Sunday, February 23, 2014

When It Rains... -- by Josh

We've had a ton of rain the last few days, but I'm actually referring to the metaphorical kind of raining and pouring.  About five days ago, I got a call from someone looking for Rebecca. The connection was terrible, but I was able to make out that she was from Santo Domingo and wanted to visit the library on Saturday. I gave her directions and thought it was pretty cool that someone would drive all the way here to visit us.
I got an even better surprise when three lovely librarians stepped from an SUV and greeted us with two boxes of books! It turns out we'd gotten on the list of a marvelous foundation whose name translates as "Bring a Book in Your Suitcase".  On a side note, you can appreciate how great an idea this is.  We're on an island, so books are expensive and rare. However, this is a country that receives over 5 million visitors per year, with over 200,000 Dominicans who live abroad returning just during Christmas time. If just the returning Dominicans each brought one book to donate, the collection in public libraries would be doubled over just two Christmases.
I digress.  So, Rebecca immediately started entering and labeling the books and the kids who were at the library were able to check them out while the donors were still standing there!  Then these super-heroes were on their way north to a public library on the coast. Cool beans.

On our way home, we ran into our neighbor, Carmen. She told Rebecca that we'd received two boxes of books. "I know," replied Rebecca, thinking it strange that Carmen had known about the visitors from the Capital.
However, once inside our front gate, her comment became clearer. There were two ginormous boxes that could only have come from one magical place: Elizabeth's Books Across Borders!
Excited much?

Apparently I was going too slowly for Max's taste. BOOKS! MUST HAVE BOOKS!
Ever-practical Debbie had even used up the extra bit of space to help spice up our lives.

The hallway to our bedroom is now chock-full of goodness. We already know the young lady who'll be checking out that top book, and another who I had to convince to wait one more day so we could register her long-awaited book in our system before checking it out.
There really is no way to describe what a valuable service is being rendered by this simple little library and its ardent supporters.

In those boxes were hundreds and hundreds of high-quality books specially picked by a woman who is the epitome of persistence and dependability.  Quite frankly, our collection would be lame without her efforts, and it just got even more awesome with these new additions!
After all, a year ago we had about 700 books. Now we have over 3,500!

On my way back from today's traveling story time (oh yeah, by the way, every week a group of teenagers get together to go read books they've chosen from the library to random little kids in the neighborhood. More on that later) I went into our neighbor's house to get Max. He'd been busy at a meeting for the community library he is founding along with two of his friends, "Biblioteca Comunitaria Palmera de la Enseñanza" (Palms of Learning Community Library).
While there, one of the co-founders came up to me with a stack of paperbacks.  "These are all romance novels, so they don't really fit in with our collection. Can we donate them to your library?"
Apparently she'd gotten them from her grandma and aunts, so I gladly accepted them for our adult section.
Let it pour!

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