“La Húngara”, the best school library in Andalusia is feminist


María José Romero I Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz), (EFE).- Volumes by Federico García Lorca, Jane Austen, Antonio Machado or Virginia Wolf feed the vast catalog of “La Húngara”. This is the library named after a woman of the IES Santa Isabel of Hungary, in Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz), awarded with the first prize for the best school library in Andalusia 2022.

Converted into a cultural center and meeting point, “La Húngara” has “the world in its hands” and invites students to dive among the 10,000 books that are part of its catalog.

Among so many illustrious classics, there is also room for the current narrative of Federico Moccia or JK Rowling and for other formats like graphic novels and manga, one of the most demanded genres.

“They teach us to discover authors that we did not know and they suggest titles that interest them”, explains Silvia Susana Valero Peña, director of the center, to EFE about the suggestion box where students request books to add to their long catalog.

The project starts in 2020

In 2020, shortly before the pandemic, a group of teachers embarked on this project, digitizing their catalog and taking the leap to social networks to make this “Hungarian” an “influencer”. The idea encourages original and creative activities that encourage reading.

His name is not accidental. It is a nod to the saint who gives his name to the center, he has the “strength and flamenco flavor” of the Santiago neighborhood that welcomes him and bears the name of a woman. All this because it is a feminist center that bets every year on the visibility of women in all areas. Not in vain, its logo is that of a woman whose hair is composed of the names of writers such as Gloria Fuertes, Virginia Wolf or Adela Turín.

In the library there is a flamenco corner, shelves dedicated to poetry, theater, ecology and also feminism, with its “purple corner”, where there are essays on this movement and current works like “Girls Are Warriors”, by Irene Civico.

Their commitment to the gender perspective has allowed them to win this Andalusian prize, which they accept with enthusiasm, but with the certainty that it is a “deserved” prize in a field where “there are very good libraries in the city from which we have learned a lot,” says Silvia Valero.

Promoting reading to students

This award is “recognition of very well-coordinated teamwork” and a “very ambitious” project that uses all the resources at its disposal to promote reading among its students, specifies the director.

This room is sometimes too small for “La Húngara” and leaves its physical space to extend throughout the center and “go out into the courtyard”. The aim is to bring their books closer to students who do not dare or do not want to go to the library, thinking that it is not a place for them.

Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Book Fair, 8M, all events are good for taking books out into the street and reaching as many students as possible.

Miriam García, teacher at the center and “librarian” of “La Húngara” breaks with false myths and assures that young people like to read. “But they want to do it somewhere nice, beautiful and comfortable.” Here, “many meet, get to know each other and reunite with those who have similar concerns,” he adds.

Activities related to literature

Surrounded by her “Hungarians and Hungarians”, as she calls her team, the school library goes far beyond lending books. Throughout the course, they celebrate exhibitions related to literaturetheme days, theatrical performances, book presentations or conferences and symposiums.

“With our own resources and good will, we did everything we could,” says García. In addition, she is happy with a prize that recognizes the work not only of her but of all the teachers and students who collaborate in these literary actions.

“La Húngara” was awarded the first prize for the best school library in Andalusia for “its full integration into the plan of the educational center, spreading socio-cultural projection activities from a gender perspective. Also create specific spaces to support and promote the programs and projects of the center”, as detailed in the minutes of the ministry.

A prize endowed with 5,000 euros

With the prize money, endowed with 5,000 euros, García hopes to be able to renovate the “reading corner” of this room. Also have a budget to continue carrying out activities that encourage reading among their students.

One of the library’s challenges is to maintain this “enthusiasm” and open up to families again. “The pandemic has closed our doors, it has opened them virtually but physically we want them to reopen and for the families of the students to return to this space”, wishes Valero. EFE

Web editor: Luis Ortega


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