Thursday, November 27, 2008

Santa Elena Town Library in Cayo District,

This is a two story building. Some volunteers came down from the USA about six months ago and tiled the floor in the bottom of the library. There are two librarians and this one is Beatrice. The bottom floor is the childrens library and the top floor is the adult section. We just donated some books this morning, brought down by Charlie Trew from Washington, D.C. where he is a librarian for the library of Congress. This library government budget, is salaries for the two librarians ( $150 usa a week ) and a monthly budget of $35 usa per month for the library. What Beatrice wants is some computers and a bigger Belize Government budget so they can supply internet service to school kids and the public FREE. The government tried this idea nationwide a few years ago, but since the libraries have literally no operating budget funds, they are all the time scrounging paint and holding bake sales and other things to keep the library maintained. What happened; libraries had to charge a bit for the computer internet access in competition with internet cafes found in town centers in the districts. This was self defeating for boosting the economy and education. Rural parts don't get internet service in the villages. Particularly in the bottom half of the whole country. People drive, or catch a bus to the district town centers and have to pay an internet cafe to use the internet. Townies get good internet service inside their town centers, but the rural populations none. Without internet, Belize is ahead of some countries like in Africa for our district towns, but behind nearly all countries in Latin America, or the Caribbean. Development and education is hindered by lack of internet service at affordable cost. If you can donate some reading fiction books, please bring them down to Falconview Hostel, we will see the library gets them. ( I get to read them first - grin - ) Please, no gothic romances. Sci - fi, how to books, and that sort of thing are appreciated. A brand new set of the latest, WORLD BOOK Encyclopedia would be appreciated. Childrens encylopedia would be good too.

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