Venezuela: March 2009 Archives
Last December I had the chance to get a break from the low temperatures in Ohio and board a plane to the warm Caracas in Venezuela. Exploring the city, one thing I could notice on the streets of Caracas is how Venezuelans revere Simón Bolívar , the leader of the battles for Venezuela independence and great contributor of the independence of other South American countries. Bolívar himself was a native of Caracas what makes it natural for the city to honor "El Libertador" as much as they do. His name is given to several places and even to the local currency: bolivares. It's also the name of one of the largest universities in the country: Universidad Simón Bolívar.
Universidad Simón Bolívar Library System (USB) is composed of three libraries established in three campuses - Sertanejas, Litoral, and Litoral Camuri. I visited the main library at Sertanejas campus. When I arrived there I couldn't help it observing the lucent main door which is from the 17th century and belonged to the military base in the Province of Burgos in Spain. I met the library staff, walked through the beautiful 5-store building (counting the basement), and learned more about their projects and work flow. Of course, I had the pleasure of enjoying a typical Venezuelan meal in their company.
For those that used to visualize a Venezuelan library as not well structured and struggling to keep up with the new trends, you better change your mind. Things are more surprising than you might imagine.
USB is the first Venezuelan institution to have its entire collection loaded into WorldCat. A collection that will enrich WorldCat and gain global visibility. Among the records I have to highlight the Ernesto Mayz Vallenilla collection with 6,000 titles donated to USB by the philosopher author (including all his own publications and titles from his private library) and the Latin American Studies collection by Aristides Torres . This project will help local and global users to easily locate these records held by USB. Venezuelan users will be able to see that the titles are available in their country. Good stuff!
Biblioteca venezolana en WorldCat.doc (vea en espanol)
Biblioteca venezuelana no WorldCat.doc (leia em portugues)