Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Library

Yesterday was my last official day as a Volunteer at the Mazatlan Membership Library. I will be back as a regular in November, however, as we are leaving in a week and the Library switched to "Summer" hours on the 1st of April, I am finished for the season. Sigh. I love the Library and have immensely enjoyed the hours spent there.

We don't have a great deal of space, but every available corner is filled with books, over 6,000 of them. The majority of the books are fiction, although we also have sections devoted to history, social sciences, philosophy, religion, travel, biographies, art, cooking...... Just like a 'real' library. There are also movies, available both in VHS and DVD. I love the Mexican Room, where the Spanish language books are filed. Books with any reference to Mexico are also found in this room, with subjects ranging from history, travel, science, and, of course, fiction. Mike is currently reading the Aztec series by Gary Jennings. And, if you're in town for just a short visit, we even have books for sale. Each book is usually 20 pesos, but we reguarly have sales and sell them for 10 pesos each. That's less than a dollar, for a book. Heaven is the Mazatlan Membership Library!

All of the people who work at the Library are volunteers who work a 4 hour shift, once a week. The books in the Library are donated, by the members, and also by visitors to Mazatlan. Many are given to us by a gentleman who owns a book store in another part of town.

One of the great advantages to 'working' at the Library is the ready access to all of these books. It has been a rare week that I have not arrived home with 2 or 3 more volumes that I simply have to read. And, oh, I have have had some truly wonderful 'reads' this summer - Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson, Toast by Nigel Slater, Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout (Olive Kitteridge I own and am saving for the drive home),The Lost City of Z by David Grann, The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean, World Without End by Ken Follett, several books by Sarah Dunant, a marvelous one called the Persian Pickle Club, darned if I can remember the name of the author, the list goes on and on. I thought I had read all of Anne Tyler's but found one, Digging to America, that I had missed. Mentioning lists, I wish I had actually made one! I will next year.

Loretta is the Library's guilding light. As well as running the Library almost singlehandedly for 7 years, Loretta is an accomplished artist. She also runs her own kitty orphanage, and has found homes for dozens of strays over the past few years. Gina is my favourite kitty - and if my husband were not terribly allergic to cats she would be coming home with me! I don`t know where Loretta finds her energy and I am awed by her dedication to the Library, her kitties and her art. She is a very special person and I am so very glad to have had the opportunity to count her as a friend.

So, no more Library for 6 months. But I`ll be back!

By the way, this is one of my favourite "Loretta" paintings.

And this is Gina


  1. Sandie and Mike,

    best of luck returning to Canada. Am looking forward to meeting up in Nogales and caravaning back to Mazatlan the end of October.

    Hugs, Renata

  2. The library is a great resource and we are lucky to have you volunteering (along with all the other volunteers) as well as Loretta's energy and leadership. Nice post!

  3. Are you the one who teaches fabric dyeing? I might be interested. I live here year round now. Please let me know how I can get hold of you about this. Thanks!
    Pam Russell

  4. Pam, no I do not teach the fabric dying but Nancy (above) told me that has attended the class. I'll ask her to email you! Have fun, I'd love to join you. Maybe in November?