Early in the year, the Salvadoran Consulate approached Senior Librarian, Sonia Bautista with the idea of opening up a library inside the consulate. Ms. Bautista knew a couple of staff members from the consulate since she had previously held an author program at Commerce library in conjunction with the Consulate. She mentioned REFORMA LA to the Consulate and how REFORMA could help out too.
REFORMA LA Vice-President Celia Avila and Sonia visited the Consulate in early April and evaluated the future library space along with books they already had donated. Sonia collected books for the Consulate and also gave them a list of furniture and shelving that would be adequate for the space. Two weeks before the grand opening, Sonia and her family visited the library to help decorate, clean and label books, drop-off more Spanish and English children and adult books and help with labeling. Celia also visited the Consulate to help them in last minute preparations for the grand opening.
The grand opening of the Biblioteca Prudencia Ayala de el Consulado de El Salvador was held on Friday, May 27th and Sonia was there to represent REFORMA LA. The library was named after writer, activist and female rights advocate, Prudencia Ayala. The event was very well attended with over 120 guests, including consulates from other countries, folklore dancers, musicians. Sonia was invited to partake in the ribbon cutting ceremony alongside other volunteers, and the Salvadoran consulate María Mercedes López.
The library will be volunteer run. The Consulate hopes to have volunteers each day to keep the library open as many days as possible. They are also accepting book donations for children and adults in both Spanish and English. If you wish to donate your time or books, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.