Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Public Library Junkie Finds the Gem at GTMO!

I was in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba the week of February 9 to serve as an NGO Observer at the 9/11 Military Commission hearings. Upon landing the captain of our flight said "Welcome to Cuba, Pearl of the Antilles." During my time there I discovered the real gem - the Community Library.

It was a wonderful surprise to see such a great library facility on the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. Although it didn't look like much from the outside . . .

24-hour free wifi, inside and outside the building!
  who can resist a door that invites you in with

The Community Library was renovated in 2012. The news article I found describing the renovation noted that the Community Library serves 135,000 users!  The collections were current and in great shape. I found many favorites in the well-stocked children's and young adult sections.

Show me a child who wouldn't want to come to story hour in this room?

Story hour: 4:00 Friday

One couldn't help feeling at home here. The librarians were very friendly, the computers new, and the seating and work areas comfortable. The electronic resources were impressive  - Academic Search Premier was just one of many available for use!

The Community Library is open noon - 9 pm, Tuesday through Sunday. The usual public library "comforts" were available -- reader advisory brochures and Library Bingo! I got a Reading Bingo Card as a souvenir.

I was a bit sad not to be there to attend the murder mystery dinner!
Whenever possible I used the wifi at the Community Library, even though it meant a 10-minute escort van ride, because it was faster and more reliable than the weekly $150 ethernet access at Camp Justice. It didn't hurt that "I am a public library junkie!"

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