The library project
This project started in 2011.
Education in Peru is in theory free but in reality families have to pay obligatory additional sums for books and materials. Although in Peru there is a reasonable level of general literacy there is no culture of reading for pleasure and studying for educational and vocational purposes. There are very few public libraries, books are very expensive, and there are in any case very few bookshops. The cost of educational materials and books is out of reach for most people in the community. Project Peru decided to address this issue for our own children and, at a later stage, for the wider community.
Our intention was to provide an opportunity for:
• increased familiarity with the printed word, and with information and communications technology (ICT).
• reading in an attractive and comfortable area for learning, investigation, private study and pleasure.
• encouragement of recreational reading, an idea that is not really embedded in Peruvian society at present.
• professional guidance and resources to support the development of reading in all its forms.
• continuous support that is well planned, delivered by trained staff and backed by experts.
• new basic skills, progressively developed.
• a supplement to existing education and recreation provision.
• a homework space and an informal educational facility for children and staff.
• material for careers information and advice.
• encouragement for the input from Peruvian volunteers at all levels.
This library has been set up in Project Peru’s children’s home [‘la casa hogar’] where around 40 children aged 5-18 are the principal beneficiaries. We employ up to 17 full or part time staff and many of these should also be able to benefit personally.
Eventually it is hoped to make this facility available for children and their families in the wider community and when the library is well established in the refuge we will promote the appropriate wider use of the library in the community as an additional community resource.
The photos below show the development of the project from October to December 2011, and show some of the physical changes we were able to achieve as we were developing an education centre of which the library is an integral part. In the 'gallery' page are some photos from 2012 to show our progress from that point.
English Reading Room
Children's room / play room
Reading /study room
Ante room /entrance area
Library set up in progress
Library in use by December 2011
During our first year of operation we have successfully achieved our main aim, which was to start a library from the beginning. This included planning and preparing the physical setting for our library and education centre, acquiring a good stock of over 1,000 titles, [some bought, some donated in Peru and some donated in the UK]. We made full use of the facilities appropriate to the ages of our children and made firm contacts in Peru with those able to help our staff and children with a good induction into the work and functioning of a library. Donations of Spanish language books suitable for a children's or school library would be welcome as would appropriate bilingual books [English/Spanish].
UNIQUE VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNIES FOR CHILDREN'S LIBRARIANS
We would be interested in hearing from a suitably qualified and motivated person to continue the work with this project. We are looking for a librarian or library assistant with experience of working with children, or for someone with the skills and experience of working as a children's or school librarian, with skills needed to provide information, literacy education and reader development. Some cataloguing experience would be desirable, but is not essential apart from a basic knowledge of Dewey. And ideally a working knowledge of Spanish!
This might well interest a person looking for a career break, or someone in early retirement, or someone researching in this field. Our ideal person would be able to start during the early part of 2013 and we would envisage a placement of a minimum of 3 to 6 months, with time available to be able to profit from many of the amazing travel opportunities within Peru. We are fairly flexible.
This is an entirely voluntary opportunity and although we would not be able to pay for flights we provide good accommodation and food in our project at a minimal cost. A great chance to share the life of our refuge where there is always a warm welcome.
We are very experienced in hosting volunteers as an integral part of our work.
For an outline of the project or to discuss this initially please email email@example.com or call 01483 576093
If you would like to help us by purchasing books please click this link :