Annual Member Meeting Summary and Photos

If you missed the annual member meeting on January 13th, don’t worry! Here you can read an overview of our activity report. Financial report to be posted ASAP.

(Note: bank statements and board meeting minutes are always available in the Administrator’s office for review by members of the library.)


Merida English Library 2017 Activity Report

Annual Membership Meeting, January 13th, 2018


Membership Numbers

  • Over 350+ new members joined the library in 2017
  • Over 600 active members
  • Our email listserv grew 24% in 2017


Library Collection

  • 15,290 items in the collection
    • We acquire the vast majority of our collection from donations
    • 2500 items added to the collection in 2017
    • 14,200 books
    • The rest is DVDs, puzzles, games, etc.
    • Around 700 books circulating at any given time
    • Duplicate items in the collection are available for purchase at a nominal price


Staff Resources

  • Susanna McKibben, Library Administrator
  • Hector Dominguez Chan, Building Maintenance Coordinator (Hector has worked at the library for almost 19 years!)


Volunteer Resources

  • By our last count, we had over 150 volunteers involved in everything from committee work, event planning, and front desk/help desk
  • A team of 20 volunteers help run the library on a day-to-day basis.
  • In 2017, the Front Desk/Help Desk volunteers dedicated over 1,650 combined hours to the library!


Community Outreach

  • 500 local students, ages 5 to 25 years old, from 9 different schools, visited the library last year with their schools to participate in tours and workshops
  • MEL volunteers traveled to 10 different local schools to be judges for Spelling Bees and Speech Contests
  • MEL provides space for community groups, including local authors, to meet
  • Books by local authors are available for purchase
  • MEL sells tickets for local non-profit groups to assist their fund-raising efforts
  • VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE – help lead workshops at the library, or travel to local schools as a MEL representative


One World/Two Languages – Deborah Thompson and Luz Ma Viera Castro, Facilitators

  • Pairs up UADY English Education students with native-English speaking mentors
  • Now in the 4th year
  • Runs from November, 2017 through May 2018
  • 19 student participants and 31 mentors

Overseen by Julieta Guerrero, Director of the Education Faculty at UADY


Children and Families

  • More and more young families with children are joining the library
  • Since Storytime started in November of 2015, we’ve drawn over 80 new families to the library for our children’s activities.
  • Most families who participate in Storytime and Babytime were first-time visitors to the library, and about half of the families are from the Yucatan.
  • Last year, the library spent $2,385 pesos on new books for the children and young adult collection
  • We also invested in beautiful new book shelves for our Children and Young Adult Section.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE – If you like kids, help us with Storytime or Babytime! Talk to Susanna McKibben, MEL Administrator


Infrastructure Improvements

  • New bookshelves
  • Solar panels
  • New printers and computers


Conversaciones con Amigos – Tony Sherrin and Carlos Arias, coordinators

  • Every Monday evening, from 7:00 to 9:00
  • Open to members and non-members
  • Opportunity to practice English and Spanish

Attendance ranges from 60-110 participants


House & Garden Tours – Tita Sokoloff, Coordinator

  • Tours run every Tuesday, from November through March, starting at 9:00 with registration, talk at 9:30 followed by tour of three houses
  • 30 volunteers, plus Coordinator and Board members Evonne von Boeck, Lewie Conner, Brent Marsh and Andrea Slusser who:  schedule homes and staff, handle correspondence, staff the tours, map the routes, set up for tours, collect money, and more
  • Staffing includes tour leader and at least 2 shepherds per group, with 1 to 3 groups depending on number of participants
  • Lowest turnout in the Fall, 30 persons.  January and February of 2017 saw up to 120 persons
  • A total of 60 homes will be visited this season
  • H & G team is constantly on the lookout for new homes to tour, and homes do not have to be large and/or historic to be on the tour

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE: tour leaders and speakers, tour shepherds, house finders, staff and house schedulers


Reading Tuesdays (formerly knowns as Wednesday for Writers) – Fer de la Cruz, Facilitator

  • Last Tuesday of the month from 7:00 to 8:30 pm
  • Open mic for local writers
  • Running for two years now!


Lecture Series – Bob Hertzig & Fer de la Cruz, Committee Chairs

  • 2017 – 2018 series began in October and runs through March
  • Lectures take place Wednesday evenings, at 7:00 p.m.
  • Diverse topics and speakers, such as Maya calendar, Yucatan Symphony Orchestra, fragile water system of Yucatan and more; speakers include Juan Carlos Lomonaco, Christopher Collins Lee and Margarita Molina de Patron, of the Orchestra, noted anthropologist Marina Aguirre and hydrologist Luis Barruela
  • Future topics will range from Chinese immigration to Islam to Yucatan coastal erosion
  • Committee members include Deborah Thompson, Martha Lindley, Andrea Slusser and Susanna McKibben (ex officio)
  • Lectures are free, but a suggested donation of $50 pesos would be appreciated
  • VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE: We are looking for a couple of great new committee members to help us set up the next season of lectures


Wine Tastings – Ron Smith, Committee Chair

  • Tastings are the second Thursday of the month, from October through May
  • Successful attendance:  50 in October, 32 in November, 51 in December, 41 in January
  • Dedicated staff of 8 committee members who staff wine tastings, 3 – 4 hours per tasting:  pouring wines, serving food pairings, waitstaff and dishwashing
  • There are several other non-committee member dedicated volunteers, Lewie Conner is the MEL Board liaison


MEL Night – Margie Alexy

  • Third Friday of every month
  • Cash bar, and attendees are welcome to bring snacks
  • Open to members and non-members
  • About 720 attendees in 2017


Teen Night – Susanna McKibben and Madeline Beath, coordinators

  • The first Teen Night was in October, we had over 40 teens show up to participate! The other two sessions had between 15-25 participants.
  • The community response has been great, we hope to continue all year.


Artist Studio Tour – Trina Lawry, Committee Chair

  • 2018 will be the 6th year of studio tours, starting in 2013
  • 2017 tour consisted of 29 artists in 22 studios
  • 364 tickets sold for 2017 tour
  • 35 studios with 28 studios, and we hope to sell 400 tickets in 2018 for the Saturday, February 17, 2018 tour
  • ADDITIONAL SUPPORT NEEDED FOR THE 2018 TOUR: hanging posters, selling tickets at Slow Foods and Bici Ruta Feb. 3 and Feb. 10, and at MEL and Slow Food the morning of the tour, Feb. 17


Library Collections Committee – Evonne von Boeck and Andrea Slusser, Chairs

  • Five committee members, plus volunteers, to work with Administrator to expand and maintain the library collection
  • Specific tasks include: processing new material (both donated and purchased); recruiting and training volunteers (including interns) to process the material; constantly checking the collection to ensure that all collection items are correctly labelled, shelved and entered into the ResourceMate catalogue system; providing input into the selection of materials to be purchased for the collection; working with the administrator to develop criteria for inclusion in the collection
  • VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES ARE AVAILABLE:  processing new materials, reviewing the existing collection, and “on-call” projects as needed (such as periodic culling the collection, reshelving books, etc.)


Special Events in 2017

  • Volunteer Fair co-sponsored by the U.S. Consulate in Merida
  • Harry Potter Movie Night
  • Bilingual Book Presentation – “El calendario maya”
  • “Why We Write and What Inspires Us” – panel discussion with the Merida Writer’s Group
  • Concert with Maricarmen Perez – “Oaxaca: El Color de su Música!”
  • Commemorative Art Event
  • Theater in the Garden: Love Letters
  • Concert with Swinga tu Madre!
  • Unite Tonight! – semester-long cultural and language exchange organized by interns from Central College
  • Conversation Cafe – language exchange workshop organized by UADY students

Visit Us!

Calle 53 #524 x 66 y 68, Centro
Mérida, Yucatan 97000 México
(999) 924-8401
Hours of Operation -
Open Monday - Saturday: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Open Monday Evenings - 6:30 to 9:30 pm
Open Wednesdays - 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Closed Sundays

Find Us!

Upcoming Events

  1. Artist Studio Tour

    February 17 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
  2. Conversaciones con amigos

    February 18 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  3. Indian Dinner

    February 19 @ 7:00 am - 9:00 pm

Follow Us!

New Books!

  • Sing, Unburied, Sing
  • All the Missing Girl
  • A Tap on the Window
  • French Exit
  • The Smithsonian Inst
  • Ninety-Nine Glimpses
  • The Clockmaker's Dau
  • The Great Escape: Ni

Photos on flickr