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Internationalization at the University Libraries: Sister Libraries Project

History of Sister Library Project

The origins of the IMC's "Sister Libraries" Project can be traced to 1978, when a group of teachers in Cochabamba, Bolivia began an ongoing reading and writing workshop called the "Pedagogical Experiences Workshop." In 1990, the teachers of this workshop founded the only children's library in Bolivia, naming it Th'uruchapitas, or "Cheeks of Clay," referring to the chapped faces of indigenous children living in the harsh climate of the pampas.

Impressed with the group's success, Appalachian State University Library Science Professor Linda Veltze developed a plan to add to the Library of Th'uruchapitas' small collection of books. In addition to soliciting Spanish and bilingual books from publishers and government agencies, Dr. Veltze also applied for "Sister Library" status through the White House Centennial Commission. In 2000, the IMC became the only university library in the United States linked to a South American children's library, and ceremonial plaques were presented to the Appalachian State University Library, the Library of Th'uruchapitas, the city of Boone, and the city of Cochabamba.


  In the 2013, ASU and la Biblioteca have worked together in numerous projects. La Biblioteca has  hosted several groups of ASU students and faculty who traveled to Boliva in order to conduct research, to work on international service projects, or as part of a study-abroad course for credit. One example of international service and learning is Rob Sanders' Library Science class that raised over $4,000 in funds and collected over 1,600 Spanish-language or bilingual children's books to donate to La Biblioteca.

Biblioteca Th'uruchapitas

Bolivia Kits

Several multimedia kits are available for local groups to use in promoting or raising funds for the Sister Libraries Project. In this picture, the contents are displayed by IMC librarians Pat Farthing and Margaret Gregor. For more information on borrowing the kits, contact Margaret Gregor at 

Subject Guide

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Xiaorong Shao

Room 138, Belk Library
(828) 262-7714