On February 24, 2014, more than 300 people from the community witnessed the opening of the new Community Library “World of Knowledge” in the town of Parramos, Chimaltenango, Guatemala. This is the 65th library in the network of Riecken Community Libraries in Central America. The library represents an opportunity for the residents of Parromos to build a spirit of discovery through access to information and technology. The library, equipped with quality books and new technology, will connect isolated communities to the world so they can become global citizens.
To ensure the quality of the library’s programming, the Riecken Foundation launched its community training plan to librarians and community volunteers. Two librarians received training on library administration, how to promote reading for pleasure, and how to access information, research and basic technology. The library’s board of directors, composed of eight volunteers, also received training on strengthening their identity, specifically their roles and responsibilities. The board was also trained on the concepts of a modern library, promotion of social participation, and community volunteering. Eventually community volunteers will develop their negotiation skills with local government authorities and other actors for the benefit of community library.
The library has an average of 347 visits per month (children: 180, young people: 114, and adults: 53). Weekly training is provided in story times to children aged six to nine, working jointly with elementary school, and care for the elderly. The transparency corner and thematic exhibitions of books and resources are kept updated. Monthly free computer workshops and crafts, as well as cultural and education activities are provided in coordination with teachers. In short, it is intended to promote youth leadership development programming.
The largest investment for the construction and allocation of resources amounted to $50,000 thanks to the generous gift from the Kilkenny family. The municipality of Parramos, local community management, and the Riecken Foundation supplemented this donation.
Thanks Kilkenny family for sharing our mission of promoting prosperity and democracy in Central America through Riecken Community Libraries!