U.S.Ambassador George Bruno Presents "American Studies" Package of Books to San Pedro Town Library

From the left, library founder Mary Beissner,
His Excellency Ambassador Bruno, Librarian Helen
Forman and Egbert Craft, Assistant Librarian

On Monday, September 30, 1996 United States Ambassador to Belize, George Bruno, on behalf of President Bill Clinton and the American people presented a package of 50 new reference books to the San Pedro Town Library. The book package was selected by the United States Information Agency (USIA) and is representative of the social, political, and economic development of the United States. It also includes anthologies of literature, poetry and music. Bruno said that this series of books has been presented to libraries throughout the world.

In his opening remarks, the Ambassador recounted that in recent times the United States has been known publicly as a partner in Belize's war on crime and drugs. "But we also have a mission and commitment to improve the daily lives of Belize's citizens. We do this through "Operation Good Health" in which we have been supplying medical equipment and supplies to health clinics and hospitals throughout the country. We also have a commitment to make contributions that will assist in uplifting and improving education, which is ministering to the mind."

Bruno said he was questioned in March at the annual outreach to U.S. Citizens dinner about the shipment of textbooks that were presented to the Government of Belize, and why none of the books were presented to San Pedro children.(The text books came from the closing of the Southern Command Headquarters in Panama.) The Ambassador said that the presentation today was an effort to fill that vacuum.

Ambassador Bruno was accompanied by John Connerly, U.S. Embassy Public and Cultural Relations Officer and Ms. Mary Sue Conway, a State Department official from Washington D.C. The books were presented to Ms. Helen Forman, librarian and Mr. Egbert Craft, assistant librarian and Mrs. Mary Beissner the library's founder. Mrs. Beissner's vision was complimented. Bruno expressed his pleasure that the American Series would be part of "this institution of learning". Beissner thanked the U.S. representatives assuring them the books would be well used. She said the library is used by more than thirty primary school children during the daytime and an equal amount of high school students every evening.

Following the presentation the invited guests had an opportunity to inspect the new books. Guests included Town Councilors Severo Guerrero and Felipe Paz, Assistant Principal of the San Pedro R.C. School, Mrs. Rosario Guerrero, U.S. Wardens Wil and Susan Lala and Niesje Province, and Bruce and Victoria Collins of the San Pedro Sun.

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