Imagine traveling to Colombia to learn about the most innovative and successful initiatives in public libraries! We promoted this experience for two librarians participating in our library program, sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and carried out in partnership with Caravan Studios – a TechSoup division. From December 7th to 10th, the group visited spaces that are models of contribution to the development of communities throughout Latin America.

The trip is one of the recognition actions for the three best actions carried out during the program by professionals who led the development and implementation of new activities based on the demands identified in each municipality.

Elanir Cardoso, from the Wilson Marques Municipal Public Library in Tomé-Açu (Pará), 1st place, and Patrícia Itaibele, from the Maria Santana Public Library in Juína (Mato Grosso), 2nd place, took the trip to Medellín and Bogotá, Colombia, as recognition for the projects carried out in these facilities between 2017 and 2018. Michele Alves and Renata Costa from the Recode team accompanied the experience.

“In addition to the exchange of experiences, the trip to Colombia showed me a style of library that works, which are libraries close to the community, close to the people. They are libraries that innovate every day and seek to be together with the population. This proximity is what we aspire to for the library in our city of Juína. A library where everyone can find, in addition to books, a purpose in life. This experience will contribute greatly to our ability to form new leaders and reading facilitators within our space,” says Patrícia Itaibele.

Check out the main highlights of the experience:

  • Integration in Cerlalc (Regional Center for the Promotion of Books in Latin America and the Caribbean), an intergovernmental agency under the observation of UNESCO, to learn about the Reading Plans of Colombia and Bogotá and present the recognized projects that were carried out by Brazilian libraries.
  • Visit to the Medellín Public Pilot Library for Latin America, which is one of the libraries designed by the UN to be projected as a model of libraries for populations in situations of vulnerability in Africa, India, and Latin America.
  • Visit to the Fernando Botero Park Library in San Cristóbal to learn about the original concept of a park library that inspired the Brazilian model. The library is part of the Development Plan in the history of San Cristóbal for the revitalization of the city through the creation of cultural equipment and services that meet the most urgent needs of the community. (dar link para a matéria de todos os reconhecidos)

In total, we awarded 10 initiatives carried out in libraries throughout the program. Learn about the other winners here