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National Printing Office Unveils New Digital Library in Costa Rica

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Thanks to an initiative by the National Printing Office, public school students in Costa Rica will soon be able to access all their mandatory reading assignments online. The project named “Editorial Digital” was presented to the government weeks ago, and according to Jarmon Noguera Gonzalez of La Prensa Libre, the initiative also aims to foster good reading habits among citizens of Costa Rica.

The project started with four main categories of literature in its digital library:

  1. Laws and judicial matters
  2. Classic literature
  3. Child and adolescent literature
  4. Literature from Costa Rica

The digital library is arranged in a series of virtual bookshelves that display each book’s cover. The shelves are also adorned with cool ornaments like clocks, our painted oxcarts, Faberge eggs, and statuettes.

Among some of the titles already on the shelves are The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint Exupery, Tales from My Aunt Panchita by Carmen Lyra, War and Peace by Count Lev Nikolayevitch Tolstoy, The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe, and more.

At the official pronouncement of the launch of the digital library, the Director of the National Printing Office Jorge Vargas stated that:

“This will be an excellent opportunity for those people who for financial reasons cannot access literature.”

This project also intends to serve as a publishing platform for great writers in Costa Rica who do not have the resources to access traditional publishers. In the future, an editorial council will convene to decide on the content to be published.

One of the most sought-after collections by public school students in Costa Rica is currently printed, sold and distributed by the publishing giant Grupo La Nacion by virtue of an agreement with the Ministry of Public Education. These are the mandatory textbooks that public schoool students must acquire throughout the academic year. Though these textbooks are fairly priced (about $30 for the entire set), many low-income parents struggle to purchase the books along with all the back-to-school expenses.

The new digital library would be an excellent repository for these textbooks, as students can take advantage of the Smart Community Centers that the Ministry of Science and Technology has been launching at a considerable pace.

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