writer · book artist
The Traveling Libraries, the "Entonces el Libro" Suitcases Collective
a book sharing project in Argentina
Since July 2013, the Traveling Libraries, the "Entonces el libro" Suitcases have been traveling free of charge to schools, libraries and museums throughout Argentina. The Traveling Libraries are used to teach about discrimination, identity, immigration, oral histories, expression, World War II, graphic design and quite regularly, they are tied into teaching about the last military dictatorship here in Argentina. As if this weren't inspiration enough to me as an author, as a bookbinder I am enthralled to see how many schools naturally decide to make their own books that tell their story once they come into contact with this one.
I created "Entonces el libro" for personal reasons. Seeing it organically turn into learning tool that transforms our family's experience as immigrants and as Holocaust victims and survivors into a positive educational encounter is beyond what János and I ever could have imagined.
The Traveling Libraries came to life because soon after "Entonces el libro" was published in Spanish, teachers in Córdoba, Argentina began writing to me that they were using the book as a tool in their classrooms. Due to its non-traditional format, and its content, they immediately saw the book as a versatile tool for teaching a variety of subjects: from History, to Literature, Anthropology, Methodology, Ethics, Visual Arts, Creative Writing and more.
The Traveling Libraries are available to schools free of charge because each book has a SPONSOR. You can sponsor a book today for $5, from here. The book travels in your name, and throughout the year I post updates on Facebook so everyone can enjoy the magic of the suitcases and their journeys throughout Argentina.
The Collective supporting the project is made up of people from my community, along with journalists, artists and educators throughout Argentina, in combination with teachers, and sponsors from around the world who have been involved with the project from its inception.
Time and again, the Traveling Libraries show that when we connect with each other, we encounter empathy. We heal wounds. It is that simple. Thank you so much for being a part.
AMAZING: IBBY Canada nominates the Traveling Library, the “Entonces el libro” Suitcases Collective for the IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award 2020. The nomination and recognition from IBBY Canada allows me the opportunity to thank and honor the hundreds of educators, sponsors and volunteers, in addition to the thousands of readers, who sustain the suitcases’ travels with their creativity, and their faith in books’ ability to transform society. My wish is that each person who has ever been in contact with the Traveling Libraries since they began traveling throughout Argentina in 2013 considers themselves a part of this nomination. Enjoy more about the nomination here.
NEW: "La Valija de Alex", a digital platform that augments the Traveling Library experience with interactive content: timelines, maps, history, testimonials, videos, study guides, forums and more. It was created in 2019 by a group of journalism students (absolute heroes!!) at the Universidad Nacional Tres de Febrero in Buenos Aires. Starting in 2020, each school that works with the Traveling Libraries will be able to access this powerful, brilliant online tool.
COVID: During the 2020 and 2021 school years in Argentina, it has been impossible for the Traveling Libraries to travel. Luckily, the digital platform has allowed schools to continue to access the project from afar.
IN THE NEWS
La Nueva Mañana de Córdoba. March 2020
TN.com.ar. Feb 2018
La Nueva Mañana de Córdoba. Feb 2018
Transéuntes.net. Feb 2018
La Jornada. Feb 2018
La Voz del Interior. Feb 2018
· Narrativas visuales, transcurrir y legibilidad en la literatura experimental que se ofrece a la infancia. Un caso: Entonces el libro, de Alex Appella.
Dra. Susana Gómez (PROPALE- CIFFyH-UNC)
· Y Entonces...Un Libro
Roberto Szmulewicz – Jimena Birgin
· Las guías didácticas como desafíos interpretativos. Recorridos de lectura.
Prof. Graciela Csaky
· An Unconventional Book: Crossing Boundaries in Alex Appella's Visual Literature
Profesor Jessica Carr, Lafayette University, EE.UU.
· Fichaje de Entonces el libro. Seminario de Campo Intelectual. Discusiones y debates contemporáneos. UNLP.
Make sure to turn on the English subtitles. Click on the gear icon by hovering over the video and choose English.