Colombia's Paradero Paralibros Para Parques program has given birth to one hundred miniature libraries all over the South American republic, the majority of which are in Bogotá, Colombia’s main metropolis. The petite libraries are open a scant twelve hours a week, mostly on weekends, and are run by volunteers who also create events for kids and the community and help with homework assignments. Long live print, and long live Colombia’s national literacy organization, Fundalectura, who are responsible for these tiny monuments to the shared power and joy of knowledge.
In Colombia, the “Mini Library” is taking root. Initiated by non-profit Fundalectura in a test to fight illiteracy, 150 mini libraries decorate parks around the country. 51 in the capital Bogota alone. Each one is open to the public and school children are encouraged to visit after school for help with homework. For up to 12 hours a week volunteer librarians tend to the mini spaces which hold about 350 books each. As e-books become more popular and the state of the library changes this could be a novel approach in keeping libraries relevant. Imagine walking through New York, Barcelona or Paris and stopping for a couple minutes at a local Mini-Library. Besides combatting illiteracy these new libraries can help add beautiful design and the chance to read a book and learn something new to any park or city. Let’s hope Fundalectura and others can make that vision come true.