The Merida English Library

I didn’t have time to check my email yesterday, and so it was not until this morning, that I read the monthly newsletter from our local English language library – MEL.

I was amazed to read that the library is now 18 years old. How well I remember the excitement and enthusiasm of the founding members. “Where will we get enough books to fill a Library?” everyone asked.

“Founding Mother and First President” was Elizabeth Dunkle, author of “Every Woman Loves a Russian Poet.” With the help of several International Women’s Club friends, she got the Library up and running – no small feat at all. “You’ll see,” Elizabeth assured us, “books will be the least of our worries. Very soon, we’ll have more than we need.”

Such prophetic words! One thing MEL has never lacked is books – more books than the place has room for. Home tours, wine tastings, an annual chili cook-off and other fund raisers, Saturday lectures, a children’s reading program, internet services, AA meetings, “Conversations with Amigos,” book signings, book clubs, book readings, open mic sessions, a monthly cocktail party… You name it, the library has hosted it.

MEL is also “Command Central” for the city’s English speakers (which DEFINITELY DOES NOT include only Americans and Canadians) At MEL, newcomers from many countries get information of all kinds, make their first friends and find a place in the community.

It’s not easy to keep a volunteer library up and running, and certainly our library has experienced growing pains. In the January 2014 edition of the monthly newsletter, Dan Karnes (current President of MEL’s Administrative Board) openly addresses the negativity that MEL has endured over the past few years. He asks us to make peace with the past and to get out and support this vital institution.

Yes, there have been regrettable incidents, but I’m with Dan… we have to get over it and move on. It is not responsible or mature to allow a couple of nasty-minded rumormongers to continuously get our collective liver in a knot. If we hear salacious rumors, Mr. Karnes urges us “to consider the source,” and then openly address the Board about our concerns.

We need to learn from past mistakes, but we are hurting ourselves if we allow fear and negativity to dictate our present and stifle our future.

I thank Elizabeth for founding MEL. I salute the past and present library volunteers for their great ideas and hard work. I applaud the Board for their service to our community.

I urge everyone to visit to the library soon:
Merida English Library (MEL)
Calle 53 #524 x66 y68
Merida, Yucatan, Mexico
Phone (999) 924 – 8401
E-mail: meridaenglishlibrary.acboard@gmail.com

Hours of Operation – Winter 2013 – 2014
Open every morning, Monday through Friday – 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Open Monday Evenings – 6:30 to 9:00 pm
Open Saturday – 10 am to 1 pm
Closed Sundays and civic holidays

If you aren’t a member, join up… if your membership is out-of-date, renew it. And while you are selecting your books, buy a ticket to the Chili Cook Off that will be held on Sunday January 19 th … you’ll have a great time!

*** Image credits: MEL website

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10 thoughts on “The Merida English Library”

    1. Yes, I remember that well… Jorge and I gave Jonna our tickets for you because we had other commitments and couldn’t attend. We’re so glad you had a good time in Merida and we hope you’ll come back soon.

  1. The Chili Cook Off is great fun! If you haven’t been, make sure you go this year. Unfortunately it’s before we get there this year.
    When is the house tour? Have done that twice. Again, not to be missed.

  2. The library is such a wonderful relaxing place to spend time as well as check out a DVD or book. The reference part of the library holds a wealth of information for anyone researching a subject. Social activities abound and the staff and volunteers are knowledgable about many things going on in our fair city.
    Anything negative thing that took place in the past is over so please let’s move on and enjoy all the good things the library has to offer. Even if you say you don’t need it because you have an electronic reading device, you can bring it and sit in the beautiful patio and still support the library with your membership. The library is Mérida’s best community’s resource for so many things.

  3. I have been a member of the library since coming to downtown Merida in 2010. Along with the dozens of books and dvds I’ve enjoyed, MEL provides a wonderful forum for the English-speaking community with notices on their bulletin board. Last year I scored a beautiful sideboard/dresser that was advertised there. Bonus: if you hang out there often enough you can pick up some very interesting news tidbits as it seems to be a place where people – especially those whom you have not seen for ages – keep running into one another.

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