Library in a Box

When the San Juan del Sur Biblioteca Móvil was first operating and successful, groups and individuals would ask how it was done and how they could do it also. This led to the formation of the Library in A Box system which can be purchased at cost for around $250. An application to be part of the program is available with specific guidelines built in and approval provides for a seed collection of 100 books, an information packet and mentoring as requested. Many service groups, church organizations, Peace Corps workers, and individuals have purchased the system, received their seed collection and moved on to create thriving libraries within the HJH Library In A Box system. Benefits include training time at the SJDS Biblioteca, materials and speakers to help promote funding, site visits by staff and volunteers, seminars, training programs, periodic donations of books for the price of shipping and books available at cost. See Library in a Box Recipient Libraries for a list of most of the libraries participating in the Library in a Box program. (See the Initiating Lending Libraries section for Protocols and Policies etc.)


Application for Library in a Box:
Click here to download the application form.

Click here to access a printable kit description.

Kit Description:

Supplies for one “Library in a Box”:

2 Green Boxes
1 Borrowers Book  use an Actas Book instead
(No more Borrowers books and sheets are available)
500 Register Form
1 Accession Book
500 Labels 1” x 2 5/8” Laser 5160
250 Print or Write 1” x 3”
1000 # Accession Sheets
1 File card transfer case lid style
500 Library cards- 500/pkg
100 Self adhesive laminate cards 100/pkg
500 Pressure sensitive due date slips 500/pk
4000 Plastic library logo book bags
Library name stamp
300 Notification Card
500 Registration Cards – printer provided
500 Borrowers Log cards – printer provided
300 Information Book Mark (“how to keep the books from the library safe”)
Journal book for each project

* This system should be repeated for each project and not lumped together. Books allocated for a mobile project need their own books numbers and system.

The System:

Library Cards
Blue are for the public libraries
Yellow are for circulating/ lending school libraries
Red are for Mobile Projects

Borrower’s Log Cards
Blue are for the public
Yellow are for schools
Green are for Mobile Projects

For the Library:
•  Actas books can be used for Mobile Journals
•  Mobile Projects require a separate set of accession and borrowers journals
•  Books allocated for the Mobile Projects should be logged and numbered in their own accession book or data area if computerized
•  Church Related Online Software Systems, Inc. CROSS is an excellent low cost database priced at $145.00 and used by American Embassy Libraries worldwide.
•  Suggestion: New books that are duplicates of books in the stationary library system can be allocated the old number and the older book placed into the Mobile collection. This is a good idea when projects are new and there is question of the safety of the books.

For Mobile Projects:
•  A collection of toys, coloring supplies, and a focal piece, ie: Play a quick game of hopscotch or have the kids make giant bubbles during the mobile sessions.
•  Use plastic tables and chairs and bring pencils, pens, etc. for registration
•  Try to find a tent
•  Locate a battery operated radio or tape deck
•  Bring water for the employees and volunteers
•  Have snacks available for the employees and volunteers
•  Discuss providing a small snack at some locations for the students?