Bringing Books To The Masses

The Bibliobus program in La Paz gives kids a fun way to learn
BY: ALE BORBOLLA

In case you haven’t noticed, libraries aren’t really a thing here in Mexico. And neither is reading, really. One recent poll reported that Mexicans read just 3.8 books per year; mostly for entertainment purposes.

Statistics like that are just one reason why the Bibliobus program was started in La Paz. Ana Lorena Castro Iglesias, president of the science, education and culture commission that sponsors the program, said the purpose of it is to start a reading habit in children, as well as giving them materials to increase their knowledge of science and technology. The bus, which around La Paz, brings kids fun, educational programs that they might not otherwise have access to.

This library bus works much like any other library. Members must register to be allowed to use it; minors with a school ID, and adults with a valid ID. A library card is issued, and members are allowed to take books home for up to two days. Yikes, read fast.

The Bibliobus offers an assortment of books, instructive videos, paints, learning games, interactive activities and an area with three wireless tablets for the kids. The Bibliobus also has a collection of videos and a projection area. Most of the time, the staff picks the video, but if the kids want to watch something else, their requests (or is it demands?) are usually met.

Iglesias says that education is a very big concern for this administration, which is why they are looking for new ways to take these kinds of activities to La Paz residents.