Community Libraries in Brazil

IFLA_Adriana-Cybelle-Ferrari

 

 

 

 

The number of public libraries is insufficient in Brazil and does not meet the demand of the population. For this reason civil society has been articulated to create and maintain “Community Libraries” to meet the demands in different parts of the country. Some of these experiences will be reported on this month. The first experience is happening in a unusual place, “Community Library Paths of Reading: the library of the cemetery”.

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The Brazilian Institute for Studies and Community Support – Ibeac is a non-governmental, non-profit organization, created in 1981 with the mission of “Acting in strengthening education and a culture of human rights, participatory and solidarity citizenship.” Since the 1990s focuses on developing Youth Community Agents, who, from the management of community libraries, become a reference for their families, for other young people and their communities.

The Community Library Paths of Reading was born of Ibeac’s decision to focus its actions in a region with low socio-economic indicators to change what was found. Thus it reached Parelheiros in 2008, when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights celebrated 60 years and invited 60 young people to reflect on the absence of rights in their neighborhoods. The finding of the lack of cultural facilities was at the same time with the desire to have a community library.

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The youth group Escritureiros (Writing Adventurers of Parelheiros) created a reading space in the basic health unit. Gradually the community library has become a reference for discussions and community needs, giving way to the first dental office in the neighborhood. Everyone mobilized to find a new location for the library. A location was indeed found: a gravedigger’s house inside a cemetery.

What could have been a cause for embarrassment and spookiness in fact became a source of pride for young people. After seven years, they have been carrying literary reading to babies, children, youth and adults; conducting training in schools, kindergartens and organizations; have had five projects supported by municipal department of culture; have participated in groups that discuss and presents proposals to the public representatives to improve educational, cultural and environmental policies; provides exchanges with other young Brazilians through social networks. The Ibeac, represented by its trainers and the youth, have been reporting in several seminars and conferences in Brazil its practice of cultural, political and social formation to young people from peripheral areas. This video will give you a greater insight

Adriana Cybele Ferrari (Brazilian Federation of Library Association – FEBAB)

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