Thursday, April 16, 2015

Books for Kids!

book display
I have worked in libraries (public and school) for more than 30 years. For as long as I can remember,
I have enjoyed reading and visiting libraries. When I was a little girl (50+ years ago), our local library was a very small outpost of the Fraser Valley Library System. I quickly read most of the children's books and moved on to the Adults' Section. 

For children in the pueblos of Oaxaca State, borrowing books is a new experience. There are no public libraries outside of the city and school libraries were non-existent before Libros para Pueblos
began its mission to help small Mexican communities provide libraries for  children. This week, I visited one of the libraries that is located in the Primaría Margarita Maza in Zapoteca, a town about 40 minutes drive from Oaxaca de Juarez. Many of these pictures are taken by Alan, a volunteer for Libros
para Pueblos.
gym class at Margarita Maza
It was very interesting for me to visit an elementary school in Mexico and to see how much the children enjoy themselves and their library. When we arrived, a class was having a Physical Education class. These students attend school from  8:00 am to 1:00 pm.  Afternoons are very warm in Oaxaca so morning is a better learning time.
Reading gives wings to the imagination!
The parents of the community built the library building and take pride in the facility. They served our group a mid-morning meal. The children spoke to us about their favourite books and how they enjoyed the library.
Each class has a book to record their books.
The library is a happy place, brightly coloured and full of children who want to see the visitors.
The plaque says it all: life is fuller with reading.
Since I retired, I have not been in many school libraries but I remember creating a project once for a Library Education class. My theme was "the library as a garden" where all are free to visit and enjoy without judgement.
Someone enjoys nonfiction.
The children at Margarita Maza were full of smiles and so excited to interact with visitors.
happy kids
Libros para Pueblos is a charitable organization that supplies a "yearly infusion" of new books to each library. It is so important for a school library to have new, exciting books on a regular basis. I know that
when I was working, I had to "hide" the new books until they were processed because the students were so eager.

Education is so important for all the countries of the world!


There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away,
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take      
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears a Human soul.

Emily Dickinson

4 comments:

  1. How great to see such a good outcome for the work!

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  2. The children seemed so friendly and happy even though they live a poor community.

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  3. My family rarely had money to buy books, but we always visited the library at least weekly and brought stacks of books home. It's hard for me to imagine not having had that -- I wish every child might!

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  4. It is so important for children to have early exposure to books! Even children who have difficulty reading independently benefit from the sharing of stories.

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