Last year BiblioWorks began a small high school library project in this town. This year, BiblioWorks plans to expand the library to a new level.
When Latin America Project Coordinator Megan Sherar went out to Sopachuy last year to donate books to the high school library, it quickly became clear that this was the type of community that was really ready for a larger library. The size of the town, the amount of students, and the motivation of those involved in the library process really showed that a large, community library in Sopachuy would definitely be optimized. Expanding the library and moving it to a central location, would provide resources not only to high school students, but to elementary students and adults as well.
Since the beginning of this project a year ago, a new Peace Corps volunteer Mary Odum has arrived and is excited about helping Sopachuy build the library that they need and want.
A contract has now been signed between BiblioWorks, the Mayor’s office, the School District, and the local Church; and the Library Committee has been formed by these same members. The church has agreed to loan their youth center to install the library. The mayor’s office has already invested funds in fixing up the older building and has agreed to pay lights and water, as well as the salary for the librarian. They will also be providing all library furniture necessary. The School District has agreed to donate a good portion of the books that were given to the high school library last year. Sopachuy’s librarian has already been chosen to be trained in La Paz, through a course offered by the National Book Bank (Banco del Libro).
BiblioWorks commitment this year will be to increase the amount and diversity of books available in the library, by donating materials that are arriving on the international container in mid-May. Also in mid-May, BiblioWorks has coordinated an event with the National Book Bank, who will come to make a donation of national books to the library, at the same time signing a contract with the Municipal Government. In this manner, the Sopachuy library will be officially registered under the National Library Registry.