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Monday, February 13, 2012

Library in a Box

Portable Libraries for Developing Countries

I was intrigued by today's post in the Small Press World blog (link on the right) describing Tardis-like "libraries" popping up in the USA. 

So I went onto the internet.  And, I found the "Library in a Box" project.

The Hester J. Hodgdon Libraries for All Program is a Colorado-based, tax-exempt, charitable foundation established in 2003 to support the San Juan del Sur Biblioteca and to promote lending libraries in Central America to bring library books to children of impoverished families in Central America, focusing on Mexico.

The success of that first library led to the formation of the Library in A Box Project.

And this is how it works:

The system can be purchased at cost for around $250 and an application for a seed collection of 100 books is available with specific guidelines built in.

So, what does it contain?

Kit Description:
Supplies for one “Library in a Box”:

2 Green Boxes
1 Borrowers Book Gaylord # 2528
1 Actas Book
(No more Borrowers books and sheets are available)
500 Register Form
1 Accession Book Gaylord # 2530
500 Labels 1” x 2 5/8” Laser 5160
250 Print or Write 1” x 3”
1000 # Accession Sheets Gaylord # 2525
1 File card transfer case lid style R54-80842 Highsmith
500 Library cards- 500/pkg R54-80627 Highsmith
100 Self adhesive laminate cards 100/pkg R54-16857 Highsmith
500 Pressure sensitive due date slips 500/pk R54-30680 Highsmith
4000 Plastic library logo book bags Gaylord or Highsmith
Library name stamp
300 Notification Card
500 Registration Cards - printer provided
500 Borrowers Log cards – printer provided
300 Information Book Mark (“how to keep the books from the library safe”)
Journal book for each project

The System:

Library Cards
Blue are for the public libraries
Yellow are for circulating/ lending school libraries
Red are for Mobile Projects

Borrower’s Log Cards
Blue are for the public
Yellow are for schools
Green are for Mobile Projects

For the Library:
• Actas books can be used for Mobile Journals
• Mobile Projects require a separate set of accession and borrowers journals
• Books allocated for the Mobile Projects should be logged and numbered in their own accession book or data area if computerized
• Church Related Online Software Systems, Inc. CROSS is an excellent low cost database priced at $145.00 and used by American Embassy Libraries worldwide.
• Suggestion: New books that are duplicates of books in the stationary library system can be allocated the old number and the older book placed into the Mobile collection. This is a good idea when projects are new and there is question of the safety of the books.

For Mobile Projects:
• A collection of toys, coloring supplies, and a focal piece, ie: Play a quick game of hopscotch or have the kids make giant bubbles during the mobile sessions.
• Use plastic tables and chairs and bring pencils, pens, etc. for registration
• Try to find a tent
• Locate a battery operated radio or tape deck
• Bring water for the employees and volunteers
• Have snacks available for the employees and volunteers
• Discuss providing a small snack at some locations for the students?

And what does it have to do with the Tardis-type libraries described by Small Press World?

Absolutely nothing at all, I suspect.

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