After 35 years a professional librarian, why not?
Today, in the village of Monte Vista in Honduras, villagers dedicated a library in honor of Mary Frances. It is part of the kindergarten school building, and, like the school, serves six communities in the rugged region in the Municipio of Omoa. The library serves all but will focus on the children.
The library was the villagers' idea. They know the importance of reading and knowledge and wanted their children to have a better education in a country where only a sixth-grade education is required and provided by the 'benevolent souls' in Tegucigalpa. Why give your citizens a high-school education when one half as much will do fine, thank you very much.
Amigo Rolando López will donate a computer or two. Wireless Internet? Perhaps that will come to pass.
The villagers donated 370 person-days and 95 mule-days (hauling stuff) in time to construct the library. The Ann Campana Judge Foundation used several hundred dollars left over from village water projects in the area to help purchase building materials. Mary Frances and I also made up the shortfall.
A huge celebration and program was organized by librarian-teacher Maria del Carmen Ramirez (shown below with Rolando). Students sang, performed, and put on skits. Five hundred tamales were consumed!
Maria with performers. Patronato Melvin Chávez observes from the doorway.
The library is the right door. Below is the plaque for Mary Frances in the library. The translation:
Mary Frances Campana worked in libraries in the U.S. for 35 years. She held management and information research positions in government, public, university and corporate libraries. She taught library science skills in rural California libraries and set up a library for a Panamanian environmental organization. Mary Frances also holds a Masters degree in Spanish, with a specialization in Latin American literature. Her favorite pastimes are supporting her husband Michael's work in water resources, reading and riding horses.
When one man saw her picture, he said to me, 'Su hija es muy bonita' ('Your daughter is very beautiful'). I just smiled and said 'Si'.
Great people, great library, great spouse!
"Reading maketh a full person; conference a ready person; and writing an exact person." - apologies to Francis Bacon (who used the male gender)