Volunteer: Library Assistant

3/31/17 –  Library and/or Bookmobile Assistant
Sand Castle Library (PIER), Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras

Sarah P’s comments:  I first heard about the Sand Castle Library in 2015 when the previous Director contacted me and asked for volunteers.  We corresponded so I could determine whether it was this a legit opportunity which it definitely is. Then in-stepped Librarian Cate Caryle who flew down from Canada and volunteered. If you are seeking a volunteer opportunity and/or a way to gain international experience, Cate recommends this organization and just forwarded a message from current Director Cam O-Brien:

This year Bookmobile reading specialists are adding science to the model and using it to teach science concepts with reading comprehension. The library will have a STEM component with Fridays dedicated to hands-on activities. We can use lesson plans and volunteers. Skype lessons on these topics would be helpful as well as a volunteer librarian with Spanish to assist the current staff person.

For more information about the Sand Castle Library please visit:

http://www.pierroatan.org/

To read about Cate’s Volunteer Trip

The library is run by PIER and volunteers can contact the organization at partnersineducationroatan@yahoo.com

News: Volunteer Librarian Returns…

3.4.16 – Volunteer Librarian
Sand Castle Library & Bookmobiles, Bay Islands, Honduras

Sarah P’s comments:  As promised, here is the review of Cate Carlyle’s recent volunteer trip to the Bay Island of Honduras.  This was an opportunity I posted last year after I received an introductory e-mail from the Director.  From the start Cate worked hard to make this opportunity work for her.  She corresponded about how best to help the library and the best times to go and then found time in her busy schedule.  I am glad the result was an overall positive experience and I hope this paves the way for other librarians to volunteers there as well.

 

Cate walking to work.jpg

Cate walking to work

I spent this past week, Study Break Week at the university where I work, volunteering in the Sandcastle Library on the island of Roatan Honduras. I covered my own travel and accommodation costs and used personal holiday time away from work. With the help of a generous donation from Mount saint Vincent University’s Faculty of Child & Youth Study, as well as the monetary donations and donations of school supplies from colleagues, friends and family, I was able to take two extra suitcases of school supplies and ship Spanish childrens’ books and readers to Roatan as well. These books and supplies were very much appreciated by the Partners in Education Roatan (PIER (http://www.pierroatan.org/) and Sandcastle Library staff. The kitchen timers (used to train teachers on how long to plan and deliver lessons in the classroom) and the magnifying glasses I donated were of particular interest, while scotch tape are markers are precious commodities as well. The staff also proudly wore the Nova Scotia and Canada tartan lanyards I took down for them.  I worked from 9am to 4pm most days organizing and cleaning the library, classifying the collection and assisting staff with the translation of language arts lesson plans and the integration of games into lesson planning. I also conducted a brief PD session with staff on book talks, conducting read-alouds, reading response, promoting and modeling reading and selecting materials for children.

 

Bookmobile

Bookmobile

There are no other public libraries on the island and only one school library. SandcastleLibrary was created in a former resort dive centre, by an ex-pat couple, for the community of Sandy Bay. The PIER President, Cam O’Brien, and Sandcastle staff (shout out to the amazing Celaura in the library) are incredible people; all highly motivated, generous, caring and committed to improving the quality of life on the island. Plans are in the works to move the library closer to town, off the beach, and to increase its size, scope and influence. PIER also runs two bookmobiles which travel to local schools and PIER and the library staff work on training local teachers in more current educational practices. The island does not have a newspaper, parents share the belief with their children that “reading makes you crazy”, and most reading is of the Bible (learned by rote). Reading for pleasure and reading comprehension are two of the hurdles the staff face when promoting literacy on the island. This year, PIER is facing an extra hurdle of trying to keep their second bookmobile on the road. They face a cost of $4000 US to keep the bookmobile running to the schools with books and staff eager to engage with children, promote literacy and model modern teaching methods for the teachers. Monetary donations are desperately needed in order to keep this program running.

 

Geckos on the bookmobile, in the books and on the shelves, mouse droppings, and biting bugs were a new challenge for me (bugs and geckos in the bed also made sleeping a bit tricky). I was able to initiate a “Get Caught Reading” campaign which the library will soon implement, as well as plant the seeds for an open house/community day to try to dispel some of the negative images which the parents have of the library and reading.

Library Before.jpg

Library Before…

Library After.jpg

Library After

 

 

News: Follow a Volunteer Librarian

1.27.16 –  Follow a Volunteer Librarian…

Sarah P’s comments:  Over a year ago I posted a volunteer librarian opportunity in a small library in Roatan, Honduras.  Pro-active librarian Cate Carlyle pursued this opportunity and, though it has taken her time to work out the details, she stuck with it and is now about to travel down for a week in February.  I was hoping to be able to accompany her but, as I am still a working librarian and active mother, sadly won’t be able to, at least time…So, I, like many others, will take this opportunity to live vicariously.  I am also hoping that her review of her experience will pave the way for others to be able to commit to volunteering as well.  In the meantime, here is Cate’s Fundrazr page, which I hope readers will visit and, as I already have, contribute to her worthy cause.

From Cate:

I will soon be traveling to the Sandcastle Library in Roatan, Honduras to help train library staff, create literacy kits for the library and bookmobile, and assist with collection organization and classification. The library is overseen by the NGO Partners in Education Roatan (PIER) which is dedicated to improving education and quality of life for the Roatan people.

I will be paying  my own way and taking personal time from work to volunteer as advocating for libraries and providing access to library services in order to improve quality of life for EVERYONE are very important to me.

We are very privileged to live in North America and to have access to excellent libraries, information services, reading materials, tehcnology and schools. Please help me to  improve access for those less fortunate, one library at a time!

Sand Castle Library

 

 

 

Volunteer: Assistant Librarian for a Community Library & Bookmobile

2/17/15 –  Volunteer Assistant Librarian for a Community Library & Bookmobile
Roatan Volunteers, Roatan, Honduras

Sarah P’s comments:  I received an e-mail at the end of January from Martin Larsen, the Volunteer Coordinator for this organization.  I usually like to verify these opps and replied asking for more info but, to date, have not yet received a reply.  However, I am intrigued enough to share this information as there are still not many volunteer library opps.  I am including in this post Martin’s e-mail as well as a description of the library. Visit the link for further information and if you know anything about this organization or decide to try volunteering there – please share!

3/18 update – Martin replied to me that that this is indeed a legit volunteering opportunity and there is currently a Canadian academic librarian researching going late next fall if anyone is interested.  She knows of other professors who have worked in this location and with this library.  I am going to try and go too if at all possible…

To Sarah Gibson,

My name is Martin Larsen, and I would like for you to consider RoatánVolunteers as a listing on your website for volunteer opportunities. I am a Danish national living on Roatán in Honduras, where I founded RoatánVolunteers, an organization that provides volunteer and research/internship opportunities.

RoatánVolunteers is located on Roatán, the largest of three Bay Islands in the Caribbean Sea. The island is about 50 miles off the coast of Honduras, and is easily accessible via an international airport that flies direct to five US cities.

We have formal agreements with a variety of organizations in need, all of which are dedicated to providing relevant, challenging, and interesting work. We have three areas where volunteers can get involved: Kids, Health Care and Nature. RoatánVolunteers is about personal growth. Our volunteers have opportunities to grow in ways not directly related to their service (e.g. learning to speak Spanish, learning to scuba dive).

We provide pre-travel guidance and planning, airport pickup, safe housing, placement with a local organization, and personal support during their entire stay. I live full-time on the island, and will be there personally to take care of any needs that arise. Living and volunteering in the Caribbean is a unique opportunity, and I hope that we can create opportunities to work together, to improve not only the lives of Hondurans in need, but also the lives of the volunteers.

Saludos / Best regards

Martin Larsen
Volunteer Coordinator

 

SAND CASTLE LIBRARY

Mission: Improve the economic development of the island and quality of life of its people through excellence in education.

Current Programs:

  • Bookmobile visits 14 schools biweekly lending books to students and leading rading activities in the classrooms.

  • Sand Castle Library provides lending library, tutoring, and homework help time; plus board and computer games.

  • Teacher training in Spanish, English, and math.

Possible Volunteer Activities:

  • Join the bookmobile crew

  • Work with our library team as a Librarian Assistant

  • Tutor students

  • Lead science activities

  • Create reading, writing, science, and math activities for use in the schools.

  • Teacher training in areas of science, math, and writing, teaching in a bilingual classroom, classroom management.

  • Assist director with marketing and fundraising strategies

Volunteer: Assistant Librarian for a Community Library & Bookmobile

2/17/15 –  Volunteer Assistant Librarian for a Community Library & Bookmobile
Roatan Volunteers, Roatan, Honduras

Sarah P’s comments:  I received an e-mail at the end of January from Martin Larsen, the Volunteer Coordinator for this organization.  I usually like to verify these opps and replied asking for more info but, to date, have not yet received a reply.  However, I am intrigued enough to share this information as there are still not many volunteer library opps.  I am including in this post Martin’s e-mail as well as a description of the library. Visit the link for further information and if you know anything about this organization or decide to try volunteering there – please share!

3/18 update – Martin replied to me that that this is indeed a legit volunteering opportunity and there is currently a Canadian academic librarian researching going late next fall if anyone is interested.  She knows of other professors who have worked in this location and with this library.  I am going to try and go to if at all possible…

To Sarah Gibson,

My name is Martin Larsen, and I would like for you to consider RoatánVolunteers as a listing on your website for volunteer opportunities. I am a Danish national living on Roatán in Honduras, where I founded RoatánVolunteers, an organization that provides volunteer and research/internship opportunities.

RoatánVolunteers is located on Roatán, the largest of three Bay Islands in the Caribbean Sea. The island is about 50 miles off the coast of Honduras, and is easily accessible via an international airport that flies direct to five US cities.

We have formal agreements with a variety of organizations in need, all of which are dedicated to providing relevant, challenging, and interesting work. We have three areas where volunteers can get involved: Kids, Health Care and Nature. RoatánVolunteers is about personal growth. Our volunteers have opportunities to grow in ways not directly related to their service (e.g. learning to speak Spanish, learning to scuba dive).

We provide pre-travel guidance and planning, airport pickup, safe housing, placement with a local organization, and personal support during their entire stay. I live full-time on the island, and will be there personally to take care of any needs that arise. Living and volunteering in the Caribbean is a unique opportunity, and I hope that we can create opportunities to work together, to improve not only the lives of Hondurans in need, but also the lives of the volunteers.

Saludos / Best regards

Martin Larsen
Volunteer Coordinator

 

SAND CASTLE LIBRARY

Mission: Improve the economic development of the island and quality of life of its people through excellence in education.

Current Programs:

  • Bookmobile visits 14 schools biweekly lending books to students and leading rading activities in the classrooms.

  • Sand Castle Library provides lending library, tutoring, and homework help time; plus board and computer games.

  • Teacher training in Spanish, English, and math.

Possible Volunteer Activities:

  • Join the bookmobile crew

  • Work with our library team as a Librarian Assistant

  • Tutor students

  • Lead science activities

  • Create reading, writing, science, and math activities for use in the schools.

  • Teacher training in areas of science, math, and writing, teaching in a bilingual classroom, classroom management.

  • Assist director with marketing and fundraising strategies