Monday, November 15, 2010

Libraries lure residents out of the slums of Bogota

BOGOTA, Colombia - (KRT) - Amid the slum apartments and mean streets on the ragged outskirts of Bogota, there's an unlikely oasis.

It's El Tintal Library, built from the remains of a trash-compacting station.

"I love it here," said grade-schooler Paula Ximena, 9, who visits almost every day. "It's safe and fun."

In just a few years, Bogota has become a public library mecca. It claims more library-goers per capita than New York, Los Angeles and Dallas. And its biggest library, just off Bogota's main square, draws a whopping 4.5 million people per year.

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