Mojácar

Mojácar Community Library

For those of you out there that may not be aware, there is a well stocked English Language Library in Mojácar, which anyone can access as a member. It is situated next to the bar on the lower level of the Centro de Usos Multiples (often referred to as the Artisan Centre) where you can find 1000’s of fiction and non-fiction books, with something that will appeal to every type of reader.

The Community Library has an interesting history and has been functioning for more years and in more locations than most people realize.  It has, in fact, been in existence since1981 when a small group of foreigners in Mojácar banded together with all their own paperbacks, many of which came from Bill Napier. For the first few years it was in the home of an American resident, Helen Larsen and those involved made the shelves and volunteered to be on duty, with Kelly Face as the first President of the Committee.  After several years the Library moved to La Rambla basement, owned by Cyril & Maureen Street, in order to house the larger collection.  It remained there until Bambi and Martin De Bruin generously offered their shop on the sea front at Garrucha where it operated for six years, increasing in size all the time. By this time, Judith Penrose, a retired English teacher, had organized the ordering of books at a discounted price with a British catalogue company. Finally, the relocation was made to its current home in 2003 where the collection, which is in a classified system, grew to over 15,000 books.

The library is currently manned by 37 volunteers, including a number of ex librarians and teachers. Many are long standing, but the only member from the original team in 1981 that still volunteers is Elaine Kenyon. A Committee of 14, chaired by Anne Marie Tandy, meets regularly to select books from the catalogues by consensus, so that there are on average 65 new books every couple of months for members to read. Donations of good quality books (that are not already in stock) are accepted also.

New books for the Library are purchased with the money raised from the donations that members make. The requested amount is now 12 Euros per year and covers everyone in the household. This gives the entitlement of 8 books at a time, with the restriction of one new book, as they are always in demand! Any Spanish members however are invited to join free of charge.  It is important, too, to know that you do not have to live permanently in Mojácar or even Spain for that matter to become a member. 

Currently there are approximately nearly 200 households which use the library with around 300 members, but the library does need more in order to raise funds through donations, which enables the purchase of more books to keep this valuable resource updated.  None of this would be possible, however, without the free use of the premises and the Library Committee would like to express its gratitude to the Mojácar Ayuntamiento for its continued support in providing the sole use of the room, as well as meeting the costs of the heating and lighting.

With its team of helpful volunteers, the library is staffed all year round on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11am to 1pm, closing only on fiesta days. So, if you are not already a member, come along and have a look at the wide selection of books on offer. Also, if you are interested in becoming a volunteer yourself, please come and have a chat.

Jill Bennett (Library Volunteer & Committee Member)