Help Librarians Without Borders Understand Your Library – Survey Deadline Extended!

Librarians Without Borders is interested in understanding the needs of libraries in developing regions, particularly with respect to managing book collections. We have developed a short survey to gather information about the unique experiences of your library and gain knowledge into the common issues that libraries face in communities of need around the world.

Your input will help us develop tools to aid our current and future partners and friends in managing their libraries. We value your perspective and insight, and we thank you for taking 20 minutes to share with us the context of your library.

If you have any questions, please contact Carmen Ho ( or Stephanie Osley (

The survey will close on Sunday November 30, 2014 Sunday December 7, 2014. Click here to complete.

Thank you for providing valuable input into our work and please share widely!

Group of Human Arms Raised with Speech Bubble

Lending Library Project at Miguel Angel Asturias Academy

By Carmen Ho

Since the opening of the Asturias library in January 2011,  Jorge Chojolán’s dream has been to share the school’s library collection with his community. In response, one of Librarians Without Borders’ yearlong projects focuses on establishing a lending library process for the school.

The Lending Library Project strives to provide free access to information resources to the Asturias Academy students, their families and to the wider community. It will provide continued access to reading materials for students and their families to engage in reading activities at home and after school hours in order to foster strong literacy skills and a love for reading among the next future generations of Guatemalans.

During the 2012 service trip in May, the Project Team met with the 2012 LWB stipend Asturias Librarian, Nicholas Newlin, to discuss the lending library project. After conducting research and testing many open source Integrated Library Systems (ILS), one was selected by Nicholas and the Project Team in September 2012. Since then, training manuals have been produced in English and Spanish to train students, volunteers, teachers and librarians on the new ILS.

The Project Team will begin the training process during this service trip. The training modules will focus on training students, volunteers, teachers and librarians on the ILS, which includes the joint use of library management systems BookCat and LibraryThing. Alongside this training, we will further our conversation with the Asturias Director on developing a circulation manual to support the lending of items in the library in the near future.

For the 2013 service trip, the Lending Library Project Team aims to accomplish the following:

  • Catalogue all library items and conduct a full inventory of Asturias Library’s collection to ensure that all materials on the shelves will be searchable via the Integrated Library System
  • Install and provide training and support on ILS equipment: barcode scanner, printer, laptop
  • Provide training to students, teachers, and librarians on the Integrated Library System
  • Determine and articulate the best practices for the lending process

Stay tuned for updates from the Lending Library Project Team as we work diligently to accomplish these project goals in the next two weeks!

You’re invited to Librarians Without Borders Social Event at the OLA Super Conference 2013

Join Librarians Without Borders at the OLA Super Conference for a fun evening at Jack Astor’s Restaurant Bar and Grill on Friday February 1st, 6:30 p.m. Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to find out more information about Librarians Without Borders, meet Librarians Without Borders members and hear about our upcoming trip to Guatemala this April.

For more information or to join the event visit our Facebook Event page.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Reflections from LWB North American Speaking Tour with Guatemalan Partner Jorge Chojolán

During the LWB North American Speaking Tour with our Guatemalan Partner Jorge Chojolán, LWB student committee members were asked to reflect on their experience attending the workshops and public events during the tour. This post comes to us from Emily, a member of the LWB University of Toronto Student Committee and a student in the Faculty of Information Studies at the University of Toronto.

I attended two of Jorge Chojolan’s workshops about Miguel Angel Asturias Academy.  His story and the history of the academy are truly inspiring.  Jorge has created an amazing school with such a limited amount of resources.  It was really great to see how Librarians Without Borders helps the school, and how enthusiastic the kids are about their library.  Jorge’s presentation made me realize how much the work and fundraising that we do means to communities in need of library resources.


Speaking Tour Workshop (Toronto): Challenges of preservation of indigenous languages and culture in Guatemala – Faculty of Information, University of Toronto


Read to someone special on International Literacy Day!

In celebration of International Literacy Day, Librarians Without Borders compiled a list of Children’s titles about books and libraries, emphasizing the importance of books and libraries for children’s imagination and growth. Celebrate International Literacy Day by reading to someone special!


Children’s titles about books and libraries


  • Wu wei xiong he xiao hua By: Mary Murphy


  • Richard Wright and the library card By: William Miller
  • Librarian on the roof! : a true story By: M.G King
  • D.W.’s library card By: Marc Brown
  • Lola at the library By: Anna McQuinn
  • When the library lights go out By: Megan McDonald
  • Maisy goes to the library By: Lucy Cousins
  • Rachel’s library By: Richard Ungar
  • The House of Wisdom By: Florence Parry Heide
  • Max goes to the library By: Adria F. Klein
  • Tiny goes to the library By: Cari Meister
  • Carlo and the really nice librarian By: Jessica Spanyol,
  • I.Q. goes to the library By: Mary Ann Fraser
  • Book! book! book! By: Deborah Bruss
  • Beverly Billingsly borrows a book By: Alexande Stadler
  • But excuse me that is my book By: Lauren Child
  • Amelia Bedelia, bookworm By: Herman Parish
  • ABC letters in the library By: Bonnie Farmer
  • The boy who was raised by librarians By:  Carla D. Morris
  • Library lion By: Michelle Knudsen


  • Alcatraz contre les ossements du scribe  By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Alcatraz versus the Scrivener’s Bones By: Brandon Sanderson
  • La bibliothèque fantôme By: David Melling
  • Que lit Galette à la bibliothèque? By: Lina Rousseau


  • Milagre na biblioteca : o livro que não gostava de computadores By: Humberta Maria Araujo


  • Richard Wright y el carné de biblioteca By: William Miller

Librarians Without Borders Celebrates International Literacy Day!

In celebration of International Literacy Day, Librarians Without Borders produced a short video that features the Guatemala Program and our long term partnership with Miguel Angel Asturias Academy.

Please share with your friends, family, colleagues and social media channels!

|Happy International Literacy Day! |

|Journée internationale de l’alphabétisation! |

|Día Internacional de la Alfabetización!|



Guatemala Program Update- Thank you to all donors!

Earlier this month, Librarians Without Borders sent out a newsletter to all donors who made a kind donation to the Guatemala Librarian Stipend project. The newsletter can be viewed here.

As mentioned in the newsletter, Nicholas, the LWB- funded librarian at Asturias Academy library continues to work closely with Dorita (Asturias teacher-librarian) on various library projects and activities at the school. For the next couple of months, Nicholas will begin to train Dorita on various library projects and on an Integrated Library System for the Asturias library. By providing training, Nicholas is able to begin a transition of library expertise in the school and assist Dorita in transitioning into the role of Librarian on a long-term permanent basis at Asturias Academy. This will create a ripple effect in the educational community as a long-term permanent Librarian will ensure a sustainable community library within the Asturias community.

A special thanks to all donors to the Guatemala Librarian Stipend project! Stay tuned for the next Guatemala program update!

Librarian Nicholas works closely with a group of students at the Asturias library

Dona Margarita’s Comedor

Dona Margarita

During our stay in Xela, we ate at Dona Margarita’s comedor for breakfast and dinner. For each meal at Dona Margarita’s, the tables were set and the food was nicely laid out on the table.  Dona Margarita served us something different everyday- from chocolate cornflakes, to lightly fried plantains to fluffy pancakes to tasty fried chicken! With every meal, fresh corn tortillas were made in their tienda and were brought out by Dona Margarita’s two daughters: Noelia and Gloria.


Both Gloria and her brother are students at the Miguel Asturias Angel Academy. As part of Miguel Asturias Angel Academy’s commitment to supporting their local community, the international groups that visit Asturias eat at comedors like Dona Margarita’s so they are able to directly support the students’ families and their local communities.

Fuentes Family is in the house!

During LWB’s trip to Xela in 2010, Dona Margarita did not have the comedor and would bring the food to Asturias during the school week for the group. Until last year, Dona Margarita saved enough money to open the comedor in 2011, where she served all 27 LWB trip participants in her dining room!

We were so grateful to eat at Dona Margarita’s comedor again this year and we thank them for their wonderful hospitality! Muchas Gracias, la familia Fuentes!

Book repair at Asturias library!

LWB member Carmen Ho shows students how to repair books.

During the afternoon of library day, we had the opportunity to show the older students how to repair books. From repairing book covers, book spines to loose pages, the students thoroughly enjoyed the task of preserving and conserving the library collection.

52 books repaired during library day!

Currently, the Asturias library functions as a reference library and they hope to make it a lending library in the near future. Once the library begins lending the books will likely become damaged or worn out. Therefore, it is important to teach the students the skills to preserve their collection. By getting students involved in repairing the collection, they will also learn to care for the books to avoid further damage.

Read more service trip posts…

The first graphic novel circulation at Asturias Academy!

LWB member Monica Gagne and the students and teachers at Asturias checking out the new graphic novels and comic book collection during library day.

During library day, we featured some of the new books that we brought for Asturias at the entrance of the library. Students and teachers browsed through the new collection throughout the day and asked questions about the new books. Among the display of books, we featured the new graphic novel and comic book collection. Students and teachers inquired about this new genre and were intrigued with the graphic novels that were on display.

Nic, the librarian checks out the first graphic novel to a student at Asturias Academy!

At the end of the day, a student approached Nic, the librarian and asked if he could borrow a book, the graphic novel Maus by Art Spiegelman from the display.  Without hesitation, Nic signed out the book to him.  It was so wonderful to see students excited about this new genre at the library. We anticipate that the new graphic novel and comic book collection at Asturias will be very popular!

Read more service trip posts…

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