BiblioWorks – Social Giving on

A profile and interview with BiblioWorks, a charity that promotes literacy outreach in Bolivia.

This holiday season, please consider utilizing the Round Up For Reading program on  Search for the perfect book, and when you are in your shopping cart, click the button to Round Up For Reading, choose the charity you want to share your change with, and complete checkout.  You get a book, and you help support global literacy programs!

BiblioWorks is founded in the simple principle that literacy and education are critical components for the creation and vitality of sustainable communities and cultures. We believe that where knowledge, literacy, and learning exist, people have the resources they need to solve social issues, maintain and strengthen their cultural identities, as well as to grow their community economically.

Our organization is dedicated to improving literacy and opening educational doors so that children and young people will have new opportunities to pursue studies and vocations which will allow them to serve their communities in order to develop strategies which will eliminate poverty. In rural Bolivia the concept of public libraries is relatively new, and most children and young people do not have the vital access to books and information they need to achieve success.

We turned to Matthew Lynn, BiblioWorks Project Coordinator, to provide details about this amazing charity:

How long have you worked there?
I have been in Bolivia for seven years, first as a Peace Corps volunteer and started working with BiblioWorks three and a half years ago.

What drew you to work with BiblioWorks?
Many reasons. I love Bolivia and the children of Bolivia and saw through my PC experience that those children deserve and thirst for a quality education and that with that quality education they can do amazing things which improve their communities and subsequently our world. When I met Megan Sherar, the former BiblioWorks Project Coordinator in 2007, I knew I wanted to be a part of this organization. Literacy and a joy of reading are gifts everyone in the world deserves.

What’s the best part of working there?
There’s lots of great parts, but the best part would have to be traveling to all of our eight rural libraries and building both professional and personal relationships with the gracious and beautiful people in those communities. Our libraries are in small indigenous communities and the people are warm and welcoming, which makes our job that much easier.

What is one of your more successful campaigns/programs?

Students in Villa Serrano making use of their library

A few years back we organized a writing contest where kids ages 8-12 had to ask their grandparents to tell them folk legends they knew. The kids wrote out (and translated to Spanish since their grandparents related the stories to them in Quechua) and illustrated the stories. It was a great success and we would love to have more funding to be able to create more stories and possibly publish them in order to have relevant materials for our libraries.

Is there any new program that you’d like to draw focus towards?
We have recently put together a traveling book bag filled with educational games that test multiplication, motor skills, creativity and other things which has been traveling to each of the libraries for a few days at a time. These games have been a great way to motivate kids to go to the libraries and motivate them to check out all of the great materials they have been stocked with. Small programs like these will allow our libraries to be more sustainable, which is the main project we are working on this year.

Are there any stats that our customers should know about your organization?
I think we have done a lot of great work on a relatively small budget. I would encourage people to read further on our website, under the “Our Projects” section to find out more states. But I think the most important thing customers should know about BiblioWorks is that we are driven by people who are all dedicated to literacy and improving the lives of less fortunate members of our global society. From the president of the Board of Directors based in Asheville, NC, who is the former BiblioWorks in-country director, down to our librarians and the teachers in the towns where we work who understand the benefits of providing quality education to the future of their children, we are a a team of people who is getting things done.

Biblio is proud to support BiblioWorks and other literacy campaigns via our “Round Up For Reading” campaign, with the assistance of Beanstalk Giving!  Buy a book and support global literacy today!

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