Costa Rica News – I remember the first time I asked where the library was to a local in Costa Rica. The Tico answered like they normally do even if they do no know the actual directions. After a two mile walk in the direction the person told me I asked another person……they looked at me like I was crazy.
Many in Costa Rica do not know that we have public libraries. Some library managers are using creative means to attract people and encourage reading. Some libraries now offer Zumba classes, English courses, free Internet use and programs for all ages.
In the 60 public libraries in the country, visitors are coming in numbers now. Where there used to be maybe two people at a time in a library they are now alive with toddlers in reading clubs, kids learning to make cards, seniors involved in debates, parents learning to use wireless Internet and teens playing video games and checking their social media.
The National Culture Survey of 2014 showed that less than half of the population read a book in the past year. Only 17.5% read books at least once a week and 12.7% did so every day.
The library staff seeks to attract people to reading by offering something of interest that brings people in. Once there, people often take a book home. Libraries are no longer spaces to quietly read alone. They are becoming a social space.