A reading oasis: Digital library opens in San Salvador
San Salvador’s Mayor Ernesto Muyshondt opened the city’s first digital library. Located in Parque Satélite, the second-largest park in El Salvador’s capital, the library is a public resource for youth and their families and center for learning and professional development.
“Thanks to the joint effort,” said Muyshondt, during the inauguration on January 27, 2021, “the most modern digital library in Central America is now a reality.”
Offering free WIFI, 30-plus personal computers and thousands of analog and digital books, the library fosters a culture of learning among the city’s youth. Its specific resources on science, technology, arts and math will be available for local schools.
“Especially during COVID, this digital library is important so that youth and the community can access its resources remotely,” says Harold Sibaja, Director for CREA Consultores El Salvador, which implemented the library project. “It brings a new vision for a library in El Salvador.”
A collaboration between the MCN Build Foundation in Washington, D.C., San Salvador mayor’s office and Creative’s CREA Consultores El Salvador, the library emerged from a 2018 Sister City agreement between Washington D.C. and San Salvador. The broader partnership aims to improve economic development, youth development, public safety, sustainability, education and government collaboration in both cities.
“The library is very beautiful thanks to so many hardworking people here,” said Michael Waidman, Director of the MCN Build Foundation.
The project broke ground in August 2019, with Salo Levinas, a D.C.-based architect, donating the initial design and MCN Build donating funds for construction. Modern and unconventional, the finished building reflects environmental sensibility focused on Parque Satélite’s surrounding flora.
Community ownership is central to the project’s continued success. CREA Consultores led outreach efforts to involve the park’s neighboring communities, making them aware of the library, its intended impact and engaging them in decisions around how the library can best serve the public.