Library in a Box Recipient Libraries

Library in A Box Recipient List and Updates

Beginning with its roots as supporter of the first public lending library in Nicaragua in 2001, the Hester J. Hodgdon (HJH) Libraries For All program has become a potent catalyst for the development of lending library and mobile lending library services in Central America. With its outreach emphasis on collaboration and sustainable leadership, HJH has provided access to information, seed collections of 100 books, training programs and a simple model for sustainable lending. In 2001, there were no lending library programs. Today, there are fifty six.

The first was the San Juan del Sur Biblioteca Móvil – supported by the HJH program as its original mandate as a 501-C(3) charity in the United States. The mobile program started providing services to surrounding communities in 2003. There are now 35 communities being served on a rotating basis once a month.

Biblioteca Emmanuel Mongalo y Rubio High School, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Established in the year 2000, this high school library is supported by the Giesen Sister City program in Giesen, Germany. They successfully initiated lending books to high school students in October of 2002. Young adults from Germany come to volunteer for a year at a time and spend a fair part of their time working with the SJDS Biblioteca programs.

Wisconsin Nicaragua Partners of the Americas have 19 Learning Centers and to date fifteen have libraries using the Library in a Box system and have been given 100-book seed collections and mentoring and support is available from HJH and SJDS Biblioteca staff. Since 2006 only one program has ceased to function. The other five may have small programs but are not formally lending with a system.

WNPA Libraries- 14

  • Biblioteca Móvil Rosa -Tipitapa Lending Library, April 2006 – ongoing HJH & Amy Wisa & one consistent donor offer support to this program. SJDS Biblioteca works closely with the teen volunteers from this project
  • Puerto Cabezas/Fort Atkinson Lending Library, October 2006 – SJDS Library team traveled with to train and set up – ongoing
  • El Exito de la Sabidurria-Juigalpa Lending Library, March 2007 – ongoing
  • Ometepe Island Lending Library, February 2008 – Moved and became Gotitas de Saber in June 2010- ongoing. SJDS Biblioteca and volunteers visiting Ometepe participate frequently with this program bringing supplies, books and events.
  • Verona-Los Cedros/Madison Lending Library, May 2008 – ongoing
  • Amistad de Wisconsin-Empalme de Boaco 2008 Appleton WI-ongoing
  • Sherin Bowen Biblioteca–Buenos Aires 2010 ongoing
  • Biblioteca La Estralita Las Laguanas Boaco Appleton – Judy Miller – ongoing. SJDS Biblioteca worked with this group in 2012 providing a site visit and bringing books, crafts and holding a day long fair.
  • Sherin Bowen Memorial Library– WNPA Office, Managua 2011 – ongoing SJDS provides occasional book donations and attends events and provides occasional volunteers.
  • Divino Nino-Cedro Galan – Trek learning Center – 2012 Ongoing
  • Tesoros del Ray –Tipitapa 2011 ongoing
  • Maria Lidia Aragon-San Diego School – Juigalpa 2013 ongoing
  • Al & Ella Zabor – Los Brazos de Amor 2014 – Will receive library in a box system, training and 100 books on June 30, 2014
  • La Hormiguita-Chinandega/Appleton Lending Library, August 2006 (No longer functioning)

Faith Based Programs 12
Many church organizations in Nicaragua use our Library in a Box system and received their 100 book seed collection and subsequent donations and opportunities to purchase at cost. Including:

  • Messiah Project, Waspam, Nicaragua
  • Biblioteca Josue 1:8 Las Brasilles, Nicaragua with Nicaragua Resource Network (NRN) Steve Appelt Ginny Campbell – *
  • Somoto Public Library Somoto, Nicaragua with Trinity Lutheran Church, Loveland, Colorado, no current contact
  • Biblioteca de Esperanza, Project Hope, Managua, Nicaragua 2008, with Hope International Springfield, MO Books and training materials given. No contact currently Mary Ann Lengyel-
  • Biblioteca Esperanza Y Gracias– Ameya 2009 ongoing *
  • Managua Youth Center Library with Manna International – 2008 *
  • El Camino Library– part of El Camino feeding program at la Churecca- Wilma & John Hall 2011 – books and training and support provided, ongoing *
  • Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) 2011 This church group approached us to put a library in a box in each of their 4 church communities. They traveled to SJDS for a day to explore the possibilities. They took 4 systems with the seed collections and returned sporadically to buy books and supplies at cost. – ongoing no current contact. (1 entity 4 sites)
  • Manto de Gracias – Nueva Guinea – Bob & Barbara Kelly- 2012 ongoing & expanding- *
  • Tabernaculo-Agua Viva – Oriental Market – Managua with Nicaragua Resource Network (NRN) Ginny Campbell 2014. Set up by SDJS library staff March 2014*
  • Nicaraguan Christian Academy Library Program Managua
  • Nicaraguan Christian Academy Library Program Matagalpa

Individuals and service groups and communities have initiated the following libraries since 2001. Some may be faith based as well.

  • Nueva Guinea Community English Center Nueva Guinea, Nicaragua. Inauguration June 13, 2014. Library in a box recipient. Training for English lending program functioning as NGO Peace Corp/University collaboration Isabelle Bauerlein
  • Café Luz y Luna Library Project- Estelle- Janie Boyd – ongoing – 2011 * This group works closely with us and joins in our bulk buying program frequently. They attend all/most workshops
  • Luz y Luna Mobile program- Treehuggers LuzVerdes Mobile project Miraflor 2012 Janie Boyd – ongoing see above
  • Tortuga Public Library, Tortuga, Nicaragua Pasoapaso group
  • Se Puede Leer – Granada public library and school reading program 2004 Carol Rea* This group is the 2nd biggest program after us and provides workshops and mentoring as well. Participates in bulk buying with SJDS Biblioteca.
  • Esquina que Aprendeze, San Juan de Oriente, public library and art programs There is an NGO backing this project and it is expanding and developing. Ongoing. This library has 2 additional satellites and participates in programming with HJH
  • RB Gladstone Library – Concepción, Nicaragua, The RB Gladstone Fund for Progress in Rural Central America: The RB Gladstone (Centro Educativo) – ongoing. 2003 Gave us our first big book donation basis of 100-book seed collections – ongoing
  • Semillas y Centros de Aprendizaje – Diriamba, Carazo 2009 Library in a box recipient. Training and site visits and they attend most workshops given – they have 3 programs as well
  • Semillas Mobile Jinotepe they have a ruta de saber – a lending route and lend in San Jose hospital as well as loan books through Cruz Roja (Red Cross) in Jinoptepe Mynor –,
  • Seeds of Learning
  • Giving for Living Project literacy portion – Library in a Box – 200 books at cost no recent contact
  • Biblioteca Puertas del Saber, Limon 2 – Tola 2012, 1 day training each 3 visits – Library in a box and books at cost.
  • Circulo de Amigas – Diane Flanagan – Jinotega, Nicaragua (3 day training given the librarian who traveled to SJDS)
  • 4 programs
  • Global Partners library center in Matagalpa Feb 2014 Lib in Box 100 books and 300 books purchased at cost. Library team went to them and did the 2 day training. Sheila Riley – new, ongoing group site visit in June 2014
  • Global Partners 2nd library- Books and materials delivered for this group to Managua for a 2nd Matagalpa project, June 16, 2014.
  • Chaguitillo Biblioteca Chaguitillo, Nicaragua 2012-? Library in A box & 200 books purchased at cost. No contact Claudine Muller – Woman from France
  • Pierre and Marie Curie School, Los Colinas, Managua 2009 Lib in a box training and 200 books at cost- school director is Marta Zamora. Clare Creegan is PTA chairperson. No idea if books have ever been lent until very recently!
  • Richard Streb Memorial Library NE Friends program Chacraseca –Leon 2013 new program just being inaugurated June 22, 2014. Library in a Box and 100 book donation in Aug 2013. With SJDS staff and volunteers traveling to Leon to deliver and train. Clare Davitt
  • La Reforma – public school library La Reforma, Nicaragua
  • Chilamate- Public School, Chilamate, Nicaragua

These two are part of the growing family of libraries assisted by Puedo Leer Biblioteca directors and staff in Granada and are striving to be independently self-supporting and are currently requesting leadership training, professional development, access to technology, and increased collaboration as they grow and expand

  • Cardenas – Library Vocational School – school principal requested this collection. No recent contact from them
  • John Breitlinger Memorial Public Library, Solentiname established with Boston-based Friends of Solentiname 2009 ongoing – SJDS Library staff traveled with Brenda Kennedy and Jane Mirandette to train set up and initiate this library.

At last report December 2013, all are functioning and loaning books. The libraries on this list are still among the ONLY libraries throughout Nicaragua we are aware of that have formal free public lending programs.

Other Central American Collaborating Literacy Programs & Library in a Box Recipient Programs

El Salvador:

Biblioteca Lynn Rolston – Ciudadela Dr. Guillermo Manuel Ungo- Momtepepque Caitlin Rolston 2009 Lib in Box 100 books 100 books at cost- no current contact

Biblioteca Luz-La Libertad, El Salvador 2011 – ongoing provide flow through financing with 501C3 for this library, training and mentoring provided at SJDS Biblioteca in 2012. Luz Mercedes Moz and Marly Cardoza Moz direct this public library and community center.

Centro Escuella Las Marias de Yucuaiguin Biblioteca Móvil, Las Marias Yuccuaiguin, El Salvador- Inauguration January 29, 2013- Yancy Nochoa Collaboration wih Yancy for over a year resulted in her being awarded the Pathy Family Foundation Fellowship Grant for International Social Change from Queens University, Toronto, Canada. Yancy spent a year in her mother’s town in El Salvador to create this program. November 2012 Yancy and nine community members traveled by van to SJDS to train and take on this school program. Library in a box, and other library skill share training was offered and books were purchased at cost and the system was initiated and books processed to be ready to loan. Staff and volunteers from SJDS Biblioteca traveled to Las Marias to participate in the inauguration of this library in Jan 2013. Ongoing

Biblioteca Luz and Las Marias Biblioteca Movil were the topic of HJH’s ALA poster for ALA’s International Relations Poster Session at the annual convention 2013. Program with Yancy Nochoa is the subject of IRRT Leads article 2013…

Casa La Atarraya Currently we are discussing initiating several Library in a Box systems for schools with Jennifer Hamilton, the Director of Development for Casa La Atarraya, a nonprofit organization which works in El Salvador. Their mission is to provide personalized education focused on academics to rural communities of Ahuachapan,. They will use volunteers coming from Orlando, FL to transport the boxes and seed collections to Ahuachapan, El Salvador. That will make over 60 lending projects!

Costa Rica

La Biblioteca y Centro de Aprendizaje , Jaco , Costa Rica 2011. A group of 3 biked to SJDS from Jaco, CR to raise money for their library. We did training and mobile projects, crafts and book buys at cost. They are very active and ongoing June 2014 Liana Robinson –


Friends of Ecuador Schools-Quito, Ecuador 2008 Nancy Wesorick – Library in a Box materials and books at cost. Mentoring and training provided in Loveland, CO ongoing


La Biblioteca mobil de Chirimoto Peru 2009 ongoing Note – HJH helped send library volunteer Caitlin Rolston to facilitate this program’s initiation for Jerry Hopcroft.

Casa de Mariposa – Chirimoto Peru 2011 ongoing Note – worked to help create the Casa Mariposa foundation with Caitlin

Two more libraries were initiated by Peace Corp Volunteers in Honduras and Nicaragua, and had been receiving book donations since 2001. Unfortunately, we lost touch with these programs. However, the last we heard was that they were building their collections and loaning books.

School Box Canada has built classrooms that include libraries for several rural communities and work with Puedo Leer for training and with HJH for at cost book purchasing. See Ronald Chavarria -Director of Operations

A consortium of Literacy Projects was put together in 2011 with a list of the various projects in an attempt to consolidate efforts and over 20 organizations participated in a symposium. HJH initiated the idea of bulk purchasing and being a clearinghouse to distribute books we could purchase or have donated and brought to Nicaragua by volunteers and with a Ambassador program with American Airlines. That program and the ability to bring thirty 50 pound bins at a time lasted for over 4 years and has now been eliminated by American Airlines. Volunteers bring books in bins and suitcases and this is successful and ongoing – By July 1, over 50 bins/suitcases will have been delivered in 2014.

Brainstorming and collaboration workshops were initiated in 2013 with facilitators from Grand Valley College Ohio and the results are available upon request.

The HJH Program together with the Nicaraguan Library Association (ANIBIPA) brought the ALA/IFLA worldwide campaign, En Tu Biblioteca, to Nicaragua in 2005 and continues to work with the forty-five, government-based, non-lending libraries that joined the campaign. Together with ANIBIPA, University of Maryland iSchool graduate library science program, Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science Volunteer Program, various US based librarians and authors, the HJH Program have hosted a series of workshops and leadership events that are held annually for librarians in Central America.