Posts Tagged ‘Bookmobile’


The bookmobile, or a beautiful chapter of solidarity with Cuba

September 12, 2009

The bookmobile, or a beautiful chapter of solidarity with Cuba
El enlace es en español.

by Pedro Campos

Deeds like this always remind us that international solidarity can perform miracles.

Dana Lubow and Rhonda Neugebauer are two U.S. librarians who have written a beautiful chapter of solidarity with the Cuban people. By their own means and with the help of their other citizens, they acquired an old bookmobile designed to serve as a mobile library, made it function, decorated it, filled it with books and brought it to Cuba.

Perhaps for those who see the bookmobile winding along the streets and roads in the province of Granma, in the easternmost part of the country, don’t know the sacrifices and all of the work that Dana and Rhonda had to do in order to achieve that objective. This piece tries to give humble recognition to the effort of these friends of Cuba who, with their modest action but imbued with an enormous altruistic spirit, made a significant cultural contribution to the Cuban people and wrote a beautiful chapter of solidarity.

The story began to take shape on one of the trips that both friends made to Cuba to exchange experiences about the work of libraries. They communicated their ideas to colleague Eliades Acosta, then the director of the National Library, who welcomed them.

Upon their return to California where they both work, they set about researching the real possibilities of buying a bookmobile. In August 2006 they found a bus fitted out to function as a mobile library on an Internet auction site on the Internet. They entered the virtual auction and after several days participating they acquired it at a value of seven thousand dollars.

Since the bus was in Gentry, MO, in the middle of the country, Dana went to get it, driving it to Los Angeles, CA, a trip more than 2300 miles. Once the bookmobile was in Los Angeles they founded the group, Books for Cuba= Libros para Cuba and created a blog on the Internet to solicit donations, which would allow them to repair and paint the bookmobile and obtain the books.

In order to make the trip to Cuba they joined one of the caravans organized every year by Pastors for Peace to bring school materials and other material aid. The work was possible through the collaboration of many U.S. citizens, who gave donations and participated directly in the packing of books, painting, and repair of the bookmobile.

For the decoration of the outside of the bookmobile, Dana and Rhonda asked Gerardo Hernández to create a design. Gerardo is a hero of Cuba who is a prisoner of the U.S. government for fighting terrorism against his country.

In 2007 they made a first attempt to bring the bus to Cuba, but the bus broke down in Phoenix, AZ. Finally it was repaired and arrived in Cuba in August 2008 on the 19th caravan of Pastors for Peace—two years after having acquired the bus—in a demonstration of perseverance and self-sacrifice that deserves all the respect and affection of the Cuban people.

Currently the bookmobile serves the library of Bayamo in the province of Granma.

Deeds like this always remind us that international solidarity can perform miracles.

Infinite thanks to Dana and Rhonda, who let us know that any person can send a message to Gerardo very quickly by sending an e-mail to Tanya Torres, the radio programmer of “Cantos sin Fronteras” (, who will read it for Gerardo on the air. Gerardo assiduously listens to the program every Saturday from 6-8 p.m. Pacific Time (9-11pm Cuban time). “Cantos sin Fronteras” is a Spanish-language progam of Latin American music on KPFK Los Angeles, which can be heard online at Its first song is international music from anywhere in the world, and all music on the program always has social/political content. Cuban Trova is plentiful.

We take this opportunity to wish compañero [comrade] Gerardo a happy birthday, hoping he receives many messages of solidarity and thanking him and his other four companeros for their extraordinary example of integrity revolutionary fortitude.

Socialism for life

Havana, June 7, 2009

translation Dana Lubow 8-23-09


The bookmobile in use, January 5, 2009 in Babiney, Cauto Cristo, Granma.

February 2, 2009

Children in front of bookmobile

Children in front of bookmobile

Adults using bookmobile

Adults using bookmobile

Children on the bookmobile

Children on the bookmobile

Girl with puppet

Girl with puppet

Boy looking at books

Boy looking at books

Bookmobile's librarians

Bookmobile's librarians


The bookmobile’s inauguration

November 30, 2008

Invitation to the bookmobile’s inauguration in Bayamo, Cuba, October 2008

Once again, reading will be celebrated, on this occasion thanks to U.S. librarian Dana Lubow and a group of enthusiastic collaborators who, through enormous efforts donated a bookmobile, whose valuable collection will be available to children, youth and adults in zones surrounding our city as well as rural areas.

You are invited to share its inauguration, an extraordinary occasion which, without a doubt, will be once-in-a-lifetime.

DATE: October 20, 2008

TIME: 12:00 p.m.

PlACE: Parque, Consejo Popular Francisco

Vicente Aguilera

Reparto Latinoamericano

Español siga la foto.

Bookmobile's inauguration

Nuevamente la lectura estará de plácemes, en esta oportunidad, gracias a la bibliotecaria norteamericana Dana Lubow y a un grupo de entusiastas colaboradores que haciendo enormes esfuerzos donaron un bibliobús, cuya valiosa colección estará a disposición de niños, jóvenes y adultos de zonas aledañas a nuestra ciudad y rurales.
Queda usted invitado a compartir su inauguración, una ocasión de lujo, que sin dudas, será irrepetible.

DIA: 20 de Octubre de 2008
HORA: 12:00 m.
LUGAR: Parque, Consejo Popular Francisco
Vicente Aguilera
Reparto Latinoamericano.


Bookmobile is in Granma

August 26, 2008

The bookmobile arrived Thursday August 21, 2008 in Bayamo, capital of Granma. The library director is very pleased and amazed.


Bookmobile arrives in Havana

August 17, 2008

News has it, the bookmobile is now in Cuba, waiting to leave the ship. Two people are coming from Granma to drive it there.


Thanks–we’re off

June 24, 2008

June 23, 2008

Dear friends and supporters,

The bookmobile for Granma is ready to leave for its final destination of “1868 Provincial Library,” in Granma Province, City of Bayamo, Cuba. The bookmobile has been closely inspected and repaired by very good mechanics who knew how far it had to travel. It is in tip top shape. Of course, it is an older vehicle and things happen. We are excited that this trip and the entire caravan will be successful.

Dana will leave in the Bookmobile tomorrow, Tuesday June 24,th headed first to McAllen Texas where we will rendezvous with the Pastors for Peace caravans. After the border crossing, we will continue on down to Tampico, Mexico where volunteer Mexican longshoreman will load everything on a ship that will dock several weeks later in Havana.

We want to offer our humble thanks to all the many people who assisted us with this project through generous financial backing, fabulous book donations, and tremendous emotional support.

Without the strength and support all of you, this project would not have been so exciting, so colorful, so meaningful or so successful. We are deeply touched by everyone who has contributed to this project and to expanding the links between librarians and readers in the United States and Cuba. We are all one big user community enriched by our mutual sharing and common dreams of literacy, education and creativity supported by libraries and other intellectual institutions.

With love and warm regards,

Dana Lubow

Ben White

Rhonda Neugebauer



February 29, 2008

Bookmobile to Cuba, from Gentry to Granma

El Bibliobús a Cuba, desde Gentry hasta a Granma

Español sigue abajo

Welcome to the Bookmobile to Cuba blog. The bookmobile will be joining the Pastors for Peace 19th annual travel challenge to Cuba the summer of 2008. The dates for the challenge will be:

June 14-28 Educational presentations and aid collections throughout the US and Canada
June 29 – July 2 Participant orientation in Texas
July 3-4 Border crossing and travel to Tampico, Mexico
July 5 Travel to Havana, Cuba
July 5-12 Caravan program in Cuba
July 13 Return to Tampico, Mexico and travel to US/Mexico border
July 14 Reverse Challenge crossing into Texas
Further information may be obtained by writing them at:

The bookmobile will be donated to the “1868″ Provincial Library in Bayamo, the capital of the province of Granma.

Join us!!


Funds can be donated to the Bookmobile project at: Pastors for Peace (IFCO), 418 W. 145 St., NewYork, N.Y. 10031. IFCO is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All donations are tax-deductible.

Bienvenidos al blog «Bibliobús a Cuba». El bibliobús se unirá el decimonoveno reto anual para viajar a Cuba con Los Pastores por la Paz en el verano de 2008. Las fechas del desafío serán:

14-28 de junio. Presentaciones educativas y colecciones de ayuda por todos los de los EEUU y Canadá
29 de junio – 2 de julio. Orientación de participantes en Texas
3-4 de julio. Cruzar la frontera y viajar a Tampico, México
5 de julio. Viajar a Habana, Cuba
5-12 de julio. El programa de la Caravana en Cuba
13 de julio. Regresar a Tampico, México y viajar a la frontera de EEUU/México
14 de julio. La reta inverso cruzar a dentro de Texas

Más información la pueden obtener comunicándose a:
El bibliobús será donado a la Biblioteca Provincial “1868” en Bayamo, capital de la provincia de Granma.