► What’s a “Popular Library”?
According to the definition by the Comisión Nacional Protectora de Bibliotecas Populares, a Popular Library is:
“…an autonomous civil association created by the initiative of a group of individuals in a community. It offers services and provides a space for reference, expression and the development of cultural activities, as well as reading and librarian extension tasks in a wide, free and pluralist way. They are managed and sustained principally by their patrons and they offer information, education, recreation and sociocultural animation through a bibliographic and multimedia collection with an universal nature, open to the general public.”
This type of Library doesn’t depend on any gubernatorial organization and it lives out of the contribution of its patrons and friends. Such situation makes these institutions’ work truly arduous when it comes to providing the best possible service according to its economical limitations, which are normal in nonprofit public welfare institutions.
► Our story
The “Rafael de Aguiar” library was founded in 1947 by the initiative of Mrs. Juana Couretot de Guella, and officially opened in 1948 in remembrance of the founder of the city of San Nicolás de los Arroyos, where it currently resides. Its purpose is to provide the aid to the benefit of reading, information access and to also support the educational activities in all its levels.
First reading room, 1947.
Through the years, the institution has organized different events and got a large number of projects started, transforming itself then, into one of the most influential popular libraries of the city. Among few of the activities and achievements we can mention: First Census for the Illiterate in San Nicolás, the creation of schools for adults, two branches of the library in different areas of the city, the inauguration of the first official Library Studies School in the city, workshops directed to professionals, participation in the Local Fair Book and cultural events, to name a few.
- The Founder: Juana M. Couretot de Guella.
At the north of the Buenos Aires province, the library resides in the city of San Nicolás de los Arroyos, a place with a highly important role in Argentinian history in regards of its territorial organization and today it is known by its touristic activity given the ‘Mariano’ phenomena.
The library’s opening and closing times are from Mondays to Fridays at:
- Although the library exists because of monthly payment of its patrons, it also receives two official subsidies:
- DIRBI (Administrative Office for the Libraries of the Buenos Aires Province) provides a monthly income only for a librarian’s salary payment.
- CONABIP (Popular Libraries National Committee) for special projects.