Ponce Municipal Library

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Coordinates: 18°00′44″N 66°36′12″W / 18.01223°N 66.60339°W / 18.01223; -66.60339

Biblioteca Municipal Mariana Suárez de Longo
(Mariana Suárez de Longo Municipal Library)
Ponce Municipal Library in Barrio San Anton, Ponce, Puerto Rico (6218397557).jpg
Headquarters of the Ponce Public Library in Barrio San Antón, Ponce, Puerto Rico
Country Puerto Rico
Type Public library
Established 1870[1]
Location Boulevard Miguel Pou, Barrio San Antón, Ponce, Puerto Rico
Branches

7
Within the city:
Clausells (Guillermo Jackson) at Victoria & Villa Madrid
Jaime L. Drew (Jose Rodriguez Ayala) at Urb. Jaime L. Drew
Playa (Rafaela Prieto Library) at Avenida Hostos Final

Outside the city:
Coto Laurel at Los Santos and PR-14, Llanos del Sur
Guaraguao (Old Head Start building) on PR-516
Magueyes (Rosario La Torre) at PR-123, Km. 15.8

Quebrada Limón on PR-502 and PR-520.
Collection
Size 3,000 books[2] + 60,000+ periodicals
Access and use
Population served 166,327
Other information
Budget $500,000
Director Ms. Jo Arleen Torres Hernández
Staff 39
Website http://bibliotecaponce.wordpress.com/
References: Las Fiestas Populares de Ponce. Ramon Marin.

The Ponce Municipal Library, formally, Biblioteca Municipal Mariana Suárez de Longo (English: Mariana Suárez de Longo Municipal Library), and also known as Biblioteca Publica de Ponce (English: Ponce Public Library), is the library system of the municipality of Ponce, Puerto Rico. Founded in 1870, it is the oldest public library in Puerto Rico. The system has its main library on Miguel Pou Boulevard, in barrio San Antón, in the city of Ponce, and seven satellite library branches, three in the city's urban area and four spread out in the municipality's rural of Ponce. In August 2007, a new facility, designed specifically as a library, was inaugurated on Bulevar Miguel Pou.[3] Unusual for public libraries, it does not have any type of book loan service available to the public.

History[edit]

Gabinete de Lectura[edit]

The origins of the Ponce Municipal Library date to the establishment in Ponce of the "Gabinete de Lectura" in 1869-1870, founded by Alejandro Tapia y Rivera.[4][5][6][7] The Gabinete de Lectura was the first educational, cultural, and scientific center in Ponce.[8] The Gabinete was established in 1870 by Federico Perez, Antonio Molina, Jr., Diego Vicente Texeira, Rafael Rodriguez, Luis R. Velazquez, Angel Aguerrevera, and Eduardo Neumann Gandía, and was located on Calle Sol.[9] The central government in San Juan closed it down in 1874 out of fear that the common people would become educated and rebel against the government. However, it was reopened in 1876 by a group of people that included some of its original founders plus Dr. Rafael Pujals, Oscar Schuck, Alfredo Casals, Antonio Molina, Ramon Rivera, Jacobo Tur, Sergio Cuevas Zequeira, Juan Cuevas Aboy, Oriol Pasarell, Fancisco Oliver, Manuel Mayoral Barnes, and Manuel Yordan.[10]

The first library[edit]

The Ponce Municipal Library was formally founded in 1890[11][12] and re-organized in 1894.[13] This first library was located on the first floor of Casa Alcaldia building, on what is now Calle Plaza Degetau, but at the time was considered part of Calle Villa. It contained 1,500 volumes that came from the "Gabinete de Lectura", the private collection of Manuel Rosich, a prominent local educator, and donations from citizens at large.[14] The first librarian was Joaquin Figueroa.[15] The library started with 809 books and 669 pamphlets.[16] By 1913, the total number of volumes was over 4,754,[17] including 2,818 books and 1,936 periodicals.[18] In 1937, the library was restarted under the leadership of Luis A. Ferre.[19] The library later relocated to Isabel street in what is now the Ponce Historic Zone. In 1940, mayor Jose Tormos Diego reconditioned the northern annex of Teatro La Perla to be used as the headquarters of the Ponce municipal library.[20]

Former location of the Ponce Municipal Library next to Teatro La Perla in Barrio Tercero, Ponce, Puerto Rico, now (2011) serves as headquarters of the Ponce Municipal Band and other musical arts organizations

Originally a non-circulating library, in 1945 the Ponce Public Library instituted a home loan system guaranteed by deposits. The majority of its readers were school children.[21] By 1946 the Ponce Public Library collection had increased to 9,648 volumes, mostly of general character, but completely catalogued according to the Dewey system.[22] In 1946 the library was mostly supported by the Ponce Lions Club and the Asociacion Bibliotecaria de Puerto Rico, a sort of "friends of the library" organization.[23]

During the administration of mayor Juan H. Cintron (1968), the library moved to new facilities next to Teatro La Perla,[24] where it remained until 2007.[25]

Current facility[edit]

The city moved its central library to a new facility in August 2007.[26] The modern facility opened over three years after the untimely death of its proud mastermind and instigator, "the beloved Ponce Mayor Rafael Churumba Cordero".[27]

Main library building[edit]

The main library is located in a new building on Miguel Pou Boulevard, barrio San Anton, Ponce, at 18° 0' 44" N, 66° 36' 12" W. The new structure opened in August 2007 under the administration of Mayor Francisco Zayas Seijo[28] and cost $14 million to build.[29] The new building is located at the site of the old Tribunal de Ponce (English: Ponce Judicial Center),[30] which was demolished to give way for the library.

Mariana Suárez de Longo[edit]

The Main Library was named after Mariana Suárez de Longo, a much admired “Teacher of Teachers”. Suarez de Longo was born on 3 January 1906 in Aibonito, Puerto Rico, graduated from Ponce High School in 1923, and obtained a Bachelor's degree in Education from the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras in 1935.[31] Suarez de Longo then committed almost 40 years of her life to the education of the island’s youth. In 1946, she became the first Puerto Rican woman to be designated School Superintendent, commanding the Ponce area from 1950 to 1962. In 1954 she obtained a Master's degree in Management and Supervision from New York University.[32] From 1963 to 1966 she directed the Department of Education’s southern region, comprising fourteen municipalities. In 1966 she served as director of the Division of Curriculum of Puerto Rico's Department of Education. In 1969, Suarez de Longo directed the Staff Training Center of the Ponce Municipal Head Start program.[33] The devoted educator retired in 1972.[34] She died in Ponce on 13 January 1995.[35]

Satellite libraries[edit]

The other seven satellite libraries[36] are distributed throughout the municipality, three within the urban area of the city of Ponce and four outside. The three satellite libraries located in the city proper are at: Clausells (Guillermo Jackson Library), Jaime L. Drew (Jose Rodriguez Ayala),[37][38] and Playa (Rafaela Prieto Library).[39] The four satellite libraries located outside the urban area of the city are at: Llanos del Sur in barrio Coto Laurel,[40][41] one at the Old Head Start building in barrio Guaraguao,[42] one at the Corral Viejo sector of barrio Magueyes at the Escuela Segunda Unidad Rosario Latorre,[43] and one at barrio Quebrada Limón.[44][45] Three of these satellite locations already existed by 1963: Playa de Ponce, Clausells, and Coto Laurel.[46]

Research branch[edit]

The Archivo Histórico de Ponce is a library research tool and is currently located on Calle Marina and Plaza Degetau in the Ponce Historic Zone.[47]

Services[edit]

The Ponce Municipal Library offers among its services a nearly half-million dollars virtual education center with access to over 30 digital services covering subjects from Auto Repair to Health and Medicine to Literature to encyclopedias and dictionaries with a fleet of some 150 computers. There is a Mi Rincón de Lectura (English: Children’s Reading Corner) providing a setting for parents who want to read to their kids. The two-story main library structure also has a youth library, sponsored by the international children’s literature introductory program known as PIALI, Programa Internacional de Acercamiento a la Literatura Infantil (English: International Children’s Literature Introductory Program).[48]

Also within the main building is the Ponce Historical Archive, with collections of newspapers published in the city from the 18th through the 20th century, including La Gaceta de Puerto Rico, El Aguila de Puerto Rico, El Universal, and El Diario de Puerto Rico among others. Facilities also include an exhibition hall for art expositions and other similar public events of cultural and civic nature. The library’s courtyard provides unrestricted wireless Internet access per the library’s hotspot policy and provides an environment suitable for book presentations, storytelling activities, lectures and cocktails.[49]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lawrence S. Thompson and Jorge Rivera Ruiz. The Libraries of Puerto Rico. The Library Quarterly. Volume 16, Issue 3. Page 227. July–September, 1946.
  2. ^ Informe de Logros (2009-2010): Page 37. Hon. María “Mayita” Meléndez Altieri, Mayor. Autonomous Municipality of Ponce. Ponce, Puerto Rico. 2010. El Sur a la Vista. Ponce, Puerto Rico. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  3. ^ New Central Library La Perla del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico.
  4. ^ De bibliotecas y gabinetes de lectura. Marta Aponte Alsina. "Angelica Furiosa". 21 May 2008. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  5. ^ Lawrence S. Thompson and Jorge Rivera Ruiz. The Libraries of Puerto Rico. The Library Quarterly. Volume 16, Issue 3. Page 227. July–September, 1946.
  6. ^ Emilio del Toro Cuevas. Influencia de la biblioteca publica moderna en la familia y en la cultura social. Conferencias Dominicales dadas en la Biblioteca Insular de Puerto Rico. Volume I (1913) page 52.
  7. ^ Luis O'Neill de Milan. Bibliotecas Publicas de Puerto Rico. In, Eugenio Fernandez Garcia and Eugenio Astol (editors), El Libro de puerto Rico. San Juan, Puerto Rico: El Libro Azul Publishing Co., 1923. Page 451.
  8. ^ "Education" Hall, Museo de la Historia de Ponce. Ponce, Puerto Rico. 9 March 2001.
  9. ^ Ramón Marín y su Tiempo. Socorro Girón. In, "Las Fiestas Populares de Ponce." Page 20. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  10. ^ "Education" Hall, Museo de la Historia de Ponce. Ponce, Puerto Rico. 9 March 2001.
  11. ^ Las Fiestas Populares de Ponce. Ramon Marin. Page 40. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  12. ^ Bibliotecas que Transcienden Bibliotecas: Integraccion, Innovacion, e Informacion para Todos. Congreso Mundial de Bibliotecas e Informacion. 77ma. Conferencia General y Asamblea de la IFLA. 13–18 August 2011. San Juan, Puerto Rico. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  13. ^ The History of Puerto Rico From the Spanish Discovery to the American Occupation R.A. Van Middeldyk. 1903. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  14. ^ "Education" Hall, Museo de la Historia de Ponce. Ponce, Puerto Rico. 9 March 2001.
  15. ^ "Education" Hall, Museo de la Historia de Ponce. Ponce, Puerto Rico. 9 March 2001.
  16. ^ Lawrence S. Thompson and Jorge Rivera Ruiz. The Libraries of Puerto Rico. The Library Quarterly. Volume 16, Issue 3. Page 227. July–September, 1946.
  17. ^ "Education" Hall, Museo de la Historia de Ponce. Ponce, Puerto Rico. 9 March 2001.
  18. ^ Lawrence S. Thompson and Jorge Rivera Ruiz. The Libraries of Puerto Rico. The Library Quarterly. Volume 16, Issue 3. Page 227. July–September, 1946.
  19. ^ Puerto Rico Grieves Over The Loss Of Its Premier Statesman Four Months Short Of His 100th Birthday: Luis A. Ferre Aguayo (1904-2003). MARIALBA MARTINEZ. CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. Puerto Rico Herald. 30 October 2003. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  20. ^ Information retrieved from the commemorative plaque in the lobby of Teatro La Perla in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Its complete name in 1940 was "Auditorio y Libreria Publica La Perla".
  21. ^ Lawrence S. Thompson and Jorge Rivera Ruiz. The Libraries of Puerto Rico. The Library Quarterly. Volume 16, Issue 3. Page 229. July–September, 1946.
  22. ^ Lawrence S. Thompson and Jorge Rivera Ruiz. The Libraries of Puerto Rico. The Library Quarterly. Volume 16, Issue 3. Page 229. July–September, 1946.
  23. ^ Lawrence S. Thompson and Jorge Rivera Ruiz. The Libraries of Puerto Rico. The Library Quarterly. Volume 16, Issue 3. Page 227. July–September, 1946.
  24. ^ Law Number 101 of Year 2011. Ley Núm. 101 del año 2011. (P. del S. 1855); 2011, ley 101. Para designar con el nombre de “Centro de Convenciones Juan H. Cintrón García”, al nuevo edificio del Centro de Convenciones de Ponce. Ley Núm. 101 de 23 de junio de 2011.
  25. ^ New Central Library La Perla del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico.
  26. ^ New Central Library La Perla del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico.
  27. ^ Municipal Library Mariana Suarez de Longo. TravelPonce.com. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  28. ^ Biblioteca de Ponce. Notas Breves: Info Puerto Rico. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  29. ^ Municipal Library Mariana Suarez de Longo. TravelPonce.com. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  30. ^ Informe Parcial (2), Camara de Representatntes. ESTADO LIBRE ASOCIADO DE PUERTO RICO. 16ta. Asamblea, 2da. Sesión Legislativa Ordinaria. CÁMARA DE REPRESENTANTES. INFORME PARCIAL (2). R. de la C. 116. 27 August 2009. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  31. ^ "Biblioteca Municipal e Infantil Mariana Suarez de Longo", brochure. Ponce Municipal Library. March 2010.
  32. ^ "Biblioteca Municipal e Infantil Mariana Suarez de Longo", brochure. Ponce Municipal Library. March 2010.
  33. ^ "Biblioteca Municipal e Infantil Mariana Suarez de Longo", brochure. Ponce Municipal Library. March 2010.
  34. ^ Municipal Library Mariana Suarez de Longo. TravelPonce.com. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  35. ^ "Biblioteca Municipal e Infantil Mariana Suarez de Longo", brochure. Ponce Municipal Library. March 2010.
  36. ^ Inaugura Biblioteca Digital Escuela Elemental Jaime L. Drew. Government of the Municipality of Ponce. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  37. ^ Inaugura Biblioteca Digital Escuela Elemental Jaime L. Drew. Government of the Municipality of Ponce. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  38. ^ Educational Services Network, Corp.. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  39. ^ Educational Services Network, Corp.. Retrieved 6 OCtober 2011.
  40. ^ Inauguran Biblioteca Municipal. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  41. ^ Educational Services Network, Corp.
  42. ^ MENSAJE DE PRESUPUESTO: AÑO FISCAL 2011-2012. Hon. María “Mayita” Meléndez Altieri, Mayor. MUNICIPIO AUTÓNOMO DE PONCE. 30 May 2011. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
  43. ^ Bibliotecas Satelites. Wordpress.com. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  44. ^ Educational Services Network, Corp..
  45. ^ Autonomous Municipality of Ponce. Official Website. Library Branches
  46. ^ Luis Fortuno Janeiro. Album Historico de Puerto Rico (1692-1963). Page 487. Ponce, Puerto Rico: Imprenta Fortuno. 1963.
  47. ^ El Archivo Histórico Municipal del Municipio Autónomo de Ponce, Puerto Rico. Inter-American University of Puerto Rico at Ponce. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  48. ^ Municipal Library Mariana Suarez de Longo. TravelPonce.com. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  49. ^ Municipal Library Mariana Suarez de Longo. TravelPonce.com. Retrieved 6 October 2011.