Along the Natchez Trace

Saturday, February 20, 2016

La Biblioteca

Lo de Marcos is a small town with a local population of around 1,000.  It's during the winter season that the snowbirds triple that number...  we're told to around 3,000.  And yet, it's not mainly a tourist town, but a village where the 4 founding families are still the principal land owners and business folks.  San Pancho and Sayulita, towns just south of here are much more "touristy" and the businesses and houses reflect that up-scale, kind of "artsy-fartsy" manner.  Memo tells us that many of the folks who work in the tourist business live here in Lo de Marcos; that this is a working people's town.

There are plenty of restaurants here...  and lots of small tiendas (stores), many only 1 small room holding everything from a cooler of milk and beer to boxes of cereal to rolls of toilet paper on the shelves.  The grocery store around the corner will cut a head of cabbage in half (or less) if that's all you want.  Only need 2 green onions?  They'll weigh them and put them in your bag.  Eggs are sold individually...  best to take your own egg carton or you'll get them in a plastic bag.

This is a small town with small town ways.  But one thing this town has that the small town where I lived as a small child didn't have is....
 A Library..
Only a few blocks from the plaza, it's on a quiet street....  not very far from our bungalow apartment.
We've walked past it many times, but never when it was open.  I asked about the hours...  it's only open a few afternoons a week.  I don't know if the folks in charge are volunteers, but suspect so as the hours are so limited.  Also, I think the Amigos de Lo de Marcos are instrumental in maintaining the library as it is.

 It's not a big building, but it looks to me like they make very good use of the space they have.  The entry had a display of classics...  that is... history and biographies of Mexico and Mexican heroes.

 Also in the room as you enter are bins of books on the left...  they are sorted according to subject.  On the right, Bill is looking over the English language books.  These are all paperbacks, and I'm guessing that they are donated by the snowbirds.  There were the usual mystery authors as well as some romance, westerns and Clive Cusler type books.  If my Kindle weren't already full of books I want to read, I'd be checking out this selection.

To the left of the entry is a large room...  but I didn't get a photo of it...  looked like some students were having a session with the librarian.  It was large enough for several shelves as well as tables and chairs.  

To the right  of the entry were 2 rooms...
 This boy is using one of the computers available.  I didn't want to bother him, but as I peeked in, it looked to me like electronic equipment is limited.  But...  it's there and it's being used.

My favorite room...
The Children's Room
This is a combination of reading material, a blackboard, and educational games.  These kids were having a good time hopping from number to number....  and each kid took their turn to show me how they could hop.

"Leer Es Vida" - Reading is Life
That's what the words painted on the wall mean....
I'm told that if a person really wants to make a difference to the kids of this town, donating books would do more good than clothing or the such.  They'll get clothed, they'll have shoes...  but bring them books....  these last a lifetime.

That's All For Today!


  1. Thanks for the tour - very interesting.

  2. What a nice library. I especially like the libraries that carter to child. We need to get them involved in this experience of reading for pleasure very very early in life.

  3. Love small towns, we lived in one for 25 years, and enjoyed several small towns in Mexico and most places we travel.

  4. Wonderful, I love libraries! In the last several years our hometown Carnegie library was renovated and is now so open, light, clean and they too have a space for children.

  5. I guess by having folding ,they can mover them around and add more or take some down depending on the circumstances.

  6. Biblioteca hopped right out at me and my heart skipped. I hope a lot of the thousand are children and I hope they all go to the biblioteca.

  7. Nice you found it open to have a peek. We had a library in the small town where I grew up (about 3000 to 3500 people). I read a lot of books from that library as a kid.