On April 24th, the Yamparaez library was officially opened.
The opening took place in the library “Biblioteca Virgen de Guadalupe” at 10:00 in the morning. Teachers, government officials, and students were present to participate in the event. The key supporters of the library – CESATCH, BiblioWorks, the Mayor’s office, and the School District, gave speeches.
There were also musical numbers and dancing. Once the ribbon was cut, a bottle of champagne was broken by the entrance and champagne and soda was also passed around to everyone present for the opening.
Then everyone was invited to come into the library and check out the books, computers, and tv-dvd player. Interestingly, the most attractive part of the library for the young children was the TV!
This project began in October of last year and was completed this past month by local non-governmental organization, CESATCH. Over the course of six months, library trainer Henry Padilla conducted basic training courses with all of the 13 closest schools. In an area where the idea of a library is very new, very basic library training was necessary. Students were taught about the importance of the library, what materials they could access there, and how to take care of their library. Teachers were given training material and the book inventory of the library as well to continue working with their students.
A librarian was chosen in March and sent to La Paz to be trained by the Banco del Libro (Book Bank). Over the course of 5 days, the prospective librarian learned about the Dewey Decimal System, keeping book inventory, and how to record library usage. The librarian, paid by the Mayor’s office, will be responsible for opening the library everyday in the established hours, helping students find the books that they need, and organizing community activities to promote the library and especially to promote literacy.
Also in March, a library Committee was formed in with representatives from the Mayor’s office, the School District, the Youth Defense League, a student from the high school, and a member of the community at large. This Committee will be responsible for monitoring the library and the librarian. They will establish rules for the library and have regular meetings to see what other challenges the library is facing. As a group, they will be responsible for finding solutions and assuring that their library is functioning the best that it can.
The library has been stocked with tables, chairs, 4 computers, a tv-dvd player, and approximately 700 books. The books are a mix of encyclopedias, textbooks, and local fiction and literature. More books will be added to this library when BiblioWorks’ international container arrives from the States later this month.