The recently built library at San Pedro Roman Catholic School is scheduled to receive much needed books and other reading material provided by Biblioteca Criolla. As a part of Nation Book Week being celebrated in the US, from May 11 to the 15, the Perfecto Oyola Biblioteca Criolla of the Jersey City Free Public Library has partnered with Haas Media of Jersey City to provide books and other reading materials to children in Belize. The project was initiated by President of Haas Media, Kim Haas, who came to Belize in January of this year.
Kim Haas; President, Haas Media
“When I travel I like to try and visit schools, community centers and hospitals. We really get engrossed in the community so I read about the wonderful volunteer effort by Eve Darmvack in Ambergris Caye and she and some of her friends put together a calendar called Calendar Girls and all the proceeds from the calendar went to the construction of San Pedro Roman Catholic School Library. I gave Eve a call and she set up a tour for me so I was able to tour the school and the library. As a result when I came back to Jersey City I came over to the local library the Perfecto Oyola Biblioteca Criolla and talked to the library if there was something we could do in terms of donations for the San Pedro Roman Catholic School Library and the response was immediate and so super fantastic.”
According to Haas this effort is a way for the Jersey City Library to reach out to their neighbors and connect with the librarians at the school so they can continue to foster a relationship that will benefit the students and the community. At least 70 to 80 English and Spanish books were packed into several boxes to send to the library. Branch Manager at Biblioteca Criolla, Edwin Peres explains.
Edwin Peres; Branch Manager, Biblioteca Criolla
“We got together with Kim Haas and spear headed this entire project about donating books to the San Pedro Roman Catholic Library. What we did was gather quit a good number of books that we put together to send to the library there; we are talking children’s books, a couple of sets of encyclopedia, we have books in English, bilingual and Spanish books. The books range from pre-school all the way up to teens which is our YA books. We had a wide range of items and materials that we packed and got them on the road to the school in Belize. We are very happy participate in that project, we were able to gather all of these materials and send them so they ca get that library going in San Pedro.”
In addition to finding a shared passion for books and reading other similarities were found as the Jersey City Library is the only Spanish-language branch library in the state of New Jersey dedicated to Spanish works and culture.
Kim Haas; President, Haas Media
“One of the first things is that the languages; Spanish and English are both present. This is a bilingual library and this community is heavily Latino but we also speak English. We found the same thing in San Pedro in Ambergris Caye so that was an immediate connection that we had and I think that is why the library and the librarians were able to send out books that were able to send out books that were Spanish and Bilingual. That is one of the major things. We are so close to New York, it is a stone throw, so we do not have the tropical climate that you guys have down there that I was so attracted too. I think there are a lot of similarities in terms of culture; the Latino culture. The Belizean culture which is so warm and giving and that is what we find here as well. The librarians really open themselves up to supporting the community. There are a lot of comparisons that we can draw between both countries.”
The books have already been shipped and should arrive in Belize in a couple of days.