About us

Founded in October 1987, San Juan Community Library is a nonprofit organization duly organized under the laws of Puerto Rico. SJCL is also recognized as a public charity for federal reporting purposes --501(c)(3).  We are the only lending library open to the general public in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and we also serve children and adults from Guaynabo, Bayamón, Carolina, Trujillo Alto, Humacao, Caguas and more!

A hallmark of SJCL is that it depends on volunteers and its part time executive director for its upkeep and day-today operations. SJCL also encourages community and individual participation. It has a Board of Directors, all of whom are professionally affiliated.

We are situated in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in a cultural center originally created as a meeting area for three urbanizations: Bucaré, Apolo, and Alto Apolo. The name of this center is an amalgam of these three sites: BUCAPLAA.

The location of SJCL was identified by our charter board member Sylvia Olmos. Our dream of a lending library started on two folding tables and several metal chairs. A brief glance at our current main reading room reveals the long, successful road navigated by all our library’s directors, board of directors, members and volunteers. In 2001, we officially changed our name to the San Community Library at BUCAPLAA, and in 2010 became the San Juan Community Library.

A message from our Executive Director:

connie

All of us at San Juan Community Library in San Juan, Puerto Rico value the role that we have in the lives of our members and visitors. For thirty-one years we have served a diverse population of both children and adults.  People from all over the San Juan metropolitan area and surrounding cities (Bayamón, Guaynabo, Carolina, Caguas, Trujillo Alto, Humacao, to name a few) depend on our services. Nearly 8,200 residents registered a visit to our library in 2017, which is nearly the same number as in 2016. Congratulations to our Library on this number, as in 2017, our 30th year of operations, we also faced and survived Hurricanes Irma and Maria. While closed for six weeks after the storm and without electricity for five months, we recorded in 2017 nearly as many visitors as in the full calendar year 2016. Awesome! This kind of user-ship renews our commitment to provide our island with free access to the information in books and computers. We are also committed to providing our community with a lending library, digital branch, along with our programs and classes in an atmosphere that is comfortable and serviceable for our members, visitors and staff.

Please let us know of any activities that you would like to participate in or to offer here at San Juan Community Library. We also hope that you will consider helping us a few hours a week or every other week as a library volunteer. Our library functions with an excellent staff comprised completely of volunteers and a paid part time executive director. Your help makes a difference for the entire community. No experience is necessary. We will train you.  Just bring us your willing hands and heart. Thank you.

 

Connie Estades
Executive Director
San Juan Community Library

Visit us

From San Juan:

1. Take Highway 18 South to Highway 1 towards Caguas. Turn right at the first traffic light onto Apolo Avenue. The Library will be just ahead on your right. Parking for San Juan Community Library is at the park side of the building, turn right at the end of the wall and right again into the parking area.

2. Take Route 20, Martinez Nadal and exit at Calle Esmeralda (this is the exit after the one for Bayamon/Route 177).  Turn left at the traffic light and continue down Calle Esmeralda through three lights. At the end of the road, turn left onto Alejandrino, at the next light turn right onto Avenida Apolo. The Library is at the other end of the street, on the left, just after Second Union Church. Turn left between the Church and the Library to enter the parking lot.

3. From Route 177, Bayamon: You can exit at Martinez Nadal, stay on the marginal road to Esmeralda and follow the directions above. Or continue on Route 177 through several traffic lights. Continue past Walgreens and the Total Station and through the next traffic light. Turn right at the next light  -Sherwin Williams and Oriental Bank will be on your right. This is Avenida Alejandrino. Turn left at the first traffic light onto Avenida Apolo. The Library is at the other end of the street, on the left, just after Second Union Church. Turn between the Church and the Library to enter the parking area.

4. If you have already passed the Oriental Bank and the Sherwin Williams, take exit to Highway 1 Caguas on your right. Stay on the marginal road until the end, passing the Econo Supermarket, and then turn right onto Avenida Apolo. The Library will be just ahead on your right. Parking for San Juan Community Library is at the park side of the building, turn right at the end of the wall and right again into the parking area.

 

From Dorado and points West: Take Highway 22 to Highway 18 and follow directions #1 above; or, take Hwy 22 and continue through Buchanan Toll, take exit for Road 20, Martinez Nadal (second exit after toll) and follow directions #2 above.

Public transportation from Río Piedras: If you arrive at Río Piedras from the train, take the exit “A la Plaza,” and you will be across the street from where the bus will pick you up. Take the bus that says “Río Piedras-Caguas”. The cost is $1.75, and the bus driver can make change. The bus may make several loops through Río Piedras for more passengers before it leaves for Caguas.

The bus ride to the San Juan Community Library is approximately 10 -15 minutes. When you pass the Econo Supermarket on othe right, you know the NEXT stop is Parada 937, where you want to exit the bus. Proceed to the corner and turn to your right. The Library is at the next block, Avenida Apolo and Corner Topacio Street.

From Cupey Train Station: Take bus D13. On Route 1, after Econo Supermarket (on the right), get off at the next stop. Turn left and walk up the street. At the street light, turn right onto Apolo Avenue. The Library is at the next block, at the corner of Topacio Street.

 

Board of Directors

The 2017-2018 Board of Directors of San Juan Community Library are:

Directors:

Troy W. Fields - President
Claudio Reck - Vice President
Andrew Moore - Treasurer
Mainon Schwartz- Secretary

Members-at-Large:

Edwin I. Aquino
Nazli Iqbal
Joseph Martinez
Sylvia Olmos
Joe Sampson
Gustavo Vélez
Marcus Vidal-Gámbaro

Consultants:

Sherman Wildman
William Riefkohl

Terms are held for one year and board members are elected at our annual Members’ meeting, held in June. Board meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month, except June and July. Input from members and community users is always invited, in written form one week prior to meetings. We welcome new board members who are committed to working for our library’s continued development as Puerto Rico’s leading lending library with a variety of activities.

The Executive Director of the Library is Connie Estades. Our excellent staff is composed of volunteers dedicated to community service and the continued growth of our library.

Volunteers may give their time in a variety of ways: data entry, cataloging, shelving books, computer assistance to patrons, technology support, check-in and out of materials, property maintenance, fundraising, and other vital functions. Call or email us if you would like to help.

If you would like to reach any of the above people, please use the e-mail link below and put the name of the person you would like to direct the e-mail to in the subject line. Your message will be forwarded.San Juan Community Library would like to thank Richard Holm of Caribbean Consulting and library member/volunteer/webmaster María Viñas for their donation of time, talent, and dedication to the vital upkeep of our website. Gratitude also to library member Erika Rodriguez for her invaluable assistance with current changes.