Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Bookmobile, schmookmobile! Check out Bibliomulas!

Click the title above for a link to a charming story from the BBC. IN Venezuela, librarians are using mules to deliver books to far-flung patrons.

The idea of loading mules with books and taking them into the mountain villages was started by the University of Momboy, a small institution that prides itself on its community-based initiatives and on doing far more than universities in Venezuela are required to do by law. (snip)

The 23 children at the little school were very excited.

"Bibilomu-u-u-u-las," they shouted as the bags of books were unstrapped. They dived in eagerly, keen to grab the best titles and within minutes were being read to by Christina and Juana, two of the project leaders.

"Spreading the joy of reading is our main aim," Christina Vieras told me.

"But it's more than that. We're helping educate people about other important things like the environment. All the children are planting trees. Anything to improve the quality of life and connect these communities."
According to the story, there are plans to connect these tiny villages wiht internet modems. They are also extending their range by housing an extra mule in the village of Calembe, so villagers can take books farther into these foothills of the Andes.

Image of a bibliomula and patron from the BBC story. Thanks to Sharon Shaloo, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Center for the Book for alerting OOTJ to this terrific story!

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