Q: How can Books and More be the only Library?
There are less than 10 other traditional libraries that are not tied to Universities. There are not government programs for libraries which means libraries are often for academic purposes only. This results in limited to zero children's sections and activities. Very few even allow members to take books home.
The country of Jordan is roughly the size of Pennsylvania, which currently has 475 public libraries. It is hard to imagine an entire country of the same size relying on less than 10 libraries total.
Q: Is Jordan Safe?
Yes, the Jordanian government is vigilant in keeping the country safe from surrounding conflict. Jordan is an incredibly progressive place and while they still hold onto their culture roots, they have moved forward with great care for the stability of their country and its people.
Q: An internet search of "Libraries in Jordan" showed several results, I’m confused?
Library in Arabic means Bookstore. There is no word for a Public Lending Library.
Office Supply stores are also Libraries. This results in locals understanding that libraries are places of commerce, not community.
Q: I have heard Jordanians are not readers so that is why there are not a lot of libraries, what does that mean?
The people of Jordan are wonderful story tellers, and as such the value of oral history long outweighed written history. As the years have progressed and younger generations are accustomed to information at their fingertips, traditional libraries have started to gain traction.
Q: Where do you get the books?
Originally Nancy and Harvey had a shipping container of about 10,000 books shipped over in 2010. Since then many have been brought over suitcase by suitcase or donated from expats who were relocating.
A big challenge is purchasing updated books. Books are a luxury in many parts of the world, not only because books are expensive by most standards, but also because access to them is limited. Not everywhere has Amazon or Alibaba.
Q: How is Books and More funded?
Through donations primarily. Volunteers also raise their own funds to work and live full time in Jordan. For local Jordanians, the concepts of financial donation and volunteering are not widely known but growing among the younger generation.
Q: What programs does Books and More Jordan have beside the lending of books?
There is a plethora of activities constantly running such as Summer and Winter Children Camps, Librarians Day, Marriage Classes- 6 week seminar, Cooking classes, Book clubs, Dental clinics, Teen Movie Nights and much more.
Q: Most popular Question in Jordan: How did you come up with this idea?
There is no context for the idea of a public lending library. To most of the local population, it is a completely new idea.