The work of the Library Committee is to encourage and strengthen reading for education and for pleasure among all public school children on Ometepe. To facilitate this, we are dedicated to supporting access to libraries and library materials and are committed to assisting in training and development of librarians and classroom teachers who develop and maintain their school libraries.

There are 42 schools on Ometepe (33 primary schools and nine secondary schools). On the island, a school library is generally where textbooks for all the classes are stored. The space can range from shelves in the principal’s office to a designated room with books for browsing and tables and chairs for the students.

Our annual grant program began in 2004 after a group of English teachers visited Bainbridge and told us how they had only one to three textbooks for each class of 50 to 60 students. The teachers added that they always ran out of chalk supplies before the end of the year. Since that time, we have offered an annual grant to each of the schools. In the beginning, requests would be for both books and classroom materials. Now we are focusing more on textbooks and books to encourage the love of reading — novels, poetry, etc. — as well as cabinets to safely store the books.

children with new books
Happy faces at the school in San Jose del Norte after new books arrive

2018 Delegation

Our latest delegation was in 2018. We delivered books to each school on Ometepe, as well as some cabinets. This was a two -day process winding around the mostly bumpy roads and at one point walking to a remote school with 9 students. We also visited the new library at Rigoberta Cabezas Primaria in Moyogalpa.

Walking across field, carrying a cabinet
En route to the Santa Ana with a cabinet for the school library in February 2018.
Reading and acting out a book
During the 2018 Library Delegation's visit to Rigoberta Cabezas Primary, Kim Esterberg reads a book as Susan Shaffer and Susan Bisnett use puppets to act out the parts.
Standing on beach with mountain behind

Flavia Jarquin, a teacher in San Jose del Norte, joined members of the 2018 delegation on the beach.

Students outside library building
The new library at Rigoberta Cabezas Primary in Moyogalpa

2014 Delegation

The focus of this delegation, in February 2014, was working with the staff of a combined primary/secondary school of 500 students in San Jose del Sur. A $7,000 grant from the PaperSeed Foundation provided funds to create a model school library. The eight delegates helped organize the new library and offered a workshop for 30 school personnel from 17 schools.

Kids reading books
2014 Library Delegation member Dallas Young and students check out the library in San Jose del Sur.
Sweeping in front of library
2014 delegate,Jim Pippard and student at San Jose del Sur, get ready for the grand opening of the new library.
Group in front of library
Delegates and teachers gather in front of new school library in San Jose del Sur.

2010 Delegation

Our first delegation, in 2010, was organized with three Ometepe librarians. We facilitated three workshops, focusing on “How to Establish, Maintain and Expand Libraries in Your Schools.” There were 64 participants total with only two schools not sending representatives.

Darling Potoy, Lea Senaida Martinez and Mercedes Lorio Monge were among the librarians who shared ideas about their school libraries during the 2010 workshops.

Group poses for photograph
Participants in the 2010 library workshop at Rigoberta Cabezas Primary in Moyogalpa
Participants in the 2010 workshop at Ruben Dario Primary in Altagracia