Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Public libraries in Mexico, an impression

The impression I have, from the conference and from visiting a few of these libraries is that there is a lot of work to do!

The system for adquisition is centralized; all handled from Mexico City through Conaculta. So, the people in Ciudad Juárez on the U.S./Mexico border get the same materials as the people in Oaxaca or those in Mérida, Yucatán...

The process for getting a library card seems difficult to me although the Mexican librarians don't find it so. You have to take 2 fotos and a fiador! Like, a co-signer! I forget what else...

The biggest problem would be that the people staffing the libraries depend on whoever is running city hall at the time. So when the mayor or presidente municipal goes, everyone goes y a empezar de nuevo! How hard would it be to implement a civil service??!!

Oh! And, of course, technology! They are still using card catalogs on paper instead of online. Those libraries that were lucky enough to have Gates computers were way ahead of the game

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