Wednesday, January 14th
at 11:00 am
Sala Quetzal La Biblioteca Publica (Public Library)
Filmmaker Oliver Stone has made a dramatic thriller about the most famous and controversial whistle blower of our time: Edward Snowden. What Snowden revealed to the public was the massive surveillance the US government engaged in against its own citizens, as well as foreign leaders. Snowden made us aware of the extent to which the NSA was violating Fourth Amendment protections against “unreasonable search”. There is no longer privacy when Big Brother is watching. The 2016 Russian hacking of emails pales by comparison.
Is Snowden a patriot or a traitor? Some members of Congress have called for his assassination. Others call him a hero who bravely risked all to uphold the Constitution. What is the responsibility of the individual when faced with his government’s violation of the law or of conscience? This is a question many are facing today.
The library has thrived and grown through the generous gift of time and money by members of the community, and as is still the case, has relied for the past 50 years on the continued financial support of the people in San Miguel de Allende. The Biblioteca wishes to thank all of the generous persons, groups and companies for their donations of time and money. The library began in a private home in 1954 and moved in 1958 to its current location at Insurgentes 25. This year, the Biblioteca is celebrating its 50th anniversary at this address and will offer a series of special events. Aside from its holdings of more than 60,000 volumes in Spanish, English, German or French and its many lecture, film and theater events, the library grants scholarships to young students and offers cultural activities.
If you wouldn’t normally include a library on your vacation itinerary, you might want to reconsider when you’re in San Miguel. The city’s Public Library has an extensive collection of both Spanish- and English-language books and films, and offers a quiet respite from the sights and sounds of the city. In 1954, Canadian expat Helen Wale invited Mexican children to read through a collection of magazines in her home. Soon, the volume of visitors outgrew the space. In 1958, the library moved to its current location in an 18th-century building several blocks north of El Jardin in central San Miguel. Today, in addition to its abundant bilingual media, the library offers free classes for children on subjects like computers, painting and piano. The library also hosts cultural events and English-language tours that guide visitors through the neighborhood’s colonial architecture. Inside the library, you’ll find a courtyard cafe (good for a quick bite) and the Santa Ana Theatre, which shows international films and hosts concerts by San Miguel’s popular musicians. With its large number of events, the site has become a cultural artery for residents and visitors alike. “This is more than a library. It’s a memorable gathering point for Spanish and English speakers of all ages to share books, chess, movies, music and food,” one TripAdvisor reviewer wrote. The library is open to the public Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Guided house and garden tours operate on Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon; the two-hour tour costs 150 MXN (about $12 USD) per person. Tickets can be purchased at library’s Ticket Center.
Fees: $70.00 MXN