LA BIB, nickname for La Biblioteca de La Manzanilla, in the state of Jalisco, Mexico, was started as a joint initiative by the La Catalina Educational Foundation and the Rural Literacy Project (RLP) in 2012. Some background information about LA BIB can be found on Sue O'Riley's website, the founder of the RLP:
Or on her blogspot: http://ruralliteracyproject.blogspot.mx
More information about the Catalina Foundation (a local non-profit organization aimed at raising educational and economic levels of the local people here in La Manzanilla) can be found on their website: http://www.lacatalinafoundation.org/
WHERE IS LA BIB?
You can find LA BIB in the little town of La Manzanilla, Jalisco, by following the main road, Calle Maria Asuncion, south towards the yellow bridge. Turn left on Calle Negritos, just past the primary school. LA BIB shares a back fence with the Kindergarden School (known as La Kinder, on the block past the main primary school). There are 4 little buildings on the lot behind the Kinder - a computer room, washrooms, an unfinished structure, and the bright blue biblioteca: LA BIB.
WHAT ARE OUR GOALS?
Our main goal at LA BIB is to develop a collection that can be used by both the Spanish and English communities here in La Manzanilla. We hope to foster a love of books and to increase literacy here, by introducing books and stories to the local population. We also hope to create opportunities for the two communities here (local resident Mexicans and gringos from the North) to find a shared interest in enhancing childrens' experiences with books, stories and learning.
WHAT KIND OF COLLECTION DOES LA BIB HAVE?
As of January 2018, the collection has grown (through donations from visitors to La Manzanilla) to more than 1000 items. It includes books for children in Spanish and English, fiction and non-fiction, and a good assortment of English and Spanish language learning books. We are developing as well, a BILINGUAL collection that will serve both communities, and our collection of novels in Spanish for children and young adults is also growing.
Most of the collection is now catalogued using the Dewey Decimal system, and using software on a dedicated laptop bought a few years ago, searches by author, title and subject can be done. As new books arrive, volunteers add items to the database. There is a card catalog as well, and a clever color-coding system to arrange the books into separate Spanish, English and Bilingual collections.
WHAT GOES ON IN LA BIB?
There is a librarian (Olga) from the elementary school who works 2 days a week, and opens the library to volunteers on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4 to 4:30. On other days (as time and energy allow) Sue O'RIley opens the building to volunteers who work on the collection (adding to the catalog, mending books, etc).
Not yet open to the general public, the library building is used as a space for childrens' art classes during the week, for Spanish Reading Circles (for Spanish language learners) during the winter months, and some special reading groups for local children.
This year we are expanding our efforts to promote literacy in La Manzanilla to include reading (in Spanish) in the classrooms of the primary school.
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