Published: Oct. 1, 2020

TSLAC Funds Laredo Public Libraries’ Build a Better Book Project

Jackie holding a hand crafted image of the Princess and the Pea fairy taleThe Laredo Public Libraries were awarded $10,000 for a Build a Better Book Project through the TSLAC Texas Reads Grant for FY 2021. This grant funds programs that encourage people to read and develop a lifelong love of reading. The Laredo Public Libraries will use the funds to purchase a 3D Printer, laser cutter, and 3D pens to teach teen and adult volunteers technology skills and expose them to STEM careers as they design and create accessible, multi-modal picture books, graphics and games that can be seen, touched and heard. Participants will create these kits for the Webb County community--some of which will be used in-house or checked-out from the Laredo Public Libraries by patrons with visual impairments as well as other physical and learning disabilities.

Librarians Analiza Perez-Gomez and Jacqueline Flores Vela were trained in Build a Better Book methods at the University of Colorado Boulder in January 2020 and received a variety of tools to enhance reading experiences including braille slates, a 3D Pen, and a Makey Makey circuit board. Being one of two Texas locations selected to be part of the Build a Better Book Network, they were immediately inspired to take the project to the next level.  Analiza commented, “I love technology, and I had been looking for a way to use technology in a meaningful, humanistic way. The Build a Better Book Workshop helped me see that ‘making with meaning’ could benefit those who need and deserve to have reading experiences in their full potency.” Jacqueline added, “This project is going to help both the patrons who are creating the accessible books, and the patrons using them.  It will make reading fun for everyone regardless of their abilities or reading level.” Workshops will begin in January 2021 and registration will be available on the Laredo Public Library website at You may also call Analiza or Jacqueline at 956-795-2400 for more information.

This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services and Texas State Library and Archives Commission (Grant Number TXR-21006). (2021)