04 October 2005

An auspicious beginning

I've started up a LibraryThing account for the school, and hope to create an efficient check-out system and card catalog for our little library soon. I showed Biblioteca: Libros Gratis to a co-worker, and now we have many more Spanish volumes downloaded into our server. There's a great selection of public domain English works that have been included as well (and I hope to explore Bibliomania more).

It's "Reading Week" here and for 20 minutes each morning teachers from the upper grades read to the younger students and those who teach the young ones read to the older kids. It's been a lot of fun swapping classes and just letting loose. I may have gotten a bit carried away while reading from Jon Scieszka's Knights of the Kitchen Table to the 5th graders--but they loved it. (Hope to try A Wrinkle in Time with the 7th graders on Friday.)

Also, the book quest continues. A friend sent me several volumes in July and I was able to bring two large shopping bags' worth back from the States with me over break. But we've still got a long ways to go. If anyone is interested in helping out and would like to save on shipping, I'll be heading up north in December and will pick up any books sent to a certain stateside address. (Email me at currerbell at hotmail dot com for more info.)

Read "This Illiterate Brazilian's Home Speaks Volumes"--an amazing article that comes via LibraryThing's blog (and makes me realize how much more I can do!):
They inaugurated the library on March 20, 2004, with 100 volumes, most of them literary and historical treatises donated by someone Pena knew. Since then, the group has been amassing books at a feverish pace. Many come from rich Brazilians in whose homes they work as cleaners, handymen and the like.

Because everything is by donation, the collection is eclectic and quixotic, but impressive in scope: from Shakespeare to Agatha Christie, Umberto Eco to political theorist Antonio Gramsci, William Faulkner to James Joyce, not to mention textbooks and reference works. There's no Dewey decimal system, or even strict alphabetical order; books are simply grouped by subject. [...]

Not a single penny has come from official sources — "not from the politicians, not from the government," said Da Penha, who is on medical leave from her job as a cleaning lady at a local school.

"What's here is what we've done ourselves," she said. "We've sacrificed a lot to help the people here. But it's a sacrifice of love."

1 comment:

LibraryThing said...

Hey. Where's your school? LibraryThing has a policy against school collections (see FAQs/Terms) but I'd be glad to make an exception if you'll serve as an example when I roll out the school extension to LibraryThing, with check-in/check-out, restricted accounts, etc. Write me at timspalding at sign librarything.com.