San Juan Del Sur Biblioteca Móvil

Nicaragua's First Public Lending Library

Current Activities

  • Our 5th anniversary event was held on Nov 11, 2006. William Robles and Gabriela Mercedes Siezar Herrera won our annual poetry contest.
  • We currently have over 10,000 titles and serve over 3600 San juananians in the town library. The mobile project has grown to include 26 communities and has it's own truck.
  • Our library in a Box program now boasts six new lending libraries opened in Nicaraguan cities in 2006.
  • Our library policies are now available in Spanish.
  • You can now make a contribution to support our activities using our new online donation form.

Our Accomplishments

Since August 2005 in conjunction with Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science, students have provided volunteer services offering workshops for Nicaraguan librarians and website and fundraising skills to our organization. (You can read more about this on the Simmons GSLIS "Dispatches from the Field" blog.)

The Biblioteca's Proyecto Móvil began in May 2003. Crates of books are loaded onto the back of a truck and are brought by library staff and volunteers to remote areas surrounding our community. It currently operates two days a week, covers 27 communities, has over 4,000 titles and has provided almost 2,500 library cards to children, teachers, and other members of the communities.

Since January 2002, the San Juan del Sur Biblioteca Movil has offered a series of free English classes for adults and children. These classes specifically address the needs of the students. Some classes are tailored to the needs of adults working in the travel and tourism industry.

Programs for children include story hours, science projects, craft circles, and information forums on topics such as dental hygiene and pet care. The library provides literacy information for parents and educational resources for teachers. The Proyecto Móvil has been expanded to include these services.

In conjunction with the Hester J. Hodgdon "Library in a Box" program, and as the successful prototype, we offer our protocols and volunteer our expertise to others interested in establishing lending libraries. In 2006 57 preschool and primary grade teachers were taught a craft class that creates colorful alphabets with figures for each letter for use in classtrooms in Samn Juan del Sur and the mobile project communities. Several other libraries throughout Nicaragua h

The Original Idea

The initial idea was to obtain and to provide books for the people of San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, and the surrounding communities. In this lovely little seaport town, there is little to no access to books and information and there are very few books or materials in the schoolrooms. Even though Nicaragua has a few research libraries, some are only open for short periods and no books are allowed to leave the facilities. Our objective was to start a mobile lending library for the community to provide books and information for everyone.

Future Plans

Expanding international volunteer opportunities by supporting the efforts of the Hester J. Hodgdon Libraries For All Program through hosting volunteers, special guests and librarians from around the world. Offering workshops throughout Nicaraguan Libraries for crafts, Website creation Story hour productions,lending library systems and library science skills with San Juan and U.S.volunteer librarians.

Increasing our selection of Spanish materials to include more books, especially on health and how-to topics.