People Interact

Blog about people-centered design by Lisa Chow and Sandra Sajonas.

Tag Archives: Culebra

Wandering Librarian: Revisiting the Little Island Library

5 years ago while on a trip to Culebra, PR I stopped in to see their tiny library housed in 2 shipping containers. I stopped in again while on vacation  recently to see how the library is after 2 hurricanes passed through the Caribbean last fall.

I’m told by volunteer staff that the library was one of the first places opened after the hurricane. 6 months post hurricanes the library is in full swing. Patrons were inside on the computers or outside making use of the free wifi. My family went to the main shipping container to the children’s area to play with the toys & games, pick out books & enjoy the air conditioner. The other container houses the movie theater. I was impressed that their movie line contains all recent movies. Considering the space constraints, I was also impressed by the breadth of the collection. Though a little out of date on the nonfiction titles, the fiction titles are surprisingly recent titles. The volunteer informed me that they have another shipping container that houses books that they rotate through the collection.

All, in all, 5 years later I am still amazed by this little island library. Even more so once I saw how quickly they were up and running after a natural disaster.

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Little Island Library: Biblioteca de la Comunidad de Culebra

Culebra library collageOn a recent visit to Puerto Rico, I had a chance to visit the quaint Isla Culebra and its even quainter biblioteca.  Equipped with a 27 seat movie theater, 400+ books, computers, wi-fi and a staff of volunteers, the library (housed in 2 trailers) has become a community spot for residents and tourists since its inception in 2008.

On my visit I attended an art fair selling pieces made by students from Abbie’s school raising money for the school. I also talked to several patrons. One local family enjoyed reading in the children’s room. One young man has been on the island for 3 months and relies on the library’s wi-fi to write his dissertation.

Overall impression: an impressive little library that packs a punch.

Watch this video to learn more about the library.