Our Multilingual Library
Updated: Mar 9
OpenSpace is our opportunity hub based in the heart of Mytilene. It is a space welcome to all, and the activities and events that take place in the building have all been designed to encourage integration between local Greeks and refugee communities. Alongside the sewing workshops, self-defence and empowerment classes, and yoga sessions, OpenSpace boosts a multilingual library of over 2,000 books.
Our library is made up of books written in Greek, English, Arabic, French, Spanish, Farsi, and German, and the books cover a wide range of genres and levels of reading. Before COVID, anyone who wanted to stop by and browse the collection of books could do so, but- as Greece remains in a strict lockdown- our in-person library experience has been put on hold for the meantime.
In light of this, our team has been busy building an online library (which can be found here); a portal which means that anyone with access to internet can browse the books on their phones, laptops etc. and order a book to borrow.
Additionally, we wanted to ensure that the library remained accessible for residents living in the RIC Lesvos camp whose freedom of movement is impacted significantly by COVID-19 restrictions: currently, residents can only leave the camp once a week for a three hour time slot.
So, we decided to bring the library to the residents. Inside the camp, we have set up a simple library station; a table with an iPad that residents can use to browse through the online portal. They can then choose what they’d like to read and our team will bring the book in the following day for them. We know how important access to books, games, educational materials, and language learning tools are, and we are delighted that- despite the restrictions- we can still share our resources with people living on Lesvos.
Can you help us expand our library offering? We recently launched a fundraising campaign to support our library project. Contribute if you can, or share the campaign with friends/family to raise awareness by clicking the button below: