my user card?

No, you must wait until the sanction period specified by the library is over.

The Interlibrary Loan (IL) service makes it possible to obtain materials from another centre (for a given period of time and under specific conditions) that are not in the library's collections.

This service can be used by anyone who has an adult library user card and is not penalised for delays in returns, etc.

Renewals and reservations

How to make online renewals and reservations?

How can loans be RENEWED?

To renew the borrowed material, you must access the catalogue as a registered user. Access to the catalogue

Basic rules

Renewals may be made:

  • Only once for each document
  • Always within the last 5 days of the current loan period
  • Users with adult user cards can renew their borrowed books and the corresponding associated materials (CD-ROM).
  • Users with a children user card can renew their borrowed books and the corresponding associated materials (CD-ROM).

Instructions

  1. Enter the catalogue as a registered user and click on the Reader Data/Renewals button.
  2. You will see the documents you have borrowed. Those that can be renewed will appear with a blank box on the right.
  3. Select the validation box and click Renew.
  4. The Return Date box will display the new period.

Why can’t the borrowed books be renewed online?

If the system does not allow you to renew borrowed books online, it may be for one of the following reasons:

  1. You might be trying to renew the books before it is permitted. This period consists on the last five days of the moment for which they were lent.
  2. Borrowed books can only be renewed once.
  3. The book has been reserved by another reader.
  4. You have a penalty for returning books, CDs, etc. with a delay.

How can a book be RESERVED?

If you wish to reserve books that are on loan, you must access the catalogue as a registered user.  Access to the catalogue.

Basic rules

  • Please note that only borrowed or reserved copies can be reserved.
  • Each material for loan will have a maximum of 2 requested reservations and therefore the reserving option will not appear when this number of reservations is reached.
  • Users with an adult user card can reserve a maximum of two adult books, two children's books and their associated materials (CD-ROM) if the libraries have them.
  • Users with a children card can reserve two children's books and their associated materials (CD-ROM) if they have them.

The library will notify the user about the availability of the reserved materials by post or e-mail. You will have six clear days from the date of the notification to borrow the materials from the library. After this period has run out without having collected them, the reservation will be cancelled, and the book will be available to the next reader who has a reservation. In this case, a seven-day penalty will be imposed without being able to use the library loan service.

Instructions

  1. Enter the catalogue as a registered user. Access to the catalogue.
  2. Search in the catalogue for the book of your interest, once found, confirm that the item is borrowed in the Availability section, where the return date appears.
  3. If everything is done correctly, you will see that after the book's location data the Reservation button appears. Please click on this button.
  4. Select the Request box in the book you want and click OK. The location data of the book and its title will appear.
  5. Press OK again and… congratulations! You have already made your reservation.

Remember that you have six days from the date of the notification to collect it.

How can I view or delete a reservation?

Enter the catalogue as a registered user. Access to the catalogue.

Access the Catalogue Consultation, and from the Reader Data/Renewals section you can check the list of reservations you have made, as well as the number in the waiting list for that copy, bearing in mind that it is a maximum of two.

You can delete the reservation by clicking the Delete button.

Why does the system does not allow me to reserve a book?

If the system does not allow you to reserve books online, this may be due to one of the following reasons:

  1. The item is not on loan
  2. You have exceeded the maximum number of reservations allowed for a user.
  3. The book you wish to borrow has already the maximum number of reservations allowed.
  4. You have been penalized for returning books, CDs, etc. with a delay.
  5. The copy belongs to a library that does not provide this service.
Renewals and reservations. How to make online renewals and reservations?

How can loans be renewed?

To renew the borrowed material, you must access the catalogue as a registered user. Access to the catalogue

Basic rules

Renewals may be made:

  • Only once for each document
  • Always within the last 5 days of the current loan period
  • Users with adult user cards can renew their borrowed books and the corresponding associated materials (CD-ROM).
  • Users with a children user card can renew their borrowed books and the corresponding associated materials (CD-ROM).

Instructions

  1. Enter the catalogue as a registered user and click on the Reader Data/Renewals button.
  2. You will see the documents you have borrowed. Those that can be renewed will appear with a blank box on the right.
  3. Select the validation box and click Renew.
  4. The Return Date box will display the new period.

Why can’t the borrowed books be renewed online?

If the system does not allow you to renew borrowed books online, it may be for one of the following reasons:

  1. You might be trying to renew the books before it is permitted. This period consists on the last five days of the moment for which they were lent.
  2. Borrowed books can only be renewed once.
  3. The book has been reserved by another reader.
  4. You have a penalty for returning books, CDs, etc. with a delay.

How can a book be reserved?

If you wish to reserve books that are on loan, you must access the catalogue as a registered user.  Access to the catalogue.

Basic rules

  • Please note that only borrowed or reserved copies can be reserved.
  • Each material for loan will have a maximum of 2 requested reservations and therefore the reserving option will not appear when this number of reservations is reached.
  • Users with an adult user card can reserve a maximum of two adult books, two children's books and their associated materials (CD-ROM) if the libraries have them.
  • Users with a children card can reserve two children's books and their associated materials (CD-ROM) if they have them.

The library will notify the user about the availability of the reserved materials by post or e-mail. You will have six clear days from the date of the notification to borrow the materials from the library. After this period has run out without having collected them, the reservation will be cancelled, and the book will be available to the next reader who has a reservation. In this case, a seven-day penalty will be imposed without being able to use the library loan service.

Instructions

  1. Enter the catalogue as a registered user. Access to the catalogue.
  2. Search in the catalogue for the book of your interest, once found, confirm that the item is borrowed in the Availability section, where the return date appears.
  3. If everything is done correctly, you will see that after the book's location data the Reservation button appears. Please click on this button.
  4. Select the Request box in the book you want and click OK. The location data of the book and its title will appear.
  5. Press OK again and… congratulations! You have already made your reservation.

Remember that you have six days from the date of the notification to collect it.

How can I view or delete a reservation?

Enter the catalogue as a registered user. Access to the catalogue.

Access the Catalogue Consultation, and from the Reader Data/Renewals section you can check the list of reservations you have made, as well as the number in the waiting list for that copy, bearing in mind that it is a maximum of two.

You can delete the reservation by clicking the Delete button.

Why does the system does not allow me to reserve a book?

If the system does not allow you to reserve books online, this may be due to one of the following reasons:

  1. The item is not on loan
  2. You have exceeded the maximum number of reservations allowed for a user.
  3. The book you wish to borrow has already the maximum number of reservations allowed.
  4. You have been penalized for returning books, CDs, etc. with a delay.
  5. The copy belongs to a library that does not provide this service.