FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 4, 2008
CONTACT: Diane Nevill, (623) 930-3554, Public Information Officer
GLENDALE, Ariz. – The staff at all three locations of Glendale Public Library have had a treat getting to know their short-term intern from Chile. Francisca Navarro, 31, who has been in Glendale since early January, has been getting to know the inner-workings of the local library since mid-May. Her public library stint will end June 13 at the Foothills Branch Library.
Navarro came to Glendale with her husband, Javier Sepulveda, who will finish an accelerated MBA program at Thunderbird School of Global Management in August. He is an exchange student and will also be getting a double degree from Universidad de Chile.
Not one to sit around, soon after arrival Navarro took English classes at Glendale Community College to supplement the English classes she had in college in Chile. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish Literature and Spanish Linguistics. She also has a Certificate in Cultural Management, which focused on creating projects in different cultural areas, like art, music and literature.
This Santiago resident works for the Dirección de Bibliotecas, Archivos y Museos in the Subdirección de Bibliotecas Públicas. Her department oversees the country’s public libraries.
Navarro works with public library director, organizing events and planning training for librarians. She is part of a committee of management, plus she is in charge of the contents of the department’s website. She also collaborates in some of the reading programs.
Her impressions of Glendale have been very favorable. She loves the fact that Glendale is quiet. Living in Chile’s capital, a city of more than six million, Navarro was used to a lot of noise, people and traffic. She likes hot weather, so the upcoming summer does not bother her at all.
She has noticed the prevalence of fast food restaurants on just about every corner.
“Yes, we do have McDonald’s and Burger King in Chile,” laughs Navarro, “but not nearly so many.”
When asked to compare the libraries in Glendale and in Santiago, she pointed out the there are both large and small libraries there, too. She loves the automation in the U.S. libraries and says the Chile is moving in that direction.
“You have many good readers in the U.S.,” adds Navarro. She has seen children leaving the library with bags of books after they have signed up for the annual summer reading program.
“That’s great,” continues Navarro, “because people don’t always know how important it is to read.”
One thing that really surprised her is the popularity of books on tape and CD. Chilean libraries only have small collections of audio books. Navarro hopes to change that when she goes home.
When asked about her favorite authors, she expressed her preference for Latin American authors. She especially likes José Donoso and the Nobel Prize winner Gabriela Mistral, both Chilean writers. Last year she became a fan of French author Michel Houellebecq. While in Glendale she discovered Paul Auster, an American author who is known for blending absurdity and crime fiction.
Homecoming will have to wait a while. After her husband finishes his program at Thunderbird, they will be traveling to Australia, China and India on business before taking a vacation in Thailand. Navarro and her husband will return to Chile in October.