Our non-profit organization is one of a kind here in Bolivia. When Brendan Sherar and his sister, Megan, initially decided to start BiblioWorks nearly five years ago, there was little understanding among Bolivians living in rural areas about the importance of a library in their town or what it could mean for their community. Now our libraries are being used for many diverse activities. Teachers, librarians, children and other members of the communities where we work are incorporating their libraries into their daily lives and the libraries themselves are becoming an inseparable component of the educational systems in small rural towns.
One significant goal that the BiblioWorks team has been working towards recently is turning our libraries into multi-cultural centers that will encourage the preservation of the many indigenous traditions which exist in Bolivia. This goal is on-going and through activities like compiling myths and legends into books, organizing workshops which promote indigenous cultures, and holding festivals and events to share food, dances and traditions, we have made great strides.
However, every time we go to a library and see the tangible results of our hard work we dream of more: more libraries, more children reading, and stronger united communities. With your help we can, and will, attain our dreams!
One story I’d like to share really shows the positive impact of BiblioWorks in Bolivia. The library in Sopachuy (“San Pablo Library”) is one of our best and has the most dynamic librarians out of our seven libraries and also has the full support of the superintendent of education, Professor Paulino. Occasionally people who we work with go above and beyond their call of duty, and Professor Paulino is a shining example of this. Recently, the BiblioWorks team had scheduled a trip to the San Pablo Library, a tiring seven hour bus ride from Sucre that is always worthwhile once you arrive to a library full of smiling children. That day, we were bringing along a donation of new books for the library that was to be complemented with a hefty donation by the mayor’s office also. When we arrived, Professor Paulino had organized all the school children to wait for us at the bus stop, ready to escort us to their library. When we arrived at the library, he had organized the teachers in a special ceremony where traditional dances were performed and best of all, testimonies from children and teachers were heard about how the library is helping them in school and the community at large. Professor Paulino is impressively dedicated to the education of the children in Sopachuy, and is working hard every day to make the San Pablo library an important community center.
Imagine how much more we could do with that same commitment from you all! We need your help to provide books, education and to create more inspiring stories. BiblioWorks is taking on a new library in 2010! Once accomplished, BiblioWorks will then have a total of eight rural libraries in Bolivia. A new library means a stronger network of libraries in which to plan exciting activities, and also gives us an opportunity to share the joy of reading with more children in the Bolivian countryside.
The library will be stocked with hundreds of books, furniture, a computer for the librarian, interactive games, maps, posters and many other educational tools to enrich the minds of a community in need of access to educational materials. Working with local government and educational authorities, we will achieve their support in order to create a library that will be able to function sustainably in the future. We will train the librarian, teachers, children, teen-agers and other community members in the proper use of a library and give them practical tools to integrate the use of the library into their daily lives. The donation that you make to BiblioWorks will give a vital opportunity to children who previously had little access to educational materials, enriching their lives and minds with books.
BiblioWorks is looking toward the future. Our unique organization has received enormously positive response to our library projects in Bolivia. We hope to expand those projects, launch a new library, continue with our training sessions and build a stronger network of libraries. That will then carry us closer to a fundamental and essential library and literacy development for the people of Bolivia.
We know our goals are ambitious. We also know they are attainable. We need your help to raise at least $10,000 by July of 2010. Our library projects are an important part of the educational development of the children of Bolivia, who will benefit immeasurably from your contributions. Please consider helping us meet this goal with a donation before July. Even modest amounts can translate into significant benefits for these community libraries.
Your donations at work:
A $25 donation will buy world maps and educational posters for one library.
A $50 donation will buy educational games for one library.
A $100 donation will buy additional tables and chairs for one library.
A $500 donation will buy a new set of encyclopedias for one library.
A $1500 donation will buy an entire set of books matching the local school curriculum for one library.
For donations of $1500 or more, we will gladly place a plaque in the library of your choice to recognize your gift. To make a secure online donation, please use the PayPal link at the bottom of this page. Or, if you prefer, please send a check to:
Biblio Charitable Works, Inc.
PO Box 1211
Asheville, NC 28802
Giving the children of Bolivia books not only fosters a love of reading and learning, it also gives them the tools they need to unlock opportunities for themselves. Those opportunities can carry them and their families out of poverty. With your financial support, the lives of many children and families will be positively affected for generations to come.
Latin American Project Coordinator
Biblio Charitable Works, Inc.