One Library At A Time is a registered 501(c)3 non-proifit organization.
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Africa - Ghana
2011 - Shalom School
2012 - Shalom School
This village in Ghana, Africa is the home of one of our library efforts. The school was begun by two people who are from Ghana but were able to receive an education in the U.S. There is no electricity but there is lots of enthusiasm as you can see if you look at the photos. A wonderful family from Waco, Texas heard we were going to start a library and so they sent the money and had it built! Non-profits working together can get so much done. We began the library with 219 books that were purchased in Ghana. We bought all that were available. A year later the library is being well used. A Church from Waco, Texas is sending a woman over with more books for the library. Watch it grow!
Caribbean - Cuba
January 2015 - Piedracitra Library
One Library At A Time partnered with the Alliance of Baptist and Mars Hill Baptist Church to create a library in Piedracitas, Cuba. It was fascinating to be in Cuba and to work with all the wonderful people there. Piedracitas is a farming community about 9 hours from Havana. Our group was made up of Paula Clayton Demsey of the Alliance of Baptist, Jeanne Hoffman from Mars Hill Baptist. We also were given time by Kim Christman and her husband, Stan Dotson who were in Cuba teaching at the seminary at Matanzas. They acted as translators for us. We also were extremely fortunate to have a driver, Nestor from the Fraternity of Baptist. He kept us on the right road and loved to crack jokes. There was a group of women who worked hard on the library. They took turns working on the library or cooking our fabulous meals. And the coffee, WOW. In the first week after we left the library the doctors in the community came knocking at the door. They had heard about the book on Human Anatomy. And, word moved around the community and more children and adults came. During this week the Minister, Rosalba was a meeting of the Fraternity of Baptist. Word of the library also moved through that group and a person donated an 80 volume library. Never, in my experience, has a library been used so quickly and so well and grown at the same time.
Caribbean - Haiti
2014 - Savon Plat School
We are planning a trip to Savon Plat, Haiti in 2016. We will be putting the library in at a school there. There is a teacher, Jane Vitti, that teaches English in 6 schools. She is hopeing that we can put a library in each school. We shall see! In Haiti they speak French. No one in our organization speaks French, but we have "How to Build a Library One Library at a Time" in French to guide us.
Central America - Belize
April 2015 - Santa Elena Baptist School
I the spring on 2015 Paige set out from Germany to meet volunteers from Meredith cCollege in the small coastal country of Belize. One Library at a time partnered with the college to bring a library to a small private school in the town of Santa Elena. We left them with a library of over 300 books with 500 more on the way donated by the college. Some of the volunteers donated some amazing furniture and Meredith hired local workers to put in books shelves which we painted with murals. The students at the school were so excited, it was hard to leave.
Central America - Honduras
January 2013 - Miguel Alvarez School, Brick Bay
First, the teacher, Delmis Saucedo, told us she has the children read every morning when they arrive at school. She only had 7 books, so the books had to be shared. When I visited in 2013 I gave her 5 more books. She immediately held them up and explained title, author, and how to place the book back on the shelf. She held up Yertle the Turtle (in Spanish). One of the students, Wyat, spoke English and he told us he was going to spend the night at school so he could be the first to read the book. That was our second reason.
In March of 2014 Joan Hope and Susan Aldrich traveled back to Roatan, Honduras to create a library at the Miguel Alvarez School in Brick Bay. It is a one room school house with about 40 students, 20 in the morning and 20 in the afternoon. We chose this location for 2 reasons.
When Joan and I arrived we were met with smiles and hugs. That was before we opened the suitcases! When Joan opened the first suitcase the children's eyes grew huge. Swani and Richard were the students Delmis ask to help us. Joan worked hard with teaching them how to separate the books by fiction and non-fiction. That is the first step in “How to Build a Library One Library At A Time.”The original plan was to train Delmis, the teacher, to be the librarian. But, there was so much excitement over the library that we ended up training both teachers and 5 students! It was amazing. When we left, the school had over 250 books. One truly special thing about the schools in Roatan is how they were financed and how they were shared. Randolph Road Middle School Ambassador Club adopted One Library At A Time and Roatan in particular as their charity of the year. The students studied Honduras and had a day where they taught the rest of the school about Honduras. Then they held a field day and raised approximately $7,600.00 for libraries in Roatan. Each library cost about $3,000.00. That means they are underwriting two and a half libraries! They also wrote the name of books they enjoyed in elementary school. When we could we put a bookplate in the book saying, “This book is recommended by (student's first name).” They also made book marks that we took to the library. The children at the Miguel Alvarez School made book marks for the students at Randolph. It was such a wonderful way to connect.
2013 - Sandy Bay School
Sandy Bay School had a lot of books but no organization which made it difficult to use the books they had. One Library At A Time went to the school with organizational supplies and taught the “librarian” there how to create a library out of a pile of books. We used our booklet, “How to Build a Library One Library At A Time” to teach the librarian how to make the cards for the card catalog boxes and how to label the books and place them on the correct place on the shelf. This experience is what we call being consultatants rather than creating a library from scratch. The library was still being created when we left. When I returned in 2013, I found out that termites had gotten into the library. OH NO! But, because of the organization we had in place, they were able to put the library back together after treating everything for termites.
January 2014 - Guaymuras School
The Guaymuras School is the second school in Roatan, Honduras that was underwritten by the Randolph Road Middle School Ambassador Club. The Ambassador Club studied Honduras and then taught their fellow students about the country. Next they held a field day to raise money for school libraries in Honduras. They raised approximately $7,600.00 for libraries. Each library costs about $3,000.00 so they underwrote two and a half libraries! Amazing! They also made book marks to share with the students in Honduras. We went to the Guaymuras School to install and train the librarian. While I was working in the walk-in closet that held a shelf and a desk, Cam O'Brien of PIER (Partners in Education Roatan) came running to the library. “Help” she said. The students were running wild because their teacher was with me and they had no supervision! I asked Cam how many books she needed so that each child would have one. She replied “16 I think but they keep moving.”I gave her the books and we kept working. As we worked I found out the teacher had worked in a library before. I thought she had been catching on quickly! I was very flattered when she told me that the library was facil and logico (easy and logical). A little while later Cam came back to the library and said “come quick and bring your camera.” left the librarian working and went into a classroom that was silent except for the sound of one student reading a science book out loud to other students. I looked closely and saw students copying books. When I ask why, they responded, “we want to take them home to read.”
After all of this I knew that the libraryat Guaymuras School would be a success.
I took a taxi for a quick visit to see how the library was fairing. I was met on the play ground (packed dirt space) with hugs and kisses from Richard and Sewani. They are two of the student librarians. I entered the classroom and was immediately surrounded by excited children and teachers! We all took a little while just to celebrate being together again. The teacher, Delmis Saucedo, said to me “You cannot imagine how much I use this library to help me teach.” Wyat, one of the students who is fluent in English, grabbed a book and told me “I had to do a report on this fish.” I was so glad to know how much this little library had made a difference in the lives of the students and the teachers. Wyat and Richard then flagged a taxi for me and negotiated a very good rate. They were such gentlemen.
Central America - Panama
2015 - Alto Caballos School
Rachel Conner with the Peace Corp introduced us to Meredith Comnes. She is a literacy volunteer with the Peace Corp. She had collected almost 2,000 books before we arrived. Some were in English but most were in Spanish. Susanna Dancy and I traveled with Rachel to the site at Alto Caballos. Meredith had already order the books by fiction and non-fiction and had shelved them in alphabetical and numerical order! We had about 3 and a half days to write over 4,000 cards for the card catalog and to label and reshelve all of the books. The 4 of us jumped to it and we were able to complete the task. The library at the Alto Caballos School is open for business.
March 2012 - Alto Guyabol School
Alto Guyabol is a part of the Chiqui reservation in the mountains of Panama. To get there you go to San Felix, then it is” over the river and through the wood” fording a few rivers along the way. Most of the year the village is not reachable except by foot, because of this the teachers live at the school. The Rotary Club has joined with several other groups to improve the conditions at the school. Part of the improvements is a library that we created. We put a library here in 2012. I have been unable to see it myself because the road is always washed out. The Rotary club member we worked with says that the new building and the library are popular with the whole village. The Rotary club continues to send books up the mountain a few at a time as people can carry them.
January 2013 - Bahia Honda School
Hector could not stay away from the books where we were working. We finally gave in and handed him a book to read. We explained that when he finished that book he could choose another. Hector leaned against the wall and began to read. He read several books, sometime sounding out the words. Alas, it was time for us to pack up and leave for the day. We knew Hector would be back, hungry for the places books could take him. Hector is only one of many children who will benefit from the library at Bahia Honda. Bahia Honda is an indigenous community on the island of Bastimientos, Panama. The school there serves children pre-school through middle school. The children have to leave the island for a high school education. We were able to organize the books they had into a system that made the books easier to find and therefore easier to use. We also added books from One Library At A Time. This location is especially good because they have a tourist hotel nearby and the tourists donate books and money for books. Now that they are organized they can use these precious resources.
April 2013 - Bahia Honda School
Give and Surf and volunteers remodeled a building to rehouse the library after we left.
October 2014 - Unión de Azuero School
The library in Union, Panama almost didn’t happen. After working for a year on procuring space, obtaining support of the Union school and community, soliciting for books from many sources, and involving OLAAT for direction, support, supplies and books, circumstances changed, and the energetic Peace Corps volunteer Rachel Connor, with whom we were working, was pulled from the community for safety reasons.
“Our library dream has come to life! On October 8, 2014, we opened the Unión de Azuero School Library, located near the town of Chepo in Panamá Este. Close to 400 students and 20 teachers will benefit from the bilingual library, which houses over 2,000 books and resources. The director and several teachers spoke kind and appreciative words about the labor dedicated to the project.
Sincerely, Rachel Connor, Peace Corps Volunteer, Teaching English Project
“Although I never got to meet the children of Union, I did get to experience what it means for children (and adults) like these to learn more than they had ever imagined, simply because of a few books .” Volunteer Sidney
November 2009 - David Feeding Center
It acts as both a place to learn and a safe place to escape the violence and gangs of the street. The David, Panama Library is - for our part - complete. It cost approximately $5,000.00 to start and then the people of David have taken over and run with it. All that they needed was a little nudge to get it going and they are off. Two years later, the library is filled with shelves of books. All it took was that nudge.
April 2010 - David Feeding Center
We returned to the David Feeding Center and completed the library. We were amazed at how much it was being used before completion and how quickly the librarian caught on to the Dewey Decimal System. I learned from this library that there is no need to number the non-fiction books beyond 100, 200 etc. Wew that will save a lot of time!
January 2011 - David Feeding Center
We returned to see how the library was doing. It was amazing! They had even gotten a computer and internet. All it took was that first start.
2015 - Quebradas Arenas School
Over the period of a week we made my way from a sky scraping city into poor towns located on dirt roads. We slept on concrete floors in bamboo huts, bathed in a river, and used a community latrine. However, we also experienced a people devoted to preserving their culture and creating better lives for their children. Quebrada Arena is an indigenous community located so far into the mountains of Panama that there are no paved roads to access it. The road that does “exist” had been washed out from the season’s rains. There is no power or running water, but there is a school. Not that it does much. The teachers are asked to come from hours away so sometimes they don’t show up, or if they do, they don’t do much teaching. The community has taken steps to change this, filing complaints with the proper authorities, but their voice has not been heard. This is where One Library at a Time came in. On our second day in Quebrada Arena, we met the Directiva- the local volunteers. We went in a circle in the small library introducing ourselves. In the corner a short, dark-haired man stood up to speak. He had weathered skin and hard-worked hands. I didn’t understand what he was saying- but he moved his arms with great gestures when he spoke, and held his forefinger to his thumb when he paused to think. His eyes were cast down with the look of a man weighed down by the honesty from which he was speaking. His name is Cheito and he is illiterate. Cheito works for the library to give the next generation of his community opportunities he never received.
January 2011 - Salt Creek School
Salt Creek, Panama is an indigenous island in the archipelago of Bocas del Toros. In order to get to the island there is an approximately 45 minute water taxi ride from the main island of Colon. The ride is beautiful although I must admit that every time we went I was a wee bit worried about the condition of the boat. The school has no electricity and no running water. Before I arrived in month, year a Peace Corp volunteer, Matthew Sutton had improvements underway, working with other non-profits. One thing I have learned, the more non-profits working together the better! The only books the children had were some damp, barely readable text books from the state. Once we get some good books to Salt Creek the children will be able to share their knowledge and thereby “feed the entire village.”
January 2013 - Salt Creek School
North America - United States of America
July 2013 - Camp Faith
The Camp Faith Community serves 75 children ages 4 to 15 from 10 different schools. All of these children live below the poverty line. We have been in touch with all of the schools and will make sure that the library will have books that the teachers request. They currently have 721 books that are not being used to their fullest potential because they are not in any specific order. In September One Library At A Time will be working in the library with 2 volunteers from the Camp Faith Family to create a library according to the Dewey Decimal System. We will train the volunteers on how the system works so that they can be the librarians. They will know how to take a book, label it, catalog and shelve it so that it can be easily found. They will also know how to check out the books. One Library At A Time is especially excited to work with a library in our own Charlotte, NC
2015 - Camp Faith
The Camp Faith afterschool program where the library was located closed. The librarians and staff wanted to keep the library going. They took it upon themselves to pack up and move the library to Faith Liberation Community Christian Church in the Druid Hills community of Charlotte, NC. They contacted us and we helped reshelf the books. Martha Gabriel (one of the librarians) dedication is inspiring. She is legally blind from Glaucoma but still has her enough vision to keep the library open. Thanks to Betty and Tara Alexander and Martha Gabriel this library is now available in this high poverty area of Charlotte.
2015 - Freedom School
Freedom School. One Library At A Time was given a gift certificate for 250 books from Books For A Better World. At one of our Fundraising parties it was purchased by Ann McDermott and Hal Markowitz. They decided to partner with the summer enrichment program with Myers Park Baptist Church and Freedom School at the Pinewood Elementary School. Pinewood is a Title One school and was thrilled to have the books. It is so wonderful that our relationship with Better World Books led to helping other non-profits help children read!
September 2012 - Strive
January 2013 - Strive
John came in on Sunday afternoon while we were working on cataloging, labeling, and making cards for each book in the library. He asked me if he could have a book to read for a while. I asked what kind of book he liked. He replied “time travel”. I went to the catalog and then to the shelves and gave him Madeline L’Engle’s book “A Wrinkle in Time.” He lay? down on the couch and did not move for more than an hour. Paige, one of our volunteers, took photos of him and he did not even notice! Strive Tutoring in Chicago, Illinois had a room full books but they were not being used. There was no order. We brought a car load of classic novels and a suitcase full of books that the director of Strive had requested. All of these books were labeled, cataloged and shelved. One exciting thing that happened was that the whole library received a makeover. When they saw what One Library At A Time was going to do they got busy and painted the room. Paige took some of our evening “off” work time and made colleges of the book covers. It turned the room from a room with books to an inviting place to find and read books - a library. One year later Angela, the director of Strive called it an amazing success with children clamoring to be able to work in the library. Just what we love to hear!
Welcome to an opportunity to change countless lives by giving them the world of knowledge through libraries. Please help us bring our libraries to those who need them most! You can donate by clicking any of the yellow donate buttons or donations can also be sent through the mail to:
One Library At A Time
2120 Valencia Terrace
Charlotte NC 28226
One Library At A Time is a registered 501(c)3 non-proifit organization.
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