The Pacific beach town of Nosara, in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, recently celebrated the opening of the David Kitson Memorial Library, attended by 120 area residents and visitors from San José and the United States.
Because the library was established and supported by Nosara’s North American residents, the U.S. Embassy was present, represented by Deputy Chief of Mission Russell Frisbie and his wife Jean. Frisbie spoke of volunteerism in the North American culture, and commented on how appropriate it is that a library founded and supported by volunteers be dedicated to the memory of David S. Kitson, educator, Peace Corps deputy director, Nosara resident and an icon of volunteerism and community service.
Representing the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports was María del Carmen Madrigal, director of the ministry’s libraries office, who announced that the David Kitson Library would be included in the national network of libraries.
Major contributors to the library were given the opportunity to dedicate a room to person of their choice. Alice Olson of New York named the conference room after President-elect Oscar Arias, explaining that his receiving the Nobel Peace Prize influenced her decision to choose Costa Rica as a country for retirement. Other rooms were dedicated to major donors.
Library director Beverly Kitson, wife of the late David Kitson, outlined the library’s history and the wonderful cooperation between the Tico and expatriate community.
The municipality and town of Nosara donated land for the new building and exempted the project from most construction taxes. Architectural plans were donated by Arquitectos Nicoyanos in public service to the community. Expatriate residents donated thousands of dollars for new books, furniture and computers (TT, Feb. 25, 2005).
Now the library must expand its goals to match its beautiful new quarters. A seniors’ program and young mothers’ group have been added to the many existing activities, and a new initiative has been started by the director of the local elementary school to make better use – by teachers and students –of the library’s resources. Additionally, a long-term English program is in the works that will link the library with the language program of the Costa Rican-North American Cultural Center in San José.
Though newly opened, the library and its vibrant programs are already facilitating significant educational changes in this small rural community.