Mayatan Bilingual School has not always had a formal library. Books are, of course, important to any education, but Honduras presents many challenges to outfitting and maintaining a school's collection: finding the right books locally, finding sufficient copies to use in a classroom, and affording the often prohibitive costs to ship books from abroad or purchase them at Honduras's high prices. Moreover, the climate and the construction of buildings here, especially during the rainy season, can be particularly damaging to a library collection.
As recently as 2006, when Miss Diana de Hernandez began volunteering here, she noticed a small, disorganized room that was officially labeled a library but which had neither the resources nor the staff to operate as such. All of the books had been donated by visitors, sponsors, students, and teachers. They were in various conditions, ranging from obsolete and unusable to brand new, and there was no system in place for checking out and keeping track of books.
The school soon hired Miss Diana as its first librarian. She found a more appropriate space near the newly finished preschool, tracked down the books out on loan, devised a checkout system, located some furnishings, sorted through the books, and organized them by grade-level, type, and topic.
Since that time, the library has expanded thanks to donations of books from our Amazon Wish List and friends who help our improve our library space and protect our collection.
Today, the John R. Weber Library, named in 2009, contains volumes in English and Spanish covering a range of subjects and grade levels. The library is becoming more and more integrated into Mayatan's education by running programs in reading comprehension, hosting regularly scheduled class visits, and acquiring textbooks.
Although it has improved greatly, there are still many needs. We hope to move the library from its present classroom near the kindergarten into its own space designed to store and protect books. There is also a continual need for more books and equipment, such as completion of our ceiling and installation of fans to ventilate the room.
Find out more about how you can help support the library.