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Missionaries help library

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Missionaries are participating in a huge volunteer effort at the Ponce Art Museum Library to prepare periodicals, catalogs, pamphlets and books of art pictures and information for public use.

"We have come such a long way because of the willing service given so freely by these young people," said Joan Sambol¬Ěn, library supervisor.

Since the project began in September 2002, 47 missionaries have given about 10,000 hours on the project.

Inga Rodriguez, who works at the library, said that with the missionaries' help the project has moved two years ahead of schedule.

As part of the project, to which many missionaries dedicate two hours a week, they have carried boxes, moved bookshelves, organized rooms of materials, and even worked in the museum office. However, most the missionaries' time has been spent in the library, writing by hand titles and required information onto cards so they can be entered into a computer system.

Two collections of 700 books, one donated by Don Luis A. Ferre, founder of the museum and former governor of Puerto Rico, and another 600 items recently donated by the late Dr. Rene Taylor, are part of the project. To date, 500 of the first collection of 700 books has been entered into the computer database, an accomplishment library personnel say would be impossible without the missionaries.

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