Beyond the Region: Cuban Libraries, a Humbling Experience


  • Stan Steiner Boise State University


Cuba, libraries


Vintage automobiles from 1960 and older cruise the roads with engines that have been massaged over the years to keep them running. The weathered buildings and worn stairways were built to last, but show years of exposure to the elements and multitudes of foot traffic. I stepped into the past on this trip and I am now envisioning Cuba’s future in light of the recent US and Cuban talks. Access to much needed materials will truly change Cuba. As librarians and educators we can impact this transition. At present Cuban libraries have very limited resources, yet Cuba has one of the highest literacy rates in the world. How do they manage it?


Pérez Cruz, F. (2001). La Alfabetización en Cuba: Lectura histórica para pensar el presente. La

Habana, Cuba: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales.

Richmond, M. (1985). “Education and revolution in socialist Cuba: The promise of democratization” in Education in Latin America (Edited by Colin Brock, & Hugh Lawlor. London, Great Britain: Croom Helm.

Suchlicki, J. (1969). University students and revolution in Cuba, 1920-1968. Coral Gables, FL: University of Miami Press.