With about 28 million inhabitants Peru is the fourth most populous country in South America as of 20071. It has to deal with difficulties of a developing country: “43% of the population live under the poverty line”2. “Literacy was estimated at 88.9% in 2005; this rate is lower in rural areas (76.1%) than in urban areas (94.8%).” Although Primary and secondary education are compulsory and free in public schools3 our guest author Eduardo Meza Valencia points out Peru’s problems concerning illiteracy.
You can reach Eduardo Meza Valencia’s own blog ‘Ciencias de la Información’ at http://cinfopucp1.blogspot.com/.
Peruvian libraries blogs
by Eduardo Meza Valencia
Let’s take a tour through the World of library blogs in Perú. Many of these institutions have the need to communicate their experience by making contact with their users showing how they are developing and how they are managing to overcome the large problem of lack of reading. Even thought the circumstances, some of the libraries, I will show, are fighting against illiteracy and intolerance. We understand their work watching what they are publishing in the Internet.
“Bibliotecas de pueblos originarios” is a Peruvian blog that informs how people in other parts of the country are being motivated to read and use a library for their own needs. This blog is about Indian libraries and why they are a concerning subject for Peruvians. The information that it has, is a testimonial of how libraries can rise culture between Indian communities and how can they improve the information and knowledge between their habitants. The objective of this blog is to sensitize and get to know the reality of many Peruvians that have necessity of information. The social responsibility and importance of the information nowadays can have a sense if we consider that a well informed person is part of an active process of social conformation and it’s a key to know itself and others better, that way they can interact, share the different kind of knowledge and investigations or their empiric rationalization of what they consider important for their daily lives.
This page highlights the social role of the librarian and how it is important to develop respect between communities of different ways of looking at life.
“Biblioteca MDLO palacio de la juventud” is a library blog that shows to its users how they are offering a service to improve reading in the district of Los Olivos in the northern part of Lima city. This library is a very good place to chat, to share experiences and learn many disciplines that the district offers to its inhabitants some of them at a cheaper price. In the blog there are some posts that show the definition of many kind of libraries such as public, school, specialized, national, academia, communal, popular, town hall’s and model public libraries, this last concept expresses what the library is. This type of library works in suburbs helping people that are applying to university, helping young students with their school homework and providing information services like first aids, teaching summer courses for the inhabitants.
“Día del usuario de la biblioteca pública de Lima” is another blog that shows events of the National Public Library for its users. It informs about how some activities for users are being developed.
“The Library of the Pontificia Universidad Católica Del Peru” is an example of a blog that encourages its users to consult their collection and surf the Catalogue with a different way to look at their resources. Some cultural news and some curious notes about data bases increase the usefulness of virtual library collections through intranet usage. We can also find a calendar, common tags, the archive of the web and favourite articles. There is a page rank “the top 5 articles” where we can read the most voted in the blog and find out how news are going. Public opinion and comments are part of the blog so there is a section of the page that is dedicated to it, in most of the cases, showing a good opinion of the blog. There are links and a subscription space to get information via mail. Something to take into consideration is that the Catholic University is developing a way for students to express their points of view by making blogs that include personal perspectives and appreciations of the world in different aesthetic processes. This possibility to share opinions helps the freedom development a more possible reality for a third world country and reinforces the freedom of expression not only in the university but also in the country. The library has taken the advantage of this opportunity to inform the community of its activities. Catholic University library is one of the most important centres of knowledge development, resources and collections in Peru; it is a very good example of how communication is an important link to form an information culture.
“Espacio de Narraciones Orales”
This multicultural blog offers the possibility to learn about how oral tradition is developed in Peru and how story tellers of different ages and circumstances make an effort to promote the interest of this kind of cultural transmission. This blog includes photos and links and it’s a good way to look at Peruvian tradition because the oral transmission is one of the most important tools to support the multicultural realities of this country from generations to generations. Children and people of all ages are invited to cooperate with this project and find out how Peru is developing in the construction of an authentic literature in a very particular context.
“Establecimientos Rurales de Tecnologías de la Información y Comunicación”
This web page is a portal that takes into account some technology access topics in Peruvian communities and digital alphabetization in rural towns. The blog of the library and resources used by people interested in teaching how to use internet and new technologies in communication shows news reviews that appear monthly and that are usually related to the project of bringing quality digital resources to people with low opportunities in rural areas of Peru. The web page has a document repository which is organized by subjects such as agriculture, social science, business, folklore, cattle ranch, history, informatics (computer science), literature and Information and Communication Technologies. This initiative has many documents in PDF format that show information of subjects such as racism and how to combat it, how to form business and leading them to form rural employment, exportation, commerce and trout business, and other topics that help people to create new ideas and initiatives with the resources that we have in our country. One example of the variety of topics is one document that is about South American camels, a type of animals that we have in a large quantity: the llama.
All this different libraries and library blogs show us how diversity is a main characteristic of Peruvian reality.