San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Nosara’s Public Library Builds New Facility

WITH a groundbreaking ceremony in January, Nosara’sunique semi-public library marks a new era of service to residentsof this town on the northern Pacific coast. When the new structureis completed, the David Kitson Memorial Library will move froma small, crowded storefront in the village center to a modern, air-conditionedbuilding with thousands of new books and a muchenlarged computer section.Until now, the popular facility has been primarily for the use ofthe Tico community, with more than 3,000 Spanish volumes forchildren and adults. The new library will include an English-languageroom featuring best-selling novels and a paperback exchange.Separate rooms will be dedicated to children’s books, computerinstruction and a meeting place for both Ticos and the area’s sizeableNorth American expatriate population.SINCE its inception in 1996, the library has received enthusiasticbicultural support from both Tico and expatriate residents.Hundreds of children and young adults have gained typing andcomputer skills. High-school students regularly use the library forassigned reading and research. Schoolteachers submit a wish listeach year to the library director with the names of books theywould like to see available for homework assignments. Many of thearea’s college students and graduates received a head start with thelibrary’s help, through the use of additional resource materials. Thelibrary also conducts yearly English classes taught by students fromMiddlebury College, for which they receive university credit.Recognizing the need for a bigger library and its importance tothe community, the Nosara Development Association donated atract of land next to the town’s new medical clinic. Money wasdonated by members of the North American community, and volunteerscame forward to help: the Nicoya architectural firm ofBrenda Ali and Raynor Villalobos donated the plans, and a localbuilder came forward to offer site preparation services. Ed Hudsonand company have been chosen to oversee construction.THE library was established in memory of former Peace Corpsdirector David Kitson, respected and well known throughoutCentral America. David worked for the Agency for InternationalDevelopment, both in Costa Rica and El Salvador. He also servedas director of Costa Rica Academy and was very active in Nosaraaffairs, working toward bringing the Tico and expatriate communitiestogether for mutual benefit and civic improvements. Due inpart to Kitson’s influence and foresight regarding the developmentpotential of the area, the U.S. government provided some of theNosara/Samara area’s infrastructure.When residents request popular novels in Spanish, or high schoolstudents ask about reference books, the library director doesher best to locate them. The demand for books is now expected togrow, and fortunately there will be ample space for them. The culturaland educational level of the community of Nosara is makinggreat strides, thanks to the efforts of Ticos and Gringos workingtogether for mutual benefit.

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