I volunteered with BiblioWorks for 8 months as the both the Volunteer Coordinator and the Communications Director.
I am a teacher-librarian and I was able to use my knowledge, skills and love of books as well as gain a wide-range of new knowledge and skills while having incredible experiences and giving my problem-solving skills a workout. I was based in the office in Sucre but traveled to the rural libraries, initially with the library trainers and later independently.
My Spanish was rusty when I arrived but quickly came back to me as all of the office and library staff are Bolivian and speak little to no English. The BiblioWorks staff are very professional and committed to their work. They work collaboratively and I felt privileged to be a part of the team.
My final month of volunteering was April 2016 and it finished with two of BiblioWorks biggest yearly events - “Sucre Lee” (Sucre Reads) and “La Feria de la Lectura” (The Reading Festival). The lead up to these events gave me a chance to experience the highs (and lows) of fundraising first hand as well as take part in press conferences and live radio interviews (in Spanish!).
I will treasure the memories I have made during my time in BiblioWorks and put my newfound skills and knowledge to use in my future work.
I highly recommend volunteering with BiblioWorks if you have a love of books and reading, a reasonable level of Spanish, an open-mind, and a sense of humour!