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Biblioburro: The Donkey Library

Take Action

Donate Books and Help Improve Literacy

In Biblioburro: The Donkey Library, Luis Soriano helps bring books to children who regularly do not have access to them. Learn how you can support Biblioburro, donate books to international and local communities, and assist local literacy initiatives.
  • Host a fundraiser for the Biblioburro project. Learn how to support Soriano's work with donations of books or funds, at (in Spanish) or Ayoka Productions.

  • Join or create an initiative to improve literacy in your community. You might look at partnering with groups such as Literacy Volunteers, First Book and your public library system.

  • Investigate U.S. foreign policy related to Colombia, its paramilitary forces and the violence experienced by civilians. Discuss what you think U.S. policy should be and share your opinions (and evidence for them) with your elected representatives, in letters to the editor, on blogs and so on.

  • Soriano recites the poetry of Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío. Find more Darío poetry to share with your group, class, congregation or community. Or use the film as a prompt to write your own poetry about your dreams for the future or about people who inspire you.

  • Donate books to U.S. and international schools and libraries, through organizations such as:
        Book Aid International
        Books for America
        International Book Project
        Global Literacy Project
        UNESCO Libraries Portal
    Or view this comprehensive directory of book donation programs.

Get informed about the issues in the film and lead a discussion in your community.

Discussion Guide

Discussion Guide

Biblioburro: The Donkey Library is the story of a librarian — and a library — like no other. A decade ago, Colombian grade-school teacher Luis Soriano, from the rural village of la Gloria, was inspired to begin spending his weekends bringing a modest collection of precious books, via two hard-working donkeys, to the children of Magdalena province’s poor and violence-ridden interior in Colombia. As Soriano braves armed bands, drug traffickers, snakes and heat, his library on hooves carries an inspirational message about education and a better future for Colombia. As an outreach tool, the film will effectively engage people in questions about education as a basic human right and who should take responsibility for ensuring that the world’s children gain the power of literacy.

Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan

In this lesson, students will learn about a Colombian man who took action to provide residents in isolated communities in his country with access to reading materials. Students will then examine literacy rates for their own communities and develop strategies for volunteering to support local literacy efforts. Ideally, students will also complete the volunteer work as a service learning opportunity and a way to develop civic responsibility.

Reading List

Delve Deeper

This multi-media resource list, compiled by Susan Conlon and Martha Perry Liu of the Princeton Public Library, includes books, films and other materials related to the issues presented in the film Biblioburro. Explore issues in Colombia as well as literacy around the world.

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I thought this would be a magnificent story to tell, for what it says about human goodness and inventiveness and for what it reveals about the dignity of the Colombian people, especially the poorest among them.”

— Carlos Rendón Zipagauta, Filmmaker

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