A Peek inside the San Pedro Public Library

Did you know that our town has a public library?  For kids and adults.  Right in the middle of town – right on the beach?

I did…well…sorta.  I have walked past it 100 times…probably more…and though I’m a bit embarassed to say it…I never went inside.

Well now I know.

The San Pedro Library was founded in 1973.  And it is part of the Belize National Library Service – an arm of the government of Belize that runs libaries around the country (15 in all if I counted correctly on the website).

It is located on Front Street, San Pedro – conveniently across the street from the largest elementary school – the San Pedro R.C. School (below).  Closed now for the summer.

I’m not sure why I never went in because many of my fondest childhood memories take place in (and around) the library.

40 years later, I remember my librarian vividly, the comforting smell of the books, and the pride when I qualified for my very first form of ID.  You could apply to the Ridgewood (NJ) Library when you could learn to write your name – your full name – by yourself. It was a big deal…to write your name for the libararian, and required me to get my very first wallet/change purse, and came with a serious sense of responsibility.

(Next big test in life was the “deep water test” at the lccal pool)

Here is an example of the San Pedro library card.

And like my childhood library, returning your books late has consequences.  For kids, the late fee for books is 5 cents BZD a day.  It’s a bit more for adults.

Nancy Drew books, Laura Ingalls Wilder and the L. Frank Baum Wizard of Oz series…I love a library.  And I was so happy to get the nudge to actually look inside ours.  I got a message from the Rotary Club of San Pedro.  They are giving our local library a bit of a face-lift.  A new coat of paint and, by later this summer, a new mural outside.  By a San Pedro artist who is going to do a wall-sized paint-by-numbers…so that local kids can help.   I can’t wait to see the finished product.

Here’s a look at the San Pedro library.

It’s a nice, suprisingly roomy space with delightful air conditioning.  (Yesterday was hot and HUMID!)

The kids area.  Some of the animals that usually hang on the walls were down so the Rotary crew could paint.

You can see some fantastic photos in this librarian’s blog post from 2019.  How everything looks when all set-up!

A lovely mural by the librarian, Miss Luwesa’s, desk.

The library, since the pandemic, went from 2 librarians to just one.  Check out the library’s Facebook page for information AND Story Time readings of kid’s books by Ms Luwesa.

Pretty cute.

And an area for computer/internet work.

And a look at the outside wall with its new coat of paint…and soon to be mural.

They have all sorts of books for adults, teens (YA novels too) and kids.  I’m going to head back when they complete the project – so you can get a full look at the library and the surroundings.

I remember seeing the pretty library in Punta Gorda (pics of the library and PG town) and I always take pictures of the lovely little library building in Hopkins, why shouldn’t San Pedro have a library that is beautiful on the inside and the outside?

What a great project.  A libary is so much more than books.  A place for community, a window to the wider world, a sanctuary…I’m so glad I went inside.  It’s a spot that deserves to look as beautiful and welcoming as possible.  Thank you Rotary Club!

Find out more about the San Pedro Rotary Club – how to help with this project, what else they do in the community and how you can join through their Facebook page.

And stop in the library – they welcome all donations of books as long as they are in good shape.  I bet kids’ books are especially appreciated.


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