Category: News

How to “do” International Librarianship: An Article from LWB

Strategies for Engaging













LWB’s Co-Executive Director Melanie Sellar recently authored “Strategies for Engaging in International Librarianship: Misconceptions and Opportunities” in the San Jose State University Student Research Journal. Download this contribution here.

The invited essay looks at the ways that we currently “do” international librarianship and identifies strategies for making that work more robust, reciprocal, action-oriented, and long-lasting in its impact.

Abstract: Higher education institutions are increasingly formalizing internationalization priorities into their strategic plans. As a result library and information science (LIS) programs and academic libraries are beginning to encourage the inclusion of more international perspectives in student experiences. One means of doing so is by drawing upon international librarianship (IL), an LIS field of study since the 1950s. However, IL is a relatively small field that is not understood well. In order for IL to be studied, practiced, and funded in ways that are appropriate to its potential, this essay revisits the concept of IL, discusses some of its misconceptions, and advocates for more intentional, reciprocal, and reflective applications. It is also argued that IL praxis should be coupled with critical theorist (or critical librarian) values, in order to achieve the most balanced relationships.


Interview: David, Saber Sin Límites Community Library

By Erica Younglove

Two librarians from Limitless Horizons Ixil in Chajul, Guatemala visited Asturius this week. David and his coworker Marina came to the Teacher Training at Asturias on Monday and helped us prep for Library Day on Tuesday. David took the time to talk to me about his library and position. Here’s what he said:

Q: David, tell me about the library.
A: It works almost the same as here at Asturias but with different activities with the kids. The library originally was part of the school and just for older students. It is now a public library. It serves the whole community – children, teachers, teens, adults.

Q: How long has the library been open?
A: It has been operating as a public library for six years.

Q: How does the library support itself?
A: The community is very poor and doesn’t have a lot of resources. We rely on donations and foreign aid. For example, we provide craft supplies for kids who can’t afford them. Most of those supplies are donated.

Q: What programs does the library provide?
A: Librarians help students with homework, provide one on one tutoring, hold storytimes every Wednesday, and host a reading club. A lot of children speak the indigenous language Ixil not Spanish. So we are helping them learn Spanish and Spanish reading skills. We are helping them form the habit of reading.

Q: How many books do you have?
A: We have 4500 titles but with copies we have 8000 books that circulate.

Q: How many people do you serve?
A: 18,000.

Q: How many people use the library?
A: We have 80-100 kids come into the library everyday. Children like to do their homework at the library because most of them have dirt floors at home. They want to keep their work nice so they do it at the library.

Q: What are your hours?
A: We work 8-5 Monday through Friday. The library is open from 8-11am and 2-4:30pm each day.

Q: Do you have computers?
A: We have two computers but they don’t have Internet. They are only for looking up books in the library.

Q: How does lending work?
A: We mainly lend to students we work with regularly. Patrons that don’t come in frequently we don’t lend to.

Q: Do you have library cards?
A: Yes we do.

Q: Do you have materials in the local language?
A: Yes.

Q: What does your job entail?
A: We help kids, plan activities, and organize materials.

Q: How big is your staff?
A: We just have the two librarians and two volunteers.



Marina, LWB team member Cat Silvers, David.

Q: How long have you been in your position?
A: This is my third year.

Q: What qualified you for the job?
A: I have a teaching certificate and previously worked as a teacher.

Q: What training do you do?
A: This training and others from LWB and the group Child-Aid. And I go to school. Currently I’m studying agriculture at the university. Once I get my degree I hope to help the community improve their farming practice and take advantage of our fertile soil. Right now they only grow corn and beans. I plan to encourage them to plant other things to help improve their diet.

Q: When will you get your degree?
A: I have two or three more years. It is a five year program.

Q: What do you like best about your job?
A: I have a passion for helping kids especially when doing so improves the community. If you start with the young ones they are the ones that will grow up and make the change in the community. I am very thankful for my job. I appreciate LWB coming to help me improve our library and community.

This interview was conducted with the translation assistance of Georgi Bordner.

Field Notes: Visiting Piedra Santa

by Erica Younglove

Saturday – our first full day in Guatemala – we got to visit and tour Piedra Santa, a publishing house and bookstore, in their new facility. Piedra Santa has been in their new building for about eight months. They employ 100 employees, 35 who work in their offices. They are able to publish a book from start to finish, with a facility that includes machines that cut paper, bind and glue books, and print in multiple colors of ink, and a bookstore.


Piedra Santa’s new space also includes office space, garage, and a two-floor warehouse.  They sell and publish local Guatemalan authors, and are working  on getting the rights to translate foreign materials into Spanish. This includes math workbooks requested by local teachers, as well as printing custom orders for local businesses.

Our LWB team also purchased books to take with us to donate to Asturias, and were very happy to support a local Guatemalan publisher.

Meet the 2016 Guatemala Service Trip Team

Debbie Chavez

Debbie Chavez
Program Manager, LWB Asturias
Co-trip leader

What is your connection to libraries and/or LWB?
I’ve been a librarian for many years in public libraries in the US. I went as a volunteer on the Asturias trip last year and felt that my work wasn’t done, that I needed to continue to work with the school. I’m thrilled to be involved on an ongoing basis as the program manager!

Where else have you travelled?
I’ve travelled extensively in Mexico and a little bit in Canada and Guatemala. I’ve also travelled through many of the states in the western US and a few other cities like Chicago, Boston, and Washington DC.

How did you hear about the Guatemala trip and what made you want to come?
Many years ago, I read the book “I, Rigoberta Menchu” and was horrified at the atrocities being committed against the indigenous people of Guatemala. Later, it was proven that much of the information in the book didn’t actually happen to her family. Nonetheless, the atrocities she described did happen to others, and her book brought the world’s attention to the Guatemalan civil war. Ever since then, I knew that I wanted to do something to help the people of Guatemala. I heard about this trip through Facebook and knew that I wanted to be involved. It’s a wonderful opportunity to be able to combine my love of books and reading with helping people in an area of the world that I’ve been interested in for a very long time.


Dee Winn

Dee Winn
Head, Information Services, Concordia University Library
Co-trip leader,  Collection Development/Cataloguing Team Lead

What is your connection to libraries and/or LWB?
I’ve been an LWB student advisor for MLIS/MISt programs for the past three years and a librarian for 9 years.

Where else have you travelled?
My most recent travels were to the United Arab Emirates, but I’ve also been to Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe.

How did you hear about the Guatemala trip and what made you want to come?
I was a volunteer on the 2014 Guatemala Service Trip and am excited to be returning to Asturias to continue LWB’s great work!


Erica Younglove

Erica Younglove
Reference Librarian at Jefferson-Madison Regional Library in Charlottesville, VA
Communications Team Lead

What is your connection to libraries and/or LWB?
I’ve been working in public libraries for over 7 years mostly in adult and reference services.

Where else have you travelled?
I have previously traveled throughout the U.S. and Canada, and to Scotland, Ghana, and Turkey.

How did you hear about the Guatemala trip and what made you want to come?
I think I was searching for international librarian travel opportunities and found it that way. When I found it I knew I wanted to participate since it combines my passion for libraries and literacy with my love of travel.


Celia Avila

Celia Avila
Young Adult Librarian, Los Angeles Public library, Harbor City-Harbor Gateway Branch
Library Day Team Lead, Communications Team, translations

What is your connection to libraries and/or LWB?
I volunteered at my local library as a teen and then went on to work at the library while I completed my studies. I’ve worked for the Los Angeles Public Library for almost 11 years now, 4 as a librarian. I’ve worked mainly in Hispanic communities with an emphasis on providing library services to teens and young adults, a topic I’ve also presented on at conferences in the last few years. Additionally, I am an active member of Reforma, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, and currently serving as the Los Angeles Chapter Vice President/ incoming President.

Where else have you traveled?
I have only been to Zacatecas, Mexico.

How did you hear about the Guatemala trip and what made you want to come?
I heard about the trip a few years ago from a colleague in Reforma but wasn’t able to apply until now. I had desire to attend for the opportunity to share the skills and knowledge I have acquired through my experiences in libraries. I also wanted the opportunity to learn more about the culture and how libraries operate in other parts of the world in order to better inform my service and my global understanding of libraries in our society.  


Liz Blackall

Liz Blackall
Community Librarian, Hamilton Public Library
Cataloguing team

What is your connection to libraries and/or LWB?
I’m excited to be volunteering for Librarians without Borders for the first time. I have my Masters in Library Science and Bachelor of Education from Western University in London Ontario. I’ve been working at Hamilton Public Library since 2013. My first librarian role was in youth services and I’ve recently moved to a position working with our bookmobiles and visiting library service. It’s a fun and rewarding position serving some of our most vulnerable patrons (and no, they do not let me drive the bookmobile).

Where else have you travelled?
Guatemala will be first big international trip since I was 12 and visited family in Ireland. I enjoy outdoorsy activities, so most of my travelling has involved camping in Ontario.

How did you hear about the Guatemala trip and what made you want to come?
My wonderful friend from library school, Alexandra Ferguson, participated in this trip for two years. I was inspired by her stories and photographs and have wanted to come ever since! She encouraged me to apply this year. It’s long been a goal of mine to learn more about international librarianship. Now that I’m done with school and have a job I love, I want to start giving back and become more involved in non-profit organizations and humanitarian projects.


Saudra Alvarez

Saudra Alvarez
Help Saudra fund her trip
OSL III at Pima County Library
Professional Development Team

What is your connection to libraries and/or LWB?
I have worked for Pima County Library for almost 16 years. I started as a teenager working as a computer monitor. I was a computer monitor for 2 years. I would sign up patrons on computers, and helped them from printing, saving documents, and searching the internet. I created brochures, flyers for the library, and participated In storytime. I then was a page for 3 years. In this position I filed books in alphabetical order, title, author, and also non-fiction as well. Now I’m a clerk I work on serials, damaged items, inter-library loans. I’m also in charge of the Eckstrom-Columbus Library bulletin board. I’m in charge of distributing informational brochures, flyers etc. I work helping patrons from creating new library accounts, checking in/out materials. I also help patrons look up library material on our catalog, and searching our library databases. I assist downloading Ebooks, emagazines, free music on our database (freegal). I assist in computer questions, and faxing. I have also in the past taught Spanish computer classes from beginners computer class, search the internet, create documents in Microsoft word, search the internet, and facebook.

Where else have you travelled?
In the US and Guatemala

How did you hear about the Guatemala trip and what made you want to come?
I heard about this wonderful service trip through a colleague. I love helping others, and my parents home Country is Guatemala. This is a great way to give back, and learn more about my culture. I look forward to meeting everybody and participating in this great opportunity while working with teachers and students and promote the importance of literacy, and outreach programs.


Cat Silvers

Cat Silvers
First Year Outreach Librarian, University of North Florida
Library Day team

What is your connection to libraries and/or LWB?
I found my love for libraries purely by accident. In college I studied Humanities at Florida State University (FSU) and discovered a strong attraction to Art History through required courses for graduation. I decided to pursue a Master of Arts degree in Art History with the intention of someday becoming a museum curator. Early on in my graduate program I decided on an internship at the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida. I was originally placed in the curatorial department, but was soon moved to the museum’s library to do research for upcoming exhibits. It was in the Ringling’s library that I realized that libraries were my calling. After completing my Master in Art History, I went on to get my MLIS degree. My first part-time librarian position was at FSU where I fell in love with helping students succeed and welcomed the organized chaos of academic libraries. In my current role as the First Year Outreach Librarian at the University of North Florida, I forge partnerships with campus organizations and connect all students in their first year at the university to library resources and services through exciting programs and events.

Where else have you travelled?
I have travelled to Canada, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, and Haiti. In 2006 I also travelled to Italy, where I lived in the small town of San Venanzo for five weeks. The purpose of that trip was to participate in an archaeological dig that focused on uncovering ancient Etruscan artifacts. Just prior to this year’s LWB trip to Guatemala I’ll also be travelling briefly in the Yucatan, Honduras, and Belize.

How did you hear about the Guatemala trip and what made you want to come?
I discovered Librarians Without Borders while browsing through an American Library Association email newsletter. I have been interested in travelling abroad for non-vacation experiences, and when I saw that I could apply my experience as a librarian to help the people of Guatemala, I knew I needed to fill out an application.


Miria Olson

Miria Olson
Master of Information Studies student at McGill University (Montreal, Canada)
Professional Development team

What is your connection to libraries and/or LWB?
I work at a public library in Montreal and I am a member of the McGill University LWB chapter.

Where else have you travelled?
I spent five years working as an English teacher in Spain and the Canary Islands. I travelled to many European countries during that time. I have also worked and studied in New Zealand, Iceland and France. During high school, I did a short exchange program in Costa Rica and I’m very excited to return to Central America with LWB this year!

How did you hear about the Guatemala trip and what made you want to come?
I heard about the program from previous participants and they encouraged me to apply. I applied for this program because I love the Spanish language and I am very interested in children’s literacy. I think this trip will be a great learning opportunity.


Mary Block

Mary Block
Library Assistant, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) / San Jose State University MLIS student
Collection Development team

What is your connection to libraries and/or LWB?
My career in libraries started with a student worker position as an undergrad.  I found that I loved helping connect people with information and giving them the tools to succeed in school and beyond.  I’ve since worked in public libraries as a children’s and teen librarian; in a genealogy and historical collections library; and now I work in an academic library at an art and design school.  I believe in the life-changing powers of libraries, and I’m so happy to contribute to LWB’s mission of improving access to information resources.

Where else have you travelled?
I’ve been to Montreal, Canada, and I’ve traveled all around the U.S., but this will be my first trip south of the border.  

How did you hear about the Guatemala trip and what made you want to come?
I took a course at SJSU with Melanie Sellar, a founder of LWB.  We spent a lot of time researching Guatemala and the Asturias Academy in Quetzaltenango, and we developed project proposals for specific issues affecting the school and the community there.  It was unlike any course I’ve ever taken for my MLIS, and I was incredibly inspired by the work being done at Asturias.  I’m excited to see the great work there firsthand!


Jay Peters

Jay Peters
Coquitlam Public Library
Collection Development team

What is your connection to libraries and/or LWB?
I have been a librarian for the past 10 years; was at Western University just after LWB came into being.

Where else have you travelled?
Europe, Korea, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Mexico, Laos, Cambodia, Japan and Vietnam.

How did you hear about the Guatemala trip and what made you want to come?
A friend suggested it.  It’s nice to go to a new place and be able to help out at the same time.


Georgi Bordner

Georgianne (Georgi) Bordner
Head of Technical Services, Regent University Library, Virginia Beach, VA
Collection Development team, “assistant interpreter”

What is your connection to libraries and/or LWB?
My father was a technical services librarian, and I was not only named for him, but followed in his footsteps professionally.  All of my experience has been in academic libraries, mostly in cataloging.  I have also done a lot of volunteer work with the Commission for International Library Advancement (CILA), a group with a similar mission to LWB’s. One of our main activities has been the training of overseas librarians who have not had the benefit of a formal education in library science.  I was involved in the production of The Librarian’s Manual, the textbook we use in our librarian training seminars, and also served as one of the translators and editors of the Spanish edition.

Where else have you travelled?
I participated in librarian training seminars with CILA in Bolivia, India, Trinidad, and Malaysia.  I have also traveled to Mexico, Peru, Ukraine, France, Switzerland, and Germany.

How did you hear about the Guatemala trip and what made you want to come?
I saw the announcement for the trip in an ALA newsletter, and immediately knew I wanted to go.  Even though I have been able to travel to a variety of places, my primary interest has always been Latin America, so I couldn’t pass up this opportunity! I am looking forward to using my knowledge of Spanish and my library skills to make a difference in the library and the lives of the students and teachers who use it.


Chelsea Weissman

Chelsea Weissman
Children’s Librarian at the Grandview Library in Columbus, Ohio. I’m also a part time piano teacher.
Library Day Team

What is your connection to libraries and/or LWB?
The Guatemala service trip and I like them on facebook. 🙂

Where else have you travelled?
I studied for a semester in college in Hungary.  While there, I also got to travel to Greece, Austria, Italy, Belgium, and England.  Since then, I’ve been to Scotland, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Glacier, Yellowstone, and Yosemite National Parks, Key West, Bar Harbor, San Francisco, Napa, Maui.  I’m going to Prague, Vienna, and Budapest in May!

How did you hear about the Guatemala trip and what made you want to come?
I saw it on the group “Storytime Underground” on facebook.  When I saw the post about it, I was very intrigued, as I’ve been wanting to do some kind of trip where I’m more immersed in a culture and in a different way than just being a tourist.  I then went to the information meeting and it sounded more amazing, so I applied.  I also love being a children’s librarian so this specific service trip sounded great!


Amy Moskovitz

Amy Moskovitz
Help Amy fund her trip
Teacher at Northfield Elementary School and graduate student (MLIS) at San Jose State University (SJSU).
Library Day team

What is your connection to libraries and/or LWB?
I am currently pursuing my Master’s in library and information science and serve on my local public library’s Board of Trustees.

Where else have you travelled?
I have traveled mostly within the United States. Some of my favorite US destinations are New Orleans, Denver, San Francisco and Orlando. I have also traveled to the European countries of England, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and Germany. This summer, I’m planning to visit Iceland.

How did you hear about the Guatemala trip and what made you want to come?
I heard about the LWB Guatemala trip through SJSU. I love to travel and have a passion for teaching and literacy. I thought this opportunity would combine my interest in international travel and exploration with my background and interests in teaching, libraries and literacy. I am very excited to be joining LWB on this amazing trip!

LWB at McGill & the Native Friendship Centre

The collaboration between the McGill chapter of Librarians Without Borders (LWB) and the Native Friendship Centre (NFC) of Montréal centres on the importance of connecting Indigenous communities with Indigenous literature and film. When LWB first formed a partnership with the Native Friendship Centre in autumn 2014, we were asked to find ways to promote literacy within the Indigenous community in Montréal, specifically through developing resources and programming at the NFC. We began by developing a small library for youth who frequent the NFC, with a focus on graphic novels and children’s books written by Indigenous authors. These materials often grapple with histories and experiences undergone by Indigenous communities in ways that are at once complex and accessible to younger readers. However, we’ve since realized that occasional visits by LWB to the NFC library are not enough to continue developing a sustainable relationship with the urban Indigenous community.

LWB McGill committee members cataloguing at the NFC

LWB McGill committee members
cataloguing at the NFC

In autumn 2015, our LWB chapter initiated weekly film showings in the NFC’s youth centre for young adults, again focusing on films made by and about Indigenous communities. Following the viewing itself, the participants, NFC animators, and LWB volunteers discuss any thoughts stirred by the film. Several participants have come to the viewings every week, and give us feedback on the different films. For instance, they have repeatedly expressed interest in learning about Indigenous communities from other parts of the world, and discussing how they are similar to or different than those in Montréal and Québec. As time goes on, the LWB chapter will purchase selected films to add to the NFC’s library for long-term access.

LWB has also partnered with a small library in the Katavic School Board that focuses on resources for learning Inuktitut. Through this collaboration we have learned a lot about the importance of language preservation and the role librarians can play in making these resources available.

In the future, LWB McGill would like to continue supporting initiatives both locally and internationally to assist Indigenous communities and help connect them with the various resources they need and want to use.

Join Our Team: Director of Operations

Join our Team


Ten years ago LWB was founded at a single university in Canada with a handful of MLIS students launching our work. Fast forward to 2016: we’re now an organization with multiple program partners, new project ideas and partners under development, and an executive team of twelve with six student sites, 500+ members worldwide, and more than 95 professionals who have participated on our annual service trips to Guatemala.

In other words, we are fortunate to now have a lot of moving parts! We are at the point in our growth where these parts would benefit from someone helping to keep tabs on them and keep them on track.

To that end, we are recruiting for a Director of Operations  (DoP) with a project management focus to join our team of Directors. The DoP will work alongside the two Co-Executive Directors and Director of Membership and Communications to advance the priorities of the organization.

Who are you? You’re a master of organization who enjoys putting sense and structure to work, who is excited about translating the big picture into daily practice, and who likes to collaborate with diverse teams.

We have a lot of ambitions for LWB. If you love the mission of LWB and would enjoy volunteering with us in this important role, please read on.

Reporting to the Co-Executive Director (Operations), the Director of Operations is responsible for ongoing partnership and program management support. You’ll have your finger on the pulse of our programs, and help shape our projects and move them forward. This includes:

  • project scheduling to identify when tasks will be performed and by which team/team member
  • tracking and reporting on project milestones, following up as necessary with team members
  • suggesting and potentially rolling out interventions when projects may run off-schedule
  • take minutes at core organizational meetings (directors, executive team, program heads, AGM)
  • convert varied meeting notes into action items in our  project management software
  • manage and monitor the main LWB general email account (

Your first task? Review our existing plans and help us choose a tool for managing them. Once the tool is up and running, you’ll port our plans into it and then help us stay on track.



  • You’re a master at organizing multiple projects, deadlines, resources and schedules.
  • You’re a team player (and team leader), self-motivated and able to use time wisely.
  • Disposition marked by maturity, resourcefulness, flexibility, empathy, and collegiality.
  • Good problem-solving skills and nimbleness are a must!


Time Commitment and Duration:

The work is expected to take 10-20 hours regularly per month, with a consistent 2-4 hours per week. There is no term limit on this position.

LWB is a virtual workplace. Our volunteers work from their home — wherever that may be — and collaborate across geography using web conferencing software provided by us. The virtual nature of our workplace allows you to work whenever is most convenient for you (aside from periodic scheduled synchronous meetings).



LWB is an entirely volunteer-run organization.

While we cannot offer monetary compensation, we can offer you a great experience for furthering your management aspirations in your professional career and a vibrant outlet for contributing to global librarianship in a leadership role. You will also find community with those who share similar interests and passions as you do!


How to Express Interest:

For questions or to explore your interest, please email Melanie Sellar and Mark Gelsomino at by February 26 (DEADLINE EXTENDED). When you’re ready to apply, please submit a cover letter and resume to Melanie and Mark at the email address listed above.

Guatemala Trip Information Meeting: February 9 Online

GT Info Meeting Blog Join Librarians Without Borders on Tuesday, February 9 at 9 pm EST / 6 pm PST for an online information meeting about our upcoming service trip to Guatemala. This is an open meeting — all are welcome!

LWB will be in Guatemala from April 22-May 2, 2016 to work with our partner, Miguel Angel Asturias Academy.  At the information meeting a presentation will be given introducing our partner and outlining trip goals and logistics.  Attendees will also have an opportunity to ask questions. Anyone who is interested in applying for the trip is welcome to attend the meeting.

Learn more about the trip and access the trip application form here. The deadline for applications is February 23.

A recording of the meeting will be posted afterward for those who cannot attend. For more information contact

Access the web meeting using the links/information provided below:

Join WebEx meeting
Meeting number: 624 005 092
Meeting password: LWB2016
Join by phone
1-650-479-3208 Call-in toll number (US/Canada)
Access code: 624 005 092


Call for Volunteers: Guatemala 2016 Service Trip


Service Trip Description 

Every Spring since 2010 LWB travels to the Miguel Angel Asturias Academy in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala to execute our remote work on the ground, to discuss emerging needs with our partners, and to re-connect with the students and school staff. We invite you to join us and work alongside us this year from April 22 to May 2, 2016.

This year’s work at the Academy will include ongoing collection management activities (cataloguing, processing, and organizing materials) and information literacy/outreach programming for students and teachers. LWB works with Asturias to also provide opportunities for trip participants to engage in activities that will help nurture a comprehensive understanding of libraries, education and culture in Guatemala. Typically trip participants are also given the opportunity to help finalize the last weekend activity (for example, visit scenic Lake Atitlán or trek to one of Guatemala’s volcanic peaks).

Primary Projects

  • Continued support of ILS implementation and lending system at the Asturias Academy through collection management support.
  • Information literacy and outreach programming targeting all students and levels through multi-day library events.
  • Professional development workshops for teachers supporting library integration into the curriculum.

Housing and Food
While in Quetzaltenango (Xela), participants will stay and eat most of their meals at the COFA Catholic Retreat Centre. On the weekends meals are eaten with a local family or at local restaurants. Vegetarian options will be available.

All trip volunteers are expected to:

  • Attend online meetings (3-4) to discuss projects and receive training on the Asturias Library and the local community context. These meetings are mandatory for all volunteers.
  • Join and contribute to a working team before the trip.
  • Participate in pre-and post-trip assessments (e.g. evaluation surveys).

Program Fees
The program fee is $1500 CAD* (= ~$1080 USD) for 11 days. This total covers lodging, food, transportation and entrance to all activities within Guatemala, as well as a fundraising fee to support LWB’s Guatemalan programs. Trip participants are responsible for paying their own airfare to and from Guatemala.

There is a $500 CAD non-refundable deposit due by all accepted applicants by March 3. The remainder of the fees ($1000 CAD) can be paid at the same time or by March 10*.

In addition, all trip participants are expected to bring extra spending money for additional purchases such as souvenirs and snacks, as well as occasional meals in Guatemala ($50-100 is adequate).

Important Dates

  • Guatemala Information Meeting (online) – February 9
  • Application Deadline – February 23
  • Successful applicants selected and notified – February 29
  • $500 CAD* non-refundable deposit due – March 3
  • $1000 CAD* (remainder of program fees) – March 10

*Note: The $1500 CAD may be revised to a new final figure if a significant change in exchange rate occurs. This information would be published by March 3.

How to apply: Submit a completed Volunteer Application to by February 23. Thank you!

Thank you for a great year!

Thank you for making 2015 such a great year! It was our tenth anniversary, and we accomplished a lot thanks to you – and all of our supporters and members!

This was our fifth year partnering with the Asturias Academy in Guatemala. During this year’s service trip, we taught the students all about the library with an action-packed Library Day, brought books and catalogued materials in the library, and introduced new professional development for teachers.

Jasmin, one of this year’s trip participants, speaks about what she took away from the trip:

We also began a new partnership with Limitless Horizons Ixil in Chajul, Guatemala, and helped automate some of their work in order to free up the librarians for more individual support of community members.

We’re looking forward to making 2016 one of our best years yet! Thank you from all of us here at LWB.

Click here for donation information and options.

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Librarians rock. Help us add them!

Instead of shopping Cyber Monday sales or buying an expensive present, make a donation to Librarians Without Borders this holiday season. You’ll get a card for your family member, friend, or co-worker—and you’ll have given a gift that truly makes a difference. Choose your gift below!



LWB was founded by a group of socially-minded librarians who wanted to address the vast information resource inequity existing between different regions of the world. We form partnerships with community organizations to build sustainable libraries and support their custodians and advocates—librarians. Support LWB’s mission to improve access to information by making a general donation.
Choose this gift.



Librarians are the key piece to making a library work.This is what LWB is all about – the unique skills that librarians offer. Your donation helps supply our local library partners with technical skills and training, and tools like barcode scanners and digital library catalogues. With your support, these librarians will be able to make a difference in their communities.
Choose this gift. 



Love libraries? We do too – and we teach children and teachers all about libraries and how they can use them! Your donation will go towards our information literacy programs in Guatemala.
Choose this gift.


Looking for other ways to support LWB? Check out this page for how to join, wear your support, and more!

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