Dear Friends of Biblioteca Puedo Leer,
I have decided to start doing a monthly ‘letter’ to you as part of keeping you informed about the library and its activities. I readily admit that writing ‘personal’ letters is something I truly enjoy and until now have restricted that type of correspondence to my own doings and just to my friends. It was recently pointed out to me that I could use this enjoyable activity to support the library too. That really appeals to me so I’ve decided to start sending out a ‘newsletter’ on a monthly basis. The plan is to let people know more personally what has been happening with the library and its off-shoots in a more informal manner.
I am hoping I will get feedback from you letting me know if this works for you or am I too longwinded, irrelevant etc. I have to admit that in the past - way past - I actually wrote letters of 30 pages or more. In those days there was no internet or e-mail or FaceBook but I was so excited that I would write these tomes, send them off to one person and then wait for a reply that said -‘thank you for your interesting letter, Carol!’. No more -now I can write 30 pages and send it to 30 or more people!! I won’t do that but it’s at least a possibility!
The library is thriving - of course - although for the past couple of months we have faced some physical challenges. The owner of the house had an extension built on the back and that required access through the library and lots of dust and dirt. We went to the second-hand store and bought sheets to cover the book shelves to cut down on the dust problem. Now we are faced with placement of sewage pipes throughout the city and this has required the digging up off the streets with the consequences of lots of dirt and the blocking of streets. And, of course, this is the rainy season so often it isn’t dust but mud we which we have to deal. They finally got to Calle Santa Lucia in front of the library and it has been virtually impossible to get to the library except on foot and even that is a challenge. This says nothing about trying to drive to the library from anywhere else in the city centre – it’s a totally changing maze!! Because of this ‘challenge’ we will be having our librarians’ meeting at the hotel instead of the library as it will be so easier to reach.
I have a librarians’ meeting the last Friday of every month in order to give the librarians an opportunity to connect with each other and possibly help with any challenges they might be facing. Otherwise they each work alone and that can be daunting in itself! We give each librarian an amount of money (caja chica) for them to buy the small items they might need. They have to submit receipts, of course, but it enables them to have control within their own jobs. The monthly meeting also allows them to share the sorts of things they need because maybe one of the others can supply those items. I also give them ideas for readings and crafts for the upcoming month. October will offer us lots of opportunities. We have always supported the Hotel Casa San Francisco and their Day of the Dead celebrations. We always colour and cut out decorative skulls.
Another thing each librarian shares with us is the number of users for each library: the Santa Lucia main library had 226 children and 22 adults come in and use the library in September. Pantanal had 100 children and 7 adults with 23 new memberships. The park programme had 34 children and 10 adults come and sit and read and the Hotel con Biblioteca Puedo Leer Granada, Nicaragua Corazon reading room had 140 children and 25 adults use the space for reading. For us these numbers are significant. The new library in Pantanal is growing slowly. Our new librarian, Marisol, is very excited about the job and fills me with stories of things that have occurred each time I go. She was very excited yesterday when I went over with a pile of different encyclopedias that had been donated by a local Nicaraguan woman. Marisol also told me about one mother who was excited to be able to borrow books to read to her children before they went to bed because books at Gonper (local stationary store) are so expensive to buy. Now she could read to the children for free!! Isn’t that what we are hoping for??
Tomorrow we will be having the ‘teca’ store for the first time in several months. We suspended it because I felt the children were becoming a bit blasé about the event. They’ve had a couple of months to build up their ‘teca’ reserves and hopefully they will be pleased to see the new items we have had donated.
Today I participated in my very first conference call with a group of people coming from Deloitte Corporation. A group of their employees, from all over the USA, are coming down to advise us and we are so excited to have them come. I will hopefully have more thoughts from them next month after their visit.
We are greatly indebted to those friends who have donated books, time and money to Biblioteca Puedo Leer. I do want to ask if you would like me to actually mention by name the different donors or whether that is something we should keep confidential. However we did have some fairly large donations of money and encyclopedias this month and I really want to thank those donors. We can’t exist without your support and we hope we can continue to count on you and others. This is a very special little project that will change the future for a great number of children here in Granada.
Please do let us know your thoughts about this newsletter and what you think we should do in the coming months.
Thank you for always being there for us personally and the Biblioteca Puedo Leer.
Biblioteca Puedo Leer,
Board of Directors
Noemi Lopez, Helen Korengold, Troy Fuss, Darrell Bushnell, Damian Hopkins, Luis Garay