Status Report:  June 2002

Over the four plus years since the last status report, the library has continued its uninterrupted service to the community. During this time we saw changes in the library staff as well as a change in Numancia's municipal government. One notable exception to the change has been Pedro Bustamante - dedicated Chief Librarian since the library opened.

On the book front, the collection remained relatively stagnant. Yes, there were periodic shipments of books and magazines from the States, a couple excellent donations of Encyclopedia sets and two fair sized book donations by local folks but there remains plenty of empty shelf space.

With that in mind, and because it had been over four years since my last visit, I left for the Philippines in late April. In Manila I reestablished old contacts at a few publishing houses as well as establishing a few new ones. Now that the library has proven its worthiness, donations were forthcoming - small but high quality donations were procured from five publishers and distributors.

I then spent a week in Numancia. The Municipal Hall is undergoing a renovation and the library has been relocated to a new room. I met with the new Mayor and spent time with the library staff.

I brought with me a computer donated by Andy Charmatz and Sara Witt. In Kalibo we got a good deal on a second hand monitor and then got the computer set up in the library. This is a most welcomed improvement over the old Macintosh I brought over in 1998. Coincidentally, the Mac died within days of my arrival.

A few computer training sessions followed. Now if we can only get them an Internet connection!

As I write this, four weeks later, I'm still in Manila. I've got a couple more appointments with publishers lined up before heading back to the States. The important thing now is to raise more money as the foundation's funds are depleted. Ideally, we'd secure some grant money but attempts at grant writing have yet to really get off the ground.

Gregg Butensky

Copyright © 2005, Cecille Gonzales Gomez Library, Inc.