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Photos > Modern Portraits

submitted by Stephen Trifyllis on 14.05.2014

'' memories ''

the 'pappa' from agios theodoros shows me photos from his recent trip to Australia .. he asked me to give regards to all the people who gave him the lovely thoughts and wishes he received from his trip down under... and he wants Queensland to win 9 years state of origins in a row !! .. no only joking !!

Photos > Modern Portraits

submitted by Stephen Trifyllis on 28.05.2014

'' last lap ''

mayor koukoulis walks through his village after the icon had passed logothetianika, he walks alone and it could be the trend of the up coming local elections .. we wish him all the best .. for a second term .. ...up date.. now the deposed mayor of the island after the latest island elections...

Photos > Modern Portraits

submitted by Kytherian World Heritage Fund on 22.03.2014

One Year on Kythera book-Beauty and Beast

A sample page from the book One Year on Kythera, photographs by Kristina Williamson

Photos > Modern Portraits

submitted by Kytherian World Heritage Fund on 22.03.2014

One Year on Kythera book-Kostas

A sample page from the book One Year on Kythera, photographs by Kristina Williamson

Photos > Modern Portraits

submitted by Kytherian World Heritage Fund on 05.12.2013

Photograph from Kristina Williamson's One Year on Kythera

Author: Kristina Williamson

When Published: 2013

Edition: 1st English/Greek Edition, 2013

Publisher: Kytherian World Heritage Fund

Available: Available from the Kytherian World Heritage Fund, and the Kytherian Association in Australia.

George C. Poulos: 02 93888320

Email George Poulos

Email Angelo Notaras

Order more of the 30+ books from the KWHF catalogue by downloading the Order Form, here:

/download/Book_Order_Form.pdf

Kytherian Association of Australia, Book Orders

or Email Administration, Kytherian Association of Australia

In early 2014 will be available in the United States of America, and on Kythera. Contact Kristina Williamson, by email</a> or <a href="mailto:stathatos@arkiotis.com">John Stathatos, by email.

Keep up-to-date with events surrounding the book by visiting, http://1yearonkythera.blogspot.com.au/

Description:
Photographs by Kristina Williamson.
Book design by Lean Koransky and Anthony Scerri
Foreword translated by John Stathatos
All other translations by Despina Christodoulou

ISBN: 978-0-9872473-1-5

“Few young artists have the depth of artistic vision that informs Ms. Williamson’s photography. Her images are complex and sophisticated psychological essays. Her photographic record of island life and society is a study crucial to its history and serves as comparison in determining both the changes and the survival of the island’s social and geographic landscapes.”

Artemis Zenetou, Executive Director, Fulbright Foundation - Greece

The Story

One Year on Kythera is a photographic documentary of the Greek island of Kythera, its inhabitants and its culture. With the help of a J. William Fulbright grant, I was able to spend over one calendar year living and photographing on this beautiful island.

Over the years, Kythera has suffered from massive waves of emigration of its people abroad to the point of near depopulation. These mass migrations caused the population of Kythera to drop from about 13,000 at the beginning of the twentieth century to a current mid-winter population of 2,500, leaving entire villages stripped of younger generations and some completely abandoned. To the remaining Kytherians, these deserted homes and communities stand as visual reminders of a society once unified by tradition now transformed by ambitions of a different life abroad.

One Year on Kythera is a contemporary look into the lives of those who have chosen to remain on the island: what ways they maintain a traditional way of life and in what ways their lifestyles are changing.

I would like to extend my most sincere thanks to the people of Kythera who warmly accepted me into their community, lives, and homes, and to the J. William Fulbright Foundation, whose generous grant made this project possible.

Books and photo prints will be available for purchase via this website and other fine retailers in January 2014. Please sign up for our mailing list to stay up to date with the tour.

Kristina Williamson. Biography

KRISTINA WILLIAMSON is an American artist born in Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania in 1980. In 2003, Williamson graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York with a BFA in photography and in 2004 was awarded a Fulbright grant to photograph life on the Greek island of Kythera. Her work has been showcased in solo exhibitions in Greece, New York, and Washington D.C., as well as various group exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad. Williamson currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
www.kristinawilliamson.com

May I photograph you?

I remember the first time I asked this question. It was in Perlegkianika, a village near where I was living on the Greek island of Kythera. I was walking through on my way home when I saw an old man and woman sitting together by a grey stone wall. They were both wearing similar blue-grey outfits and sitting there so peacefully that they seemed almost a part of the wall itself. I asked if I could photograph them. They nodded. The woman was Stavroula; we were to meet many times after that first encounter, and I photographed her often. Each time I passed through the village she would come out of her house and either take me for a walk to show me something or invite me in to offer some eggs or tomatoes.

Another remarkable woman I met in Perlegkianika was Theochari, of the Blue Garage photograph on the cover of this book. When we first met, I understood only a few words of Greek, but she did not seem to mind. She would invite me into her home, make me lunch, and show me photographs of her family. We somehow arranged that I should drive her to the nearby market on Sundays to sell vegetables from her garden. Seated together on a bench in the square, she gave me a running commentary—of which I understood only fragments—on the goings-on and passersby. At day’s end, we’d pack up and I would be sent home with all the remaining vegetables.

I came to Kythera because I wanted to tell the story of life on the island. Over the years, hope for better opportunities drove many Kytherians to emigrate, leaving behind a dwindling population. I was interested in those who chose to remain on Kythera, and the intermingling of traditional and contemporary cultures reflected in their daily activities, homes, possessions, and surrounding environments.

Inevitably, I would also be telling a story about my experiences on the island. I remember being worried at first. What if I can’t do this project? I had made the decision to come and photograph life on this island, but what if the people concerned did not want to be photographed? I soon discovered that the Kytherians were in fact far more interested in hearing my own story and finding out what brought me to their island. They barely noticed I was shooting in between questions: “What village are you from? What are you doing here? You are not Greek? Why Kythera? Are you married? You are here alone? Will you stay for dinner? You will stay for dinner.”

Although it was my first time in Greece, I remember how strangely familiar the island seemed to me. Certainly Kythera was a big contrast to my life in New York, but it was not all that different from the small town in Pennsylvania where I grew up. Although I did not recognize faces right away, I was recognizing characters which were instantly familiar, perhaps because they reminded me of people from my hometown. Michalis from the gas station near Potamos (who repaired my tires at least once every couple of weeks) shared a disposition with Johnny, my hometown cobbler.

I spent countless hours with Kytherians of every age and degree. That they often spoke few words of English and that my Greek lacked fluency seemed largely inconsequential at the time. I found that, by way of our mutual intrigue and curiosity, I had unwittingly become a part of their community. Such exchanges of interest, generosity, and affection allowed me to indeed capture daily life on the island. Through this work, I had wanted to share the island’s story in photographs, but the Kytherians had larger plans, accepting me warmly into their community, lives, and homes.

Everyone I met on Kythera assured me that I would remain forever: I would be one of those who came to the island on holiday and never left. In a way, they were right. Though I no longer live on Kythera, I still retain a deep love for the island and continue to return. On Kythera, time moves more slowly. There is time to be with friends and family. Time to dance. Time to witness the drama of the tides rolling in, the clouds rolling out, and the intensity of summer reverberating off white-washed walls. These images of an island and its inhabitants are a celebration of a place which changed me and which is itself, however slowly but inevitably, subject to change.

From the National Herald

Fulbright Best and Brightest from the Arts, Science, Research, Law

WILLIAMSON, KRISTINA
Photographer
(Fulbright in 2004/2005, from U.S.)


“I arrived on the Greek island of Kythera in August 2004, a 24-year old American photographer not knowing a single person and not speaking Greek,” writes Brooklyn based Williamson in her statement of purpose about her Fulbright experience.

The Pennsylvania-born Fine Arts graduate of Parsons School of Design embarked on a life-changing experience in Kythera, focusing on the islanders who had remained after the mass immigration exodus from the island in past years – as well as on new arrivals. Her eye and lens captured a lot in her time there – which ultimately was a year and a half.

Kythera Photographic Encounters

Founder/photographer John Stathatos notes that she retained an outsider observer’s perspective, lauding her work with all of Kythera’s inhabitants: “...she was easily accepted by these groups and hence able to record, with discretion but also considerable empathy, both private and public moments of their lives.” Otherworldly color and texture is captured - whether in moody water/landscapes, still portraits of people’s backs or frank fronts (as that of a woman with a stuffed Tweetie bird which hung in her stark bedroom), community action shots (such as an Annunciation Day cross dive) – with both familiar, lived-in elderly bodies and unpredictable children’s gestures alike.

Williamson’s time on the island resulted in solo exhibitions in Kythera, The Greek Consulate in New York, as well as the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in DC. The One Year in Kythera images can be found on her website www.kristinawilliamson.com.

She went on to take part in group exhibits in New York, Miami, Hollywood (CA) as well as a solo exhibit at the Brooklyn’s Insest Gallery. She received the Jeunes Talents 2009 award, where emerging U.S. photographers photograph France.

Photos > Modern Portraits

submitted by Kythera Library on 05.11.2013

Architect Elias Vassiliadis, and Building Supervisor, Refaat Khalil

....on site of Kytherian Municipal Library, August 2013. They are discussing how they are going to ensure that all the water drains correctly away from the main building and is carried off the site.

Kytherian Municipal Library

The kythera-family.net, Main Page

See also, www.facebook.com/KytheraLibrary.

This facebook site is devoted to the new public library in the village of Kontolianika, which amongst other services is running a paperback exchange scheme. The library is staffed by volunteers. Opening times are: 6-8 pm except for Sundays & Tuesdays, and 10.00-3.00 pm Saturdays.

DONATIONS to the Kytherian Municipal Library

The Kytherian Municipal Library requires ongoing financial assistance, in order to continue to provide the high level of service that it has instigated over the past few years.

If you wish to donate to this extrordinary Kytherian public resource, you can deposit funds directly into:

National Bank of Greece
ΠΟΛΙΤΙΣΤΙΚΗ ΕΤΑΙΡΕΙΑ ΚΥΘΗΡΩΝ
GR28 0110 3800 0000 3802 9603 891
Swift - Bic: ETHNGRAA

In Australia, contact George Poulos.
George Poulos, email
Or, phone, Sydney, (02) 93888320

In America, contact Vikki Vrettos Fraioli, Corresponding Secretary of the Kytherian Society of California (KSOCA):
Vikki Vrettos Fraioli, email

Where is the Library located?

The Kytherian Municipal Library

The Kytherian Municipal Library. The sunshine version .

The Municipal Library of Kythera is located just off the central road through Kythera. If you take the Ayios Ilias turn off, it is the first building you see on your right hand side.

Ayios Elias turnoff to the Kytherian Municipal Library

The Library is located near the centre of the island. In the map provided, it's exact position is the dot "i" in the word Kondelianika - just a little below where the bottom edge of the letter "L" spells "Lib" for "Library, in blue.

Location of the Municipal Library of Kythera

To gain a clearer picture download a .pdf of the map here:

MAP Location of Municipal Library of Kythera Lib.pdf

Interior of the Library

The main room in the Kytherian Muncipal Library

The main library room is spacious, and houses many significant books. The shelving continues around all walls in the main room. The shelving depicted was provided by Kytherians from California. The full story of how Cynthia Cavalenes helped organise a container of shelving to be delivered from the Alhambra Municipality to Kythera is related below in this entry.

The Childrens Library is the first narrow room to the left as you enter the Kytherian Municipal Library

The Childrens Library is the first narrow room to the left as you enter the Kytherian Municipal Library.

It contains many of the books that formed the Children's Library at Livathi, which had to unfortunately close down. This childrens library has been resurrected within the Kytherian Municipal Library. Children borrow books form this library consistently. They also attend in sizable school groups and undertake various activities. In this photograph the library has been set up for "chess classes"..

The Archive and storage room of the Kytherian Municpal Library. It lies on the left hand side as you first enter the Library. (Opposite the Children's Library). In October 2013 a door was placed in this room. The room also contains a steel shelving unit, to house more valuable books, files and archives. In October 2013 the precious Koksma archive was placed there.

A storage room (apothiki) has been constructed on the eastern (Ayios Elias) side of the Library. It has a sloping roof down to the exterior fence wall. This is the view from the exterior of the storage room.

This is the entry and passageway into the large storage room in the Kytherian Municipal Library. It opens up into a much larger space in the farthest / northern part of the room.

The storage room is quite spacious. It is a very necessary area of the building, as more and more persons are donating books to the Library.

Well appointed toilets have been constructed next to the large storage room. One of them caters to diabled persons. An wheelchair access ramp to the tiolets was built during the August 2013 renovation of the building.

Donated books awaiting cataloguing. Now that the Library has been established to a very high standard, Kytherians and Athenians are donating superior books in large quantities. It is anticipated that this trend will continue.

Refurbishment and transformation of the Library. August 2013

The transformation was undertaken with the generous assitance of the Nicholas Anthony Aroney Trust, and the Kytherian Association of Australia, (KAA) both located in Sydney, Australia, and the Kytherian Society of California (KSOCA), based in Los Angeles, USA.

New marble signs, written in both Greek and English announce the opening of the Kytherian Municipal Library

New marble signs, written in both Greek and English announce the opening of the Kytherian Municipal Library in 2012. Note the freshly painted walls. Painting was undertaken in the summer of 2013.

The courtyard of the Municipal Library in 2011-June 2013, in need of refurbishment

The courtyard as it existed 2011- April 2013, was grossly inadequate. It discouraged persons attending the Library at all.

Superb end product following the refurbishment of the rear courtyard of the Kytherian Municipal Library

The courtyard after the refurbishment of August 2013. This is the view from the rear door to the archway on the eastern wall. The condition of the courtyard now is a great improvement to the state of the courtyard as it existed in the years leading up to mid-2013.

Looking over the beautifully constructed eastern wall into the courtyard

View of the courtyard facing the township of Ayios Elias. The pergola has been constructed on the northern wall.

Pergola against the northern wall in the courtyard of the Kytherian Municipal Library

The pergola on the northern wall of the courtyard. This has been equipped with electrical power and lighting, and can now be used for evening cultural events and performances.

The indefatigable volunteers

The opening of the Library has been a great source of pride for residents of the island, as well as those living in the Kytherian diaspora.

The Library functions because of the dedication of a number of volunteers. Two of the main "drivers" have been John Stathatos and Dimitris Koutrafouris.

John Stathatos (centre) introducing Professor and Mrs George Huxley to the library during the course of their 2013 visit to the island

Dimitris Koutrafouris is an extremely dedicated volunteer to the Kytherian Municipal Library

Dimitris Koutrafouris is very dedicated to the Library, and spends innumerable hours there. Here he is entering details about a book into the Central catalogue. Many persons are donating books to the Library in large quantities.

Other volunteers who work tirelessly include, Sara Scopsi-Tzanne, Yianna Karavokyri, Heleni Rousketou, and Fotini Yiamtsidou.

These volunteers are assisted by Maria Lourantou (teacher in Chora Primary School), Heleni Drivakou (teacher in Potamos Primary School), Maria Lepoura (chess teacher), Sofia Nezi and Alex Veneris.

Note that the volunteers conceive the function of Library to be much more than a mere lending library. In addition it will act as a research institution, and a centre of culture for the island of Kythera, fostering, art, theatre, poetry, photography, and audiovisual creativity, amongst other activities. The Library is also heavily integrated with the schools on the island, providing a venue for many school students activities, as can be evidenced by photographs that appear later in this entry. Above all the volunteers want the Library to be "zodino" (alive) - a place where multifarious activities occur on an on-going basis.

Summer 2013 building developments. How the renovations and transformation occurred.

It was decided in 2012, that the exterior of the Library needed a good makeover and landscaping.

Design for the courtyard of the Kythera Municipal Library

The design depicted was created pro bono by architect Elias Vassiliadis.

Download a .pdf of the landscaping plan here:

SXOLEIO KONTOLIANIKA.pdf

Architect Elias Vassiliadis, Engineer, Ioannis Skinna, George Poulos, and Building Supervisor, Refaat Khalil

Ioannis Skinna also offered his services for free. In addition to those in the photograph above, all stages of the work was supervised by Mayor Theothoris Koukoulis, and Deputy-Mayor, Michaelis Protopsaltis, John Stathatos, Director of the Kytherian Cultural Association, and Library Chairman, Dimitris Koutrafouris, manager of the National Bank of Greece, in Potamos.

Grammos re-building the piers for the pergola in the courtyard of the Kythera Municipal Library

Master tradesman Grammos had to rebuild the original columns for the pergola from the start.

Architect, Elias Vassiliadis, incorporated the inspired idea of incorporating a "bezoula" in the courtyard. Visitors to the courtyard automatically gravitate to the "bezoula" and inevitably sit on it. It will also be useful as extra sitting space for both day and nightime events which will be held in the Library's courtyard.

The "bezoula" (sitting bench) being built. The large construction team worked efficiently and quickly to refurbish the courtyard. .

The Library Committee decided to lay "coritzo" in the courtyard. The finish is aesthetically beautiful and will last a long time.

Laying the "coritzo'' tiles in the courtyard of the Kytherian Municipal Library

Laying the "coritzo'' tiles in the courtyard of the Kytherian Municipal Library 2

Laying the "coritzo'' tiles in the courtyard of the Kytherian Municipal Library 3

The old iron, rusty and dangerous ironwork on the southern wall (closest to camera) was removed, and a stone wall, in keeping with other walls around the exterior of the Library, constructed in it's place.

The ironwork wall as it existed (all the way along the Eastern wall), before the August 2013 renovation of Kytherian Municipal Library

The vegetation from the adjoining block, that had overgrown this wall was removed, at the same time as the iron fence top. One of the advantages of this action, was that the owner of the neighbouring, Panayotis Defterevos (Panayotis Rent A Car), upon seeing his property cleared and levelled out, very kindly offered the very sizable adjoining space as a car park, to cater for events that will be staged at the Library in the future.

Orestes performing the difficult task of affixing a gutter to the Kytherian Municipal Library

Orestes performing the difficult task of affixing a gutter to the Kytherian Municipal Library. The building had been constructed and maintained without a gutter to take water away from the walls. This would have caused inevitable dampness problems inside the building in due course.

Note that the paint work on the walls is of a very low standard. The entire Library was re-painted during August 2013, which enhanced the aesthetic and water-proofing capacity of the building immeasurably.

2012-2013

Dimitris Koutrafouris, Spokesman for the Library, and Manager of the National Bank of Greece, Hora, Kythera. Long term vision for the island, and a deep thank you to the volunteers


It is always a shame when a school is forced to close. But there is always a sense of triumph when a school, like the closed Primary School in Kontolianika, finds an “adaptive re-use”, and reopens. Over the month of May 2013, all the necessary preparations for the establishment and operation of a Public Library on Kythera were completed. After a long period of prevarication, a firm commitment was finally made to establish of a large public library in the centre of the island. That has been achieved as a result of persistent and optimistic efforts of various political and cultural entities on the island, as well as individuals associated with those entities. The Library, in addition to promoting the love of books will perform broader educational missions. This cultural coalition has effectively combined their efforts, powers, intentions, desires, skills and resources for the benefit of the island.

The Library had been administered from September 2012, by the municipal clerk Calliope Kasimati, from the Graduate School of Management of Cultural Resources at the University of Peloponnese. Her appointment was a temporary one. During her tenure she was assisted by an informal and ever-expanding group of volunteers. They arrived unsolicited and ‘magically” grew in number. Working together, these volunteers will ensure that the Library will stay open, irrespective of national and local economic developments, and municipal affairs.

The volunteer’s first task was to organise the seven thousand volumes which occupied the large, single classroom, as well as numerous forgotten books still packed away in boxes. These had come into the possession of the municipality from 14 November 2011, after the Children’s and Adolescent Library in Livadi closed down. They had been packed away properly, and have been rescued from the ravages of moisture, dust and rodents. The losses have been reduced to a minimum.

The volunteers have already completed the registration, sorting, restoration and classification of books. This has been achieved by “working overtime”, including performing extra work every Saturday. The work has been undertaken with big dreams, unexpected improvisations, and with the enthusiastic assistance of volunteers, teachers and children.

Children unpacking and enjoying the books

Other students in advanced countries with a rich educational and cultural heritage enjoy the privilege of libraries as a ‘given’, and a right. They benefit greatly as a result of having access to public libraries. We, in the circumstances that we find ourselves in, on our favourite little island, have had to struggle to achieve the same privileges. This need to build up the Library ‘from scratch’ has made us appreciate what we have achieved so much more. Working together we will find a way to turn previous shortcomings into creative power. It is not often that people are given the opportunity to become a pioneers, patrons and participants in the birth of such an exalted and beautiful institution.

Children undertake many activities at the Library

Children performing school work at the Library. Children undertake many activities here, that they would otherwise not be encouraged to perform.

Young Kytherians learning chess at the Library

Young Kytherians learning how to play chess, under the tutelage of Dimitris Koutrafouris.

Children enjoy playing with an Ipad in the Library

The Kytherian Association of Australia (KAA) donated six Ipads for Kytherian children to use in the Library.

It is not all play for the children. They also help to run and maintain the Library. Here children help to sort and stack books for the Children's Library.

Fall 2013

for the Group of Volunteers

The Municipal Library of Kythera

Dimitris Koutrafouris

See also, April 2013 Report by George C Poulos. George is an Honorary Member of the Friends of Kythera Library

Re-design of the Courtyard - 2012-2013

One of the "finishing touches" that needs to be completed is the re-design of the external (back) courtyard. Architect Elias Vassiliadis has very kindly drawn up - free of charge - a plan drawn for the library grounds. The cost estimate for the work is approximately 11,000 euro's. The Library Committee and overseas friends hope to secure the money, fairly quickly, so they can put this work out to tender.

The design is elegant. There will be two alternative specifications for the covered area at the back, (6), one calling for a lightweight wood and bamboo pergola, and the other for a more substantial tiled roof; this will require two alternative cost figures. One substantially higher than the other. In either case, the covered area will be open at the front and sides.

The curved wall (1) will be of roughly dressed stone with a smooth upper surface, 50 cm high, so as to provide extra seating. Between this low wall and the boundary wall will be an area for planting, as will be area (3) alongside the access path.

Area (2), under the pergola and in front of the steps leading up to the library, will be smooth concrete, probably with some stone and terracotta decorative elements. Likewise the approach path, (4).

The main area of the courtyard, (5) will be fine gravel over a base layer of coarse gravel. Not only is this a lot cheaper and more environmentally friendly than concreting everything, it also allows for natural drainage. If, instead, we were to concrete or seal the entire area, we would also have to provide for underground drainage. Insulated electrical outlets and water points will be provided along the perimeter wall.

The Library Committe, and overseas Friends have also asked for estimates for the provision of guttering for the main building, including buried drainage of the runoff.

2011

A Municipal Library. Considered critical infrastructure in most countries in the world.


The new municipal library is planned to open in Kondeleanika, Kythera. It is fully refurbished, and ready to be "fitted out" to fulfill its purpose - to become the first accessible lending library on the island of Kythera for 6,000 years.

The problem seems to be that Municipality of Kythera, has run out of money to equip it properly.

In Greece, Provinces (States) and the National government take no economic responsibility for local Libraries. This is a tragedy.

In 'western' countries such as Australia, America & Canada, and most countries in Europe, Asia, North & South America, all small communities and all small townships maintain a Local Lending Library. There is no town with a population of 3,300, the population of Kythera, that does not have a well established and equipped library, in place.

The citizens of a town of this size would not tolerate not having an operational Library. It would be considered unacceptable, and prejudicial to their children's future.

The Americans enter the campaign:

A group of Americans, under the leadership of Cynthia Cavalenes-Jarvis of Alhambra, California which is located in the western San Gabriel Valley region of Los Angeles County, California, were inspired by Kythera's Mayor, Theodore Koukoulis to provide shelving for the library. Cynthia, her two sisters (Candace Weiss and Toni Cavalenes) and her cousin (Kendra Rosner) met the Mayor in September 2008 while visiting in the Municipality of Kythera building. This meeting was arranged through George Poulos, Public Relations Officer of the Kytherian Association of Australia, and Trustee of the Kytherian World Heritage Fund. At that meeting Cynthia inquired what the needs of Kythera are and the Mayor responded "bookshelves" for the proposed library.

Cynthia organised the financing for the Bookshelves Project in the USA, and George Poulos, under the auspices of the Kytherian World Heritage Fund, organised funds in Australia. By May 2009, Cynthia could report "that we have come a long way in the fund raising. If everyone that committed funds comes through we have raised $6,460. That leaves us with a need for $1,540 more for shipping plus the cost of the container, $2,500. I have no doubt we will get there. We still have some fund raising events up our sleeves, but I haven't had time to work on them just yet".

By the end of the Bookshelves Project she could report with some pride: "This project certainly does qualify as "great." If it did not, we would not have had so many people and organizations supporting it. We have had eight organizations (and their members) including Soroptimist International of Alhambra-San Gabriel-San Marino, Rotary International of Alhambra, KAA, KSOC, KSNY, AHEPA, Daughters of Penelope of Santa Barbara, two companies (providing in-kind assistance) and over fifty individuals (including a film/television celebrity) who have donated to this cause. I think as a grass roots project, that speaks volumes."

Just days after returning from her first visit to Kythera, Cynthia found the inspiraation for this project. During the ribbon cutting ceremony for the City of Alhambra's new municipal library, she realized that the City (where she works) may no longer need the bookshelves that remained in the decommissioned old library and that there could be an oppotunity to obtain some of them for Kythera's proposed library of which Mayor Koukoulis had spoken.

Photographs of the shelving in situ in California

Although locating bookshelves and obtaining them may appear to be an easy task, the bureaucratic red tape involved in obtaining property belonging to a municipality can be quite daunting. In January 2009, Cynthia reported: "I just received a message from the Director of Public Works who states that used bookshelves do not have much value on the auction market and are only worth about $120 per ton for the recycled steel, minus the agents commission. The shelves will have to be declared surplus and of no significant value, at which time I will be able to obtain them for Kythera for the suggested price of $1 per shelf unit. I accepted that price without hesitation. It might only cost about $100 to purchase the shelves.

I have a tentative February 10th presentation date with the Rotary to see if they will assist in this project. Also, since I am a member of the Soroptimists of Alhambra-San Gabriel-San Marino, I might be able to convince them to help with the project. The shipping might cost about $10,000 and the soroptimists' help in fundraising will be invaluable. I'll know more after the presentations.

The City is anxious to mobilize removal of the shelves, so as I expected, I am under a tight timeframe to move them out of the old library."

Cynthia also faced numerous additional logistical challenges.
A. How to remove the shelving units from the old Alhambra Library, and where to store them?

In August 2009 Cynthia reported "We don't have the container yet. Half the shelves are stored indoors at a warehouse that belongs to a Rotarian and half are stored in my backyard (It's summer here so it's alright & they are covered). But they have to be moved before the rains come.

The City didn't want volunteers to dismantle the shelves in the City owned library building for liability reasons, so City staff moved them out of the library, but they cannot be stored on City property. It took a crew of six people a week to dismantle and bundle the components for the shelves. They transported them to Al's Towing in Alhambra where they are stored until we can shiip them.

It took a huge effort to get the shelves dismantled and into storage and it was very chaotic. I left someone else in charge who's concept differred from mine. Once I inventoried the equipment, I found that we didn't have the proper number and size of shelves to go with the respective frames so another work party was dispatched (2 more days) to go back into the old library to gather the pieces we were missing. The second batch was transported to my backyard. Another tricky piece of the puzzle - now that the shelves are out of the old library, City staff can't be used to load the container. A local church that has offered help from their youth group, but volunteer labor can be unpredictable and I am worried about the continuity of the project. Although many of the staff that have been working on this project might offer to volunteer to load the container, as the director of the department for which they work I can't allow that because it could be perceived as coercion from me. So the Soroptimists will provide a stipend to them (funded through the fundraising effort) for their work. One of the staff happens to also work for a shipping company. He has experience organizing the loading of containers. I have asked him (on behalf of the Soroptimists) to be the lead person in the task of loading of the container. So between the City staff who are familiar with the project and the volunteers from the church the container will be properly loaded.

I won't lie, it's been a difficult project. I've lost a lot of sleep over the whole thing. The nice thing is that all of these people really are dedicated to the project, so I know they will come through. I am trying to get the shelves shipped in the next couple of weeks, but I can't bring the container into the warehouse until we are ready to ship because of the inconvenience it will cause the warehouse owner. Now that I am telling the shipper I'm ready to move forward, I am getting frustrating information from them."

B. Will it be better to own the shipping container the shelves are to be sent in, or just use the one provided by the shipper?

One of Cynthia's contacts advised her that "most people don't own the container. I think there is more paperwork involved and it might be more work to pass through Customs. So I think shippers don't want to deal with that and try to discourage it."

Although there would be no additonal charge to use a container provided by the international shipping company, once the container arrived in Pireaus the load would have to moved to another container (at a cost to the project for the labor to do so) because the international shipper did not service Kythera and for liablity reasons could not allow their container to be loaded onto another vessel. The cost of shipping from Pireaus to Kythera would be $1,500 U.S. Once the container arrived on Kythera it would have to be immediately unloaded and returned to the vessel. Any additional time on the island would result in a rental charge for the container. The transport of the emplty container back to Pireaus would cost an additional $1,500 U.S. After extensive research, Cynthia located a "sea worthy" container with the appropriate inspection certificate at a cost of $2,500 U.S. Determining that the cost of transferring the load in Piraeus, potentially paying rent while the container was on Kythera and shipping the container back to Piraeus could be just as costly and possibly more costly, than purchasing the container outright, Cynthia decided purchasing the container was the better choice.

C. Can a free or inexpensive location be found to store the shelves until they could be shipped?

If storage space had to be rented it would prove costly. Ultimately space in a warehouse in Alhambra was donated by Rotarian, Al Pavone, owner of Al's Towing which had limited indoor space that could be used to store the shelves. This saved a tremendous amount of money since the shelves were in storage for approximately six months before they could be shipped. "We are finalizing our inventory to see what components we still need to get from the old library before we ship. We have been authorized to go back into the building and take whatever we still need. We are in really good shape. It looks like we have about 30-eight foot long wall sections, about 25-eight foot long free standing double sided sections, and 2-eight foot long display/counter units. The next hurdle will be weight. these bookshelves are steel. They are HEAVY!!! Hopefully we will be able to send the whole lot.

I can't tell you how many people have asked if they could go Kythera to help reassemble the bookshelves on the island. I told the staff that disassembled them that I'm sure they would be welcome, but they would have to fund their own way there. I'm attaching a photo of the crew with some of the dismantled shelves in the background.

Everyone is really excited about this project!"

Vikki Vrettos Fraioli posted an extended report on the Message Board, 31.05.2009.

The Shelving project was reported in the kythera-family Newsletter in June, 2009 , and July, 2009

John Stathatos acts as the Kytherian connection

John Stathatos is a great advocate for Hellenic and Kytherian culture on the island. He is the Director of the Kythera Cultural Association. John has been engaged in numerous cultural Projects, such as Photographic Encounters, and the restoration of the Fatseas collection of photographs, which were featured in a Benaki Museum exhibition.

He is a great advocate for the Municipal Library.
In October 2009, he wrote to Cindy and George advising / asking that:

1. You may add my name to any document. My address is Strapodi, Chora, Kythera 80100.
2. The container will be unloaded alongside or behind the new municipal library in Agios Elias, Kythera.
3. There is equipment on the island to unload the container. I will try to find out the cost, and can probably get it done for free, but I obviously need a few days to get the details.
4. Has Tina (Anoni) chosen a haulage company to carry the container from Piraeus to Kythera? If not, I might be able to get a discount rate from a local trucking company. Again, I would need till Monday or Tuesday to confirm this.
5. I saw the mayor today and brought him up to date.
6. Do we have even a very rough ballpark figure for arrival on Kythera?

On the 12th January, 2010, the shelving arrived on Kythera, and was unpacked on the same day, and packed away safely in the Library at Kontolianika.

John Stathatos announced:

"As it happened, the right crane to offload the whole container was out of commission. Fortunately work had finished on the inside of the library, which is nice and dry, so I got the municipality to provide some labour, and we got everything unloaded in a couple of hours.

Above, are couple of photos; we’ll take more when it comes time to assemble the shelves. (See below).

Congratulations on completing the final lap of your grand project!"

The Project was written up in the December 2009 issue of Kytheraismos newspaper

Cynthia sent an excited email to her many Shelving Project supporters:

"This is so coool! See article below regarding bookshelves project. It was run in the local Kytherian newspaper, Kytheraismos, and is posted on the kythera-family.net website. I know most of you cannot read it so once I get the translation, I'll send it along.

Gay (Kinman - a fellow Soroptimist)! you made the paper!!!! Aren't you glad you showed up that cold morning for the loading of the container?????

Organisations mentioned (that I can recognize - I don't speak or read Greek) - Alhambra, Soroptimist International, Rotary, Kythera Society of CA, Kythera Association of AU, Kythera Association of NY."

Photos > Modern Portraits

submitted by Kythera Library on 07.11.2013

Dimitris Koutrafouris is an extremely dedicated volunteer to the Kytherian Municipal Library

Here he enters into the book catalogue, information about the numerous books that are constantly being donated to the Library.

Kytherian Municipal Library

The kythera-family.net, Main Page

See also, www.facebook.com/KytheraLibrary.

This facebook site is devoted to the new public library in the village of Kontolianika, which amongst other services is running a paperback exchange scheme. The library is staffed by volunteers. Opening times are: 6-8 pm except for Sundays & Tuesdays, and 10.00-3.00 pm Saturdays.

DONATIONS to the Kytherian Municipal Library

The Kytherian Municipal Library requires ongoing financial assistance, in order to continue to provide the high level of service that it has instigated over the past few years.

If you wish to donate to this extrordinary Kytherian public resource, you can deposit funds directly into:

National Bank of Greece
ΠΟΛΙΤΙΣΤΙΚΗ ΕΤΑΙΡΕΙΑ ΚΥΘΗΡΩΝ
GR28 0110 3800 0000 3802 9603 891
Swift - Bic: ETHNGRAA

In Australia, contact George Poulos.
George Poulos, email
Or, phone, Sydney, (02) 93888320

In America, contact Vikki Vrettos Fraioli, Corresponding Secretary of the Kytherian Society of California (KSOCA):
Vikki Vrettos Fraioli, email

Where is the Library located?

The Kytherian Municipal Library

The Kytherian Municipal Library. The sunshine version .

The Municipal Library of Kythera is located just off the central road through Kythera. If you take the Ayios Ilias turn off, it is the first building you see on your right hand side.

Ayios Elias turnoff to the Kytherian Municipal Library

The Library is located near the centre of the island. In the map provided, it's exact position is the dot "i" in the word Kondelianika - just a little below where the bottom edge of the letter "L" spells "Lib" for "Library, in blue.

Location of the Municipal Library of Kythera

To gain a clearer picture download a .pdf of the map here:

MAP Location of Municipal Library of Kythera Lib.pdf

Interior of the Library

The main room in the Kytherian Muncipal Library

The main library room is spacious, and houses many significant books. The shelving continues around all walls in the main room. The shelving depicted was provided by Kytherians from California. The full story of how Cynthia Cavalenes helped organise a container of shelving to be delivered from the Alhambra Municipality to Kythera is related below in this entry.

The Childrens Library is the first narrow room to the left as you enter the Kytherian Municipal Library

The Childrens Library is the first narrow room to the left as you enter the Kytherian Municipal Library.

It contains many of the books that formed the Children's Library at Livathi, which had to unfortunately close down. This childrens library has been resurrected within the Kytherian Municipal Library. Children borrow books form this library consistently. They also attend in sizable school groups and undertake various activities. In this photograph the library has been set up for "chess classes"..

The Archive and storage room of the Kytherian Municpal Library. It lies on the left hand side as you first enter the Library. (Opposite the Children's Library). In October 2013 a door was placed in this room. The room also contains a steel shelving unit, to house more valuable books, files and archives. In October 2013 the precious Koksma archive was placed there.

A storage room (apothiki) has been constructed on the eastern (Ayios Elias) side of the Library. It has a sloping roof down to the exterior fence wall. This is the view from the exterior of the storage room.

This is the entry and passageway into the large storage room in the Kytherian Municipal Library. It opens up into a much larger space in the farthest / northern part of the room.

The storage room is quite spacious. It is a very necessary area of the building, as more and more persons are donating books to the Library.

Well appointed toilets have been constructed next to the large storage room. One of them caters to diabled persons. An wheelchair access ramp to the tiolets was built during the August 2013 renovation of the building.

Donated books awaiting cataloguing. Now that the Library has been established to a very high standard, Kytherians and Athenians are donating superior books in large quantities. It is anticipated that this trend will continue.

Refurbishment and transformation of the Library. August 2013

The transformation was undertaken with the generous assitance of the Nicholas Anthony Aroney Trust, and the Kytherian Association of Australia, (KAA) both located in Sydney, Australia, and the Kytherian Society of California (KSOCA), based in Los Angeles, USA.

New marble signs, written in both Greek and English announce the opening of the Kytherian Municipal Library

New marble signs, written in both Greek and English announce the opening of the Kytherian Municipal Library in 2012. Note the freshly painted walls. Painting was undertaken in the summer of 2013.

The courtyard of the Municipal Library in 2011-June 2013, in need of refurbishment

The courtyard as it existed 2011- April 2013, was grossly inadequate. It discouraged persons attending the Library at all.

Superb end product following the refurbishment of the rear courtyard of the Kytherian Municipal Library

The courtyard after the refurbishment of August 2013. This is the view from the rear door to the archway on the eastern wall. The condition of the courtyard now is a great improvement to the state of the courtyard as it existed in the years leading up to mid-2013.

Looking over the beautifully constructed eastern wall into the courtyard

View of the courtyard facing the township of Ayios Elias. The pergola has been constructed on the northern wall.

Pergola against the northern wall in the courtyard of the Kytherian Municipal Library

The pergola on the northern wall of the courtyard. This has been equipped with electrical power and lighting, and can now be used for evening cultural events and performances.

The indefatigable volunteers

The opening of the Library has been a great source of pride for residents of the island, as well as those living in the Kytherian diaspora.

The Library functions because of the dedication of a number of volunteers. Two of the main "drivers" have been John Stathatos and Dimitris Koutrafouris.

John Stathatos (centre) introducing Professor and Mrs George Huxley to the library during the course of their 2013 visit to the island

Dimitris Koutrafouris is an extremely dedicated volunteer to the Kytherian Municipal Library

Dimitris Koutrafouris is very dedicated to the Library, and spends innumerable hours there. Here he is entering details about a book into the Central catalogue. Many persons are donating books to the Library in large quantities.

Other volunteers who work tirelessly include, Sara Scopsi-Tzanne, Yianna Karavokyri, Heleni Rousketou, and Fotini Yiamtsidou.

These volunteers are assisted by Maria Lourantou (teacher in Chora Primary School), Heleni Drivakou (teacher in Potamos Primary School), Maria Lepoura (chess teacher), Sofia Nezi and Alex Veneris.

Note that the volunteers conceive the function of Library to be much more than a mere lending library. In addition it will act as a research institution, and a centre of culture for the island of Kythera, fostering, art, theatre, poetry, photography, and audiovisual creativity, amongst other activities. The Library is also heavily integrated with the schools on the island, providing a venue for many school students activities, as can be evidenced by photographs that appear later in this entry. Above all the volunteers want the Library to be "zodino" (alive) - a place where multifarious activities occur on an on-going basis.

Summer 2013 building developments. How the renovations and transformation occurred.

It was decided in 2012, that the exterior of the Library needed a good makeover and landscaping.

Design for the courtyard of the Kythera Municipal Library

The design depicted was created pro bono by architect Elias Vassiliadis.

Download a .pdf of the landscaping plan here:

SXOLEIO KONTOLIANIKA.pdf

Architect Elias Vassiliadis, Engineer, Ioannis Skinna, George Poulos, and Building Supervisor, Refaat Khalil

Ioannis Skinna also offered his services for free. In addition to those in the photograph above, all stages of the work was supervised by Mayor Theothoris Koukoulis, and Deputy-Mayor, Michaelis Protopsaltis, John Stathatos, Director of the Kytherian Cultural Association, and Library Chairman, Dimitris Koutrafouris, manager of the National Bank of Greece, in Potamos.

Grammos re-building the piers for the pergola in the courtyard of the Kythera Municipal Library

Master tradesman Grammos had to rebuild the original columns for the pergola from the start.

Architect, Elias Vassiliadis, incorporated the inspired idea of incorporating a "bezoula" in the courtyard. Visitors to the courtyard automatically gravitate to the "bezoula" and inevitably sit on it. It will also be useful as extra sitting space for both day and nightime events which will be held in the Library's courtyard.

The "bezoula" (sitting bench) being built. The large construction team worked efficiently and quickly to refurbish the courtyard. .

The Library Committee decided to lay "coritzo" in the courtyard. The finish is aesthetically beautiful and will last a long time.

Laying the "coritzo'' tiles in the courtyard of the Kytherian Municipal Library

Laying the "coritzo'' tiles in the courtyard of the Kytherian Municipal Library 2

Laying the "coritzo'' tiles in the courtyard of the Kytherian Municipal Library 3

The old iron, rusty and dangerous ironwork on the southern wall (closest to camera) was removed, and a stone wall, in keeping with other walls around the exterior of the Library, constructed in it's place.

The ironwork wall as it existed (all the way along the Eastern wall), before the August 2013 renovation of Kytherian Municipal Library

The vegetation from the adjoining block, that had overgrown this wall was removed, at the same time as the iron fence top. One of the advantages of this action, was that the owner of the neighbouring, Panayotis Defterevos (Panayotis Rent A Car), upon seeing his property cleared and levelled out, very kindly offered the very sizable adjoining space as a car park, to cater for events that will be staged at the Library in the future.

Orestes performing the difficult task of affixing a gutter to the Kytherian Municipal Library

Orestes performing the difficult task of affixing a gutter to the Kytherian Municipal Library. The building had been constructed and maintained without a gutter to take water away from the walls. This would have caused inevitable dampness problems inside the building in due course.

Note that the paint work on the walls is of a very low standard. The entire Library was re-painted during August 2013, which enhanced the aesthetic and water-proofing capacity of the building immeasurably.

2012-2013

Dimitris Koutrafouris, Spokesman for the Library, and Manager of the National Bank of Greece, Hora, Kythera. Long term vision for the island, and a deep thank you to the volunteers


It is always a shame when a school is forced to close. But there is always a sense of triumph when a school, like the closed Primary School in Kontolianika, finds an “adaptive re-use”, and reopens. Over the month of May 2013, all the necessary preparations for the establishment and operation of a Public Library on Kythera were completed. After a long period of prevarication, a firm commitment was finally made to establish of a large public library in the centre of the island. That has been achieved as a result of persistent and optimistic efforts of various political and cultural entities on the island, as well as individuals associated with those entities. The Library, in addition to promoting the love of books will perform broader educational missions. This cultural coalition has effectively combined their efforts, powers, intentions, desires, skills and resources for the benefit of the island.

The Library had been administered from September 2012, by the municipal clerk Calliope Kasimati, from the Graduate School of Management of Cultural Resources at the University of Peloponnese. Her appointment was a temporary one. During her tenure she was assisted by an informal and ever-expanding group of volunteers. They arrived unsolicited and ‘magically” grew in number. Working together, these volunteers will ensure that the Library will stay open, irrespective of national and local economic developments, and municipal affairs.

The volunteer’s first task was to organise the seven thousand volumes which occupied the large, single classroom, as well as numerous forgotten books still packed away in boxes. These had come into the possession of the municipality from 14 November 2011, after the Children’s and Adolescent Library in Livadi closed down. They had been packed away properly, and have been rescued from the ravages of moisture, dust and rodents. The losses have been reduced to a minimum.

The volunteers have already completed the registration, sorting, restoration and classification of books. This has been achieved by “working overtime”, including performing extra work every Saturday. The work has been undertaken with big dreams, unexpected improvisations, and with the enthusiastic assistance of volunteers, teachers and children.

Children unpacking and enjoying the books

Other students in advanced countries with a rich educational and cultural heritage enjoy the privilege of libraries as a ‘given’, and a right. They benefit greatly as a result of having access to public libraries. We, in the circumstances that we find ourselves in, on our favourite little island, have had to struggle to achieve the same privileges. This need to build up the Library ‘from scratch’ has made us appreciate what we have achieved so much more. Working together we will find a way to turn previous shortcomings into creative power. It is not often that people are given the opportunity to become a pioneers, patrons and participants in the birth of such an exalted and beautiful institution.

Children undertake many activities at the Library

Children performing school work at the Library. Children undertake many activities here, that they would otherwise not be encouraged to perform.

Young Kytherians learning chess at the Library

Young Kytherians learning how to play chess, under the tutelage of Dimitris Koutrafouris.

Children enjoy playing with an Ipad in the Library

The Kytherian Association of Australia (KAA) donated six Ipads for Kytherian children to use in the Library.

It is not all play for the children. They also help to run and maintain the Library. Here children help to sort and stack books for the Children's Library.

Fall 2013

for the Group of Volunteers

The Municipal Library of Kythera

Dimitris Koutrafouris

See also, April 2013 Report by George C Poulos. George is an Honorary Member of the Friends of Kythera Library

Re-design of the Courtyard - 2012-2013

One of the "finishing touches" that needs to be completed is the re-design of the external (back) courtyard. Architect Elias Vassiliadis has very kindly drawn up - free of charge - a plan drawn for the library grounds. The cost estimate for the work is approximately 11,000 euro's. The Library Committee and overseas friends hope to secure the money, fairly quickly, so they can put this work out to tender.

The design is elegant. There will be two alternative specifications for the covered area at the back, (6), one calling for a lightweight wood and bamboo pergola, and the other for a more substantial tiled roof; this will require two alternative cost figures. One substantially higher than the other. In either case, the covered area will be open at the front and sides.

The curved wall (1) will be of roughly dressed stone with a smooth upper surface, 50 cm high, so as to provide extra seating. Between this low wall and the boundary wall will be an area for planting, as will be area (3) alongside the access path.

Area (2), under the pergola and in front of the steps leading up to the library, will be smooth concrete, probably with some stone and terracotta decorative elements. Likewise the approach path, (4).

The main area of the courtyard, (5) will be fine gravel over a base layer of coarse gravel. Not only is this a lot cheaper and more environmentally friendly than concreting everything, it also allows for natural drainage. If, instead, we were to concrete or seal the entire area, we would also have to provide for underground drainage. Insulated electrical outlets and water points will be provided along the perimeter wall.

The Library Committe, and overseas Friends have also asked for estimates for the provision of guttering for the main building, including buried drainage of the runoff.

2011

A Municipal Library. Considered critical infrastructure in most countries in the world.


The new municipal library is planned to open in Kondeleanika, Kythera. It is fully refurbished, and ready to be "fitted out" to fulfill its purpose - to become the first accessible lending library on the island of Kythera for 6,000 years.

The problem seems to be that Municipality of Kythera, has run out of money to equip it properly.

In Greece, Provinces (States) and the National government take no economic responsibility for local Libraries. This is a tragedy.

In 'western' countries such as Australia, America & Canada, and most countries in Europe, Asia, North & South America, all small communities and all small townships maintain a Local Lending Library. There is no town with a population of 3,300, the population of Kythera, that does not have a well established and equipped library, in place.

The citizens of a town of this size would not tolerate not having an operational Library. It would be considered unacceptable, and prejudicial to their children's future.

The Americans enter the campaign:

A group of Americans, under the leadership of Cynthia Cavalenes-Jarvis of Alhambra, California which is located in the western San Gabriel Valley region of Los Angeles County, California, were inspired by Kythera's Mayor, Theodore Koukoulis to provide shelving for the library. Cynthia, her two sisters (Candace Weiss and Toni Cavalenes) and her cousin (Kendra Rosner) met the Mayor in September 2008 while visiting in the Municipality of Kythera building. This meeting was arranged through George Poulos, Public Relations Officer of the Kytherian Association of Australia, and Trustee of the Kytherian World Heritage Fund. At that meeting Cynthia inquired what the needs of Kythera are and the Mayor responded "bookshelves" for the proposed library.

Cynthia organised the financing for the Bookshelves Project in the USA, and George Poulos, under the auspices of the Kytherian World Heritage Fund, organised funds in Australia. By May 2009, Cynthia could report "that we have come a long way in the fund raising. If everyone that committed funds comes through we have raised $6,460. That leaves us with a need for $1,540 more for shipping plus the cost of the container, $2,500. I have no doubt we will get there. We still have some fund raising events up our sleeves, but I haven't had time to work on them just yet".

By the end of the Bookshelves Project she could report with some pride: "This project certainly does qualify as "great." If it did not, we would not have had so many people and organizations supporting it. We have had eight organizations (and their members) including Soroptimist International of Alhambra-San Gabriel-San Marino, Rotary International of Alhambra, KAA, KSOC, KSNY, AHEPA, Daughters of Penelope of Santa Barbara, two companies (providing in-kind assistance) and over fifty individuals (including a film/television celebrity) who have donated to this cause. I think as a grass roots project, that speaks volumes."

Just days after returning from her first visit to Kythera, Cynthia found the inspiraation for this project. During the ribbon cutting ceremony for the City of Alhambra's new municipal library, she realized that the City (where she works) may no longer need the bookshelves that remained in the decommissioned old library and that there could be an oppotunity to obtain some of them for Kythera's proposed library of which Mayor Koukoulis had spoken.

Photographs of the shelving in situ in California

Although locating bookshelves and obtaining them may appear to be an easy task, the bureaucratic red tape involved in obtaining property belonging to a municipality can be quite daunting. In January 2009, Cynthia reported: "I just received a message from the Director of Public Works who states that used bookshelves do not have much value on the auction market and are only worth about $120 per ton for the recycled steel, minus the agents commission. The shelves will have to be declared surplus and of no significant value, at which time I will be able to obtain them for Kythera for the suggested price of $1 per shelf unit. I accepted that price without hesitation. It might only cost about $100 to purchase the shelves.

I have a tentative February 10th presentation date with the Rotary to see if they will assist in this project. Also, since I am a member of the Soroptimists of Alhambra-San Gabriel-San Marino, I might be able to convince them to help with the project. The shipping might cost about $10,000 and the soroptimists' help in fundraising will be invaluable. I'll know more after the presentations.

The City is anxious to mobilize removal of the shelves, so as I expected, I am under a tight timeframe to move them out of the old library."

Cynthia also faced numerous additional logistical challenges.
A. How to remove the shelving units from the old Alhambra Library, and where to store them?

In August 2009 Cynthia reported "We don't have the container yet. Half the shelves are stored indoors at a warehouse that belongs to a Rotarian and half are stored in my backyard (It's summer here so it's alright & they are covered). But they have to be moved before the rains come.

The City didn't want volunteers to dismantle the shelves in the City owned library building for liability reasons, so City staff moved them out of the library, but they cannot be stored on City property. It took a crew of six people a week to dismantle and bundle the components for the shelves. They transported them to Al's Towing in Alhambra where they are stored until we can shiip them.

It took a huge effort to get the shelves dismantled and into storage and it was very chaotic. I left someone else in charge who's concept differred from mine. Once I inventoried the equipment, I found that we didn't have the proper number and size of shelves to go with the respective frames so another work party was dispatched (2 more days) to go back into the old library to gather the pieces we were missing. The second batch was transported to my backyard. Another tricky piece of the puzzle - now that the shelves are out of the old library, City staff can't be used to load the container. A local church that has offered help from their youth group, but volunteer labor can be unpredictable and I am worried about the continuity of the project. Although many of the staff that have been working on this project might offer to volunteer to load the container, as the director of the department for which they work I can't allow that because it could be perceived as coercion from me. So the Soroptimists will provide a stipend to them (funded through the fundraising effort) for their work. One of the staff happens to also work for a shipping company. He has experience organizing the loading of containers. I have asked him (on behalf of the Soroptimists) to be the lead person in the task of loading of the container. So between the City staff who are familiar with the project and the volunteers from the church the container will be properly loaded.

I won't lie, it's been a difficult project. I've lost a lot of sleep over the whole thing. The nice thing is that all of these people really are dedicated to the project, so I know they will come through. I am trying to get the shelves shipped in the next couple of weeks, but I can't bring the container into the warehouse until we are ready to ship because of the inconvenience it will cause the warehouse owner. Now that I am telling the shipper I'm ready to move forward, I am getting frustrating information from them."

B. Will it be better to own the shipping container the shelves are to be sent in, or just use the one provided by the shipper?

One of Cynthia's contacts advised her that "most people don't own the container. I think there is more paperwork involved and it might be more work to pass through Customs. So I think shippers don't want to deal with that and try to discourage it."

Although there would be no additonal charge to use a container provided by the international shipping company, once the container arrived in Pireaus the load would have to moved to another container (at a cost to the project for the labor to do so) because the international shipper did not service Kythera and for liablity reasons could not allow their container to be loaded onto another vessel. The cost of shipping from Pireaus to Kythera would be $1,500 U.S. Once the container arrived on Kythera it would have to be immediately unloaded and returned to the vessel. Any additional time on the island would result in a rental charge for the container. The transport of the emplty container back to Pireaus would cost an additional $1,500 U.S. After extensive research, Cynthia located a "sea worthy" container with the appropriate inspection certificate at a cost of $2,500 U.S. Determining that the cost of transferring the load in Piraeus, potentially paying rent while the container was on Kythera and shipping the container back to Piraeus could be just as costly and possibly more costly, than purchasing the container outright, Cynthia decided purchasing the container was the better choice.

C. Can a free or inexpensive location be found to store the shelves until they could be shipped?

If storage space had to be rented it would prove costly. Ultimately space in a warehouse in Alhambra was donated by Rotarian, Al Pavone, owner of Al's Towing which had limited indoor space that could be used to store the shelves. This saved a tremendous amount of money since the shelves were in storage for approximately six months before they could be shipped. "We are finalizing our inventory to see what components we still need to get from the old library before we ship. We have been authorized to go back into the building and take whatever we still need. We are in really good shape. It looks like we have about 30-eight foot long wall sections, about 25-eight foot long free standing double sided sections, and 2-eight foot long display/counter units. The next hurdle will be weight. these bookshelves are steel. They are HEAVY!!! Hopefully we will be able to send the whole lot.

I can't tell you how many people have asked if they could go Kythera to help reassemble the bookshelves on the island. I told the staff that disassembled them that I'm sure they would be welcome, but they would have to fund their own way there. I'm attaching a photo of the crew with some of the dismantled shelves in the background.

Everyone is really excited about this project!"

Vikki Vrettos Fraioli posted an extended report on the Message Board, 31.05.2009.

The Shelving project was reported in the kythera-family Newsletter in June, 2009 , and July, 2009

John Stathatos acts as the Kytherian connection

John Stathatos is a great advocate for Hellenic and Kytherian culture on the island. He is the Director of the Kythera Cultural Association. John has been engaged in numerous cultural Projects, such as Photographic Encounters, and the restoration of the Fatseas collection of photographs, which were featured in a Benaki Museum exhibition.

He is a great advocate for the Municipal Library.
In October 2009, he wrote to Cindy and George advising / asking that:

1. You may add my name to any document. My address is Strapodi, Chora, Kythera 80100.
2. The container will be unloaded alongside or behind the new municipal library in Agios Elias, Kythera.
3. There is equipment on the island to unload the container. I will try to find out the cost, and can probably get it done for free, but I obviously need a few days to get the details.
4. Has Tina (Anoni) chosen a haulage company to carry the container from Piraeus to Kythera? If not, I might be able to get a discount rate from a local trucking company. Again, I would need till Monday or Tuesday to confirm this.
5. I saw the mayor today and brought him up to date.
6. Do we have even a very rough ballpark figure for arrival on Kythera?

On the 12th January, 2010, the shelving arrived on Kythera, and was unpacked on the same day, and packed away safely in the Library at Kontolianika.

John Stathatos announced:

"As it happened, the right crane to offload the whole container was out of commission. Fortunately work had finished on the inside of the library, which is nice and dry, so I got the municipality to provide some labour, and we got everything unloaded in a couple of hours.

Above, are couple of photos; we’ll take more when it comes time to assemble the shelves. (See below).

Congratulations on completing the final lap of your grand project!"

The Project was written up in the December 2009 issue of Kytheraismos newspaper

Cynthia sent an excited email to her many Shelving Project supporters:

"This is so coool! See article below regarding bookshelves project. It was run in the local Kytherian newspaper, Kytheraismos, and is posted on the kythera-family.net website. I know most of you cannot read it so once I get the translation, I'll send it along.

Gay (Kinman - a fellow Soroptimist)! you made the paper!!!! Aren't you glad you showed up that cold morning for the loading of the container?????

Organisations mentioned (that I can recognize - I don't speak or read Greek) - Alhambra, Soroptimist International, Rotary, Kythera Society of CA, Kythera Association of AU, Kythera Association of NY."

Photos > Modern Portraits

submitted by Kythera Library on 07.11.2013

John Stathatos introducing Professor and Mrs George Huxley to the library during the course of their August 2013 visit to the island.

Kytherian Municipal Library

The kythera-family.net, Main Page

See also, www.facebook.com/KytheraLibrary.

This facebook site is devoted to the new public library in the village of Kontolianika, which amongst other services is running a paperback exchange scheme. The library is staffed by volunteers. Opening times are: 6-8 pm except for Sundays & Tuesdays, and 10.00-3.00 pm Saturdays.

DONATIONS to the Kytherian Municipal Library

The Kytherian Municipal Library requires ongoing financial assistance, in order to continue to provide the high level of service that it has instigated over the past few years.

If you wish to donate to this extrordinary Kytherian public resource, you can deposit funds directly into:

National Bank of Greece
ΠΟΛΙΤΙΣΤΙΚΗ ΕΤΑΙΡΕΙΑ ΚΥΘΗΡΩΝ
GR28 0110 3800 0000 3802 9603 891
Swift - Bic: ETHNGRAA

In Australia, contact George Poulos.
George Poulos, email
Or, phone, Sydney, (02) 93888320

In America, contact Vikki Vrettos Fraioli, Corresponding Secretary of the Kytherian Society of California (KSOCA):
Vikki Vrettos Fraioli, email

Where is the Library located?

The Kytherian Municipal Library

The Kytherian Municipal Library. The sunshine version .

The Municipal Library of Kythera is located just off the central road through Kythera. If you take the Ayios Ilias turn off, it is the first building you see on your right hand side.

Ayios Elias turnoff to the Kytherian Municipal Library

The Library is located near the centre of the island. In the map provided, it's exact position is the dot "i" in the word Kondelianika - just a little below where the bottom edge of the letter "L" spells "Lib" for "Library, in blue.

Location of the Municipal Library of Kythera

To gain a clearer picture download a .pdf of the map here:

MAP Location of Municipal Library of Kythera Lib.pdf

Interior of the Library

The main room in the Kytherian Muncipal Library

The main library room is spacious, and houses many significant books. The shelving continues around all walls in the main room. The shelving depicted was provided by Kytherians from California. The full story of how Cynthia Cavalenes helped organise a container of shelving to be delivered from the Alhambra Municipality to Kythera is related below in this entry.

The Childrens Library is the first narrow room to the left as you enter the Kytherian Municipal Library

The Childrens Library is the first narrow room to the left as you enter the Kytherian Municipal Library.

It contains many of the books that formed the Children's Library at Livathi, which had to unfortunately close down. This childrens library has been resurrected within the Kytherian Municipal Library. Children borrow books form this library consistently. They also attend in sizable school groups and undertake various activities. In this photograph the library has been set up for "chess classes"..

The Archive and storage room of the Kytherian Municpal Library. It lies on the left hand side as you first enter the Library. (Opposite the Children's Library). In October 2013 a door was placed in this room. The room also contains a steel shelving unit, to house more valuable books, files and archives. In October 2013 the precious Koksma archive was placed there.

A storage room (apothiki) has been constructed on the eastern (Ayios Elias) side of the Library. It has a sloping roof down to the exterior fence wall. This is the view from the exterior of the storage room.

This is the entry and passageway into the large storage room in the Kytherian Municipal Library. It opens up into a much larger space in the farthest / northern part of the room.

The storage room is quite spacious. It is a very necessary area of the building, as more and more persons are donating books to the Library.

Well appointed toilets have been constructed next to the large storage room. One of them caters to diabled persons. An wheelchair access ramp to the tiolets was built during the August 2013 renovation of the building.

Donated books awaiting cataloguing. Now that the Library has been established to a very high standard, Kytherians and Athenians are donating superior books in large quantities. It is anticipated that this trend will continue.

Refurbishment and transformation of the Library. August 2013

The transformation was undertaken with the generous assitance of the Nicholas Anthony Aroney Trust, and the Kytherian Association of Australia, (KAA) both located in Sydney, Australia, and the Kytherian Society of California (KSOCA), based in Los Angeles, USA.

New marble signs, written in both Greek and English announce the opening of the Kytherian Municipal Library

New marble signs, written in both Greek and English announce the opening of the Kytherian Municipal Library in 2012. Note the freshly painted walls. Painting was undertaken in the summer of 2013.

The courtyard of the Municipal Library in 2011-June 2013, in need of refurbishment

The courtyard as it existed 2011- April 2013, was grossly inadequate. It discouraged persons attending the Library at all.

Superb end product following the refurbishment of the rear courtyard of the Kytherian Municipal Library

The courtyard after the refurbishment of August 2013. This is the view from the rear door to the archway on the eastern wall. The condition of the courtyard now is a great improvement to the state of the courtyard as it existed in the years leading up to mid-2013.

Looking over the beautifully constructed eastern wall into the courtyard

View of the courtyard facing the township of Ayios Elias. The pergola has been constructed on the northern wall.

Pergola against the northern wall in the courtyard of the Kytherian Municipal Library

The pergola on the northern wall of the courtyard. This has been equipped with electrical power and lighting, and can now be used for evening cultural events and performances.

The indefatigable volunteers

The opening of the Library has been a great source of pride for residents of the island, as well as those living in the Kytherian diaspora.

The Library functions because of the dedication of a number of volunteers. Two of the main "drivers" have been John Stathatos and Dimitris Koutrafouris.

John Stathatos (centre) introducing Professor and Mrs George Huxley to the library during the course of their 2013 visit to the island

Dimitris Koutrafouris is an extremely dedicated volunteer to the Kytherian Municipal Library

Dimitris Koutrafouris is very dedicated to the Library, and spends innumerable hours there. Here he is entering details about a book into the Central catalogue. Many persons are donating books to the Library in large quantities.

Other volunteers who work tirelessly include, Sara Scopsi-Tzanne, Yianna Karavokyri, Heleni Rousketou, and Fotini Yiamtsidou.

These volunteers are assisted by Maria Lourantou (teacher in Chora Primary School), Heleni Drivakou (teacher in Potamos Primary School), Maria Lepoura (chess teacher), Sofia Nezi and Alex Veneris.

Note that the volunteers conceive the function of Library to be much more than a mere lending library. In addition it will act as a research institution, and a centre of culture for the island of Kythera, fostering, art, theatre, poetry, photography, and audiovisual creativity, amongst other activities. The Library is also heavily integrated with the schools on the island, providing a venue for many school students activities, as can be evidenced by photographs that appear later in this entry. Above all the volunteers want the Library to be "zodino" (alive) - a place where multifarious activities occur on an on-going basis.

Summer 2013 building developments. How the renovations and transformation occurred.

It was decided in 2012, that the exterior of the Library needed a good makeover and landscaping.

Design for the courtyard of the Kythera Municipal Library

The design depicted was created pro bono by architect Elias Vassiliadis.

Download a .pdf of the landscaping plan here:

SXOLEIO KONTOLIANIKA.pdf

Architect Elias Vassiliadis, Engineer, Ioannis Skinna, George Poulos, and Building Supervisor, Refaat Khalil

Ioannis Skinna also offered his services for free. In addition to those in the photograph above, all stages of the work was supervised by Mayor Theothoris Koukoulis, and Deputy-Mayor, Michaelis Protopsaltis, John Stathatos, Director of the Kytherian Cultural Association, and Library Chairman, Dimitris Koutrafouris, manager of the National Bank of Greece, in Potamos.

Grammos re-building the piers for the pergola in the courtyard of the Kythera Municipal Library

Master tradesman Grammos had to rebuild the original columns for the pergola from the start.

Architect, Elias Vassiliadis, incorporated the inspired idea of incorporating a "bezoula" in the courtyard. Visitors to the courtyard automatically gravitate to the "bezoula" and inevitably sit on it. It will also be useful as extra sitting space for both day and nightime events which will be held in the Library's courtyard.

The "bezoula" (sitting bench) being built. The large construction team worked efficiently and quickly to refurbish the courtyard. .

The Library Committee decided to lay "coritzo" in the courtyard. The finish is aesthetically beautiful and will last a long time.

Laying the "coritzo'' tiles in the courtyard of the Kytherian Municipal Library

Laying the "coritzo'' tiles in the courtyard of the Kytherian Municipal Library 2

Laying the "coritzo'' tiles in the courtyard of the Kytherian Municipal Library 3

The old iron, rusty and dangerous ironwork on the southern wall (closest to camera) was removed, and a stone wall, in keeping with other walls around the exterior of the Library, constructed in it's place.

The ironwork wall as it existed (all the way along the Eastern wall), before the August 2013 renovation of Kytherian Municipal Library

The vegetation from the adjoining block, that had overgrown this wall was removed, at the same time as the iron fence top. One of the advantages of this action, was that the owner of the neighbouring, Panayotis Defterevos (Panayotis Rent A Car), upon seeing his property cleared and levelled out, very kindly offered the very sizable adjoining space as a car park, to cater for events that will be staged at the Library in the future.

Orestes performing the difficult task of affixing a gutter to the Kytherian Municipal Library

Orestes performing the difficult task of affixing a gutter to the Kytherian Municipal Library. The building had been constructed and maintained without a gutter to take water away from the walls. This would have caused inevitable dampness problems inside the building in due course.

Note that the paint work on the walls is of a very low standard. The entire Library was re-painted during August 2013, which enhanced the aesthetic and water-proofing capacity of the building immeasurably.

2012-2013

Dimitris Koutrafouris, Spokesman for the Library, and Manager of the National Bank of Greece, Hora, Kythera. Long term vision for the island, and a deep thank you to the volunteers


It is always a shame when a school is forced to close. But there is always a sense of triumph when a school, like the closed Primary School in Kontolianika, finds an “adaptive re-use”, and reopens. Over the month of May 2013, all the necessary preparations for the establishment and operation of a Public Library on Kythera were completed. After a long period of prevarication, a firm commitment was finally made to establish of a large public library in the centre of the island. That has been achieved as a result of persistent and optimistic efforts of various political and cultural entities on the island, as well as individuals associated with those entities. The Library, in addition to promoting the love of books will perform broader educational missions. This cultural coalition has effectively combined their efforts, powers, intentions, desires, skills and resources for the benefit of the island.

The Library had been administered from September 2012, by the municipal clerk Calliope Kasimati, from the Graduate School of Management of Cultural Resources at the University of Peloponnese. Her appointment was a temporary one. During her tenure she was assisted by an informal and ever-expanding group of volunteers. They arrived unsolicited and ‘magically” grew in number. Working together, these volunteers will ensure that the Library will stay open, irrespective of national and local economic developments, and municipal affairs.

The volunteer’s first task was to organise the seven thousand volumes which occupied the large, single classroom, as well as numerous forgotten books still packed away in boxes. These had come into the possession of the municipality from 14 November 2011, after the Children’s and Adolescent Library in Livadi closed down. They had been packed away properly, and have been rescued from the ravages of moisture, dust and rodents. The losses have been reduced to a minimum.

The volunteers have already completed the registration, sorting, restoration and classification of books. This has been achieved by “working overtime”, including performing extra work every Saturday. The work has been undertaken with big dreams, unexpected improvisations, and with the enthusiastic assistance of volunteers, teachers and children.

Children unpacking and enjoying the books

Other students in advanced countries with a rich educational and cultural heritage enjoy the privilege of libraries as a ‘given’, and a right. They benefit greatly as a result of having access to public libraries. We, in the circumstances that we find ourselves in, on our favourite little island, have had to struggle to achieve the same privileges. This need to build up the Library ‘from scratch’ has made us appreciate what we have achieved so much more. Working together we will find a way to turn previous shortcomings into creative power. It is not often that people are given the opportunity to become a pioneers, patrons and participants in the birth of such an exalted and beautiful institution.

Children undertake many activities at the Library

Children performing school work at the Library. Children undertake many activities here, that they would otherwise not be encouraged to perform.

Young Kytherians learning chess at the Library

Young Kytherians learning how to play chess, under the tutelage of Dimitris Koutrafouris.

Children enjoy playing with an Ipad in the Library

The Kytherian Association of Australia (KAA) donated six Ipads for Kytherian children to use in the Library.

It is not all play for the children. They also help to run and maintain the Library. Here children help to sort and stack books for the Children's Library.

Fall 2013

for the Group of Volunteers

The Municipal Library of Kythera

Dimitris Koutrafouris

See also, April 2013 Report by George C Poulos. George is an Honorary Member of the Friends of Kythera Library

Re-design of the Courtyard - 2012-2013

One of the "finishing touches" that needs to be completed is the re-design of the external (back) courtyard. Architect Elias Vassiliadis has very kindly drawn up - free of charge - a plan drawn for the library grounds. The cost estimate for the work is approximately 11,000 euro's. The Library Committee and overseas friends hope to secure the money, fairly quickly, so they can put this work out to tender.

The design is elegant. There will be two alternative specifications for the covered area at the back, (6), one calling for a lightweight wood and bamboo pergola, and the other for a more substantial tiled roof; this will require two alternative cost figures. One substantially higher than the other. In either case, the covered area will be open at the front and sides.

The curved wall (1) will be of roughly dressed stone with a smooth upper surface, 50 cm high, so as to provide extra seating. Between this low wall and the boundary wall will be an area for planting, as will be area (3) alongside the access path.

Area (2), under the pergola and in front of the steps leading up to the library, will be smooth concrete, probably with some stone and terracotta decorative elements. Likewise the approach path, (4).

The main area of the courtyard, (5) will be fine gravel over a base layer of coarse gravel. Not only is this a lot cheaper and more environmentally friendly than concreting everything, it also allows for natural drainage. If, instead, we were to concrete or seal the entire area, we would also have to provide for underground drainage. Insulated electrical outlets and water points will be provided along the perimeter wall.

The Library Committe, and overseas Friends have also asked for estimates for the provision of guttering for the main building, including buried drainage of the runoff.

2011

A Municipal Library. Considered critical infrastructure in most countries in the world.


The new municipal library is planned to open in Kondeleanika, Kythera. It is fully refurbished, and ready to be "fitted out" to fulfill its purpose - to become the first accessible lending library on the island of Kythera for 6,000 years.

The problem seems to be that Municipality of Kythera, has run out of money to equip it properly.

In Greece, Provinces (States) and the National government take no economic responsibility for local Libraries. This is a tragedy.

In 'western' countries such as Australia, America & Canada, and most countries in Europe, Asia, North & South America, all small communities and all small townships maintain a Local Lending Library. There is no town with a population of 3,300, the population of Kythera, that does not have a well established and equipped library, in place.

The citizens of a town of this size would not tolerate not having an operational Library. It would be considered unacceptable, and prejudicial to their children's future.

The Americans enter the campaign:

A group of Americans, under the leadership of Cynthia Cavalenes-Jarvis of Alhambra, California which is located in the western San Gabriel Valley region of Los Angeles County, California, were inspired by Kythera's Mayor, Theodore Koukoulis to provide shelving for the library. Cynthia, her two sisters (Candace Weiss and Toni Cavalenes) and her cousin (Kendra Rosner) met the Mayor in September 2008 while visiting in the Municipality of Kythera building. This meeting was arranged through George Poulos, Public Relations Officer of the Kytherian Association of Australia, and Trustee of the Kytherian World Heritage Fund. At that meeting Cynthia inquired what the needs of Kythera are and the Mayor responded "bookshelves" for the proposed library.

Cynthia organised the financing for the Bookshelves Project in the USA, and George Poulos, under the auspices of the Kytherian World Heritage Fund, organised funds in Australia. By May 2009, Cynthia could report "that we have come a long way in the fund raising. If everyone that committed funds comes through we have raised $6,460. That leaves us with a need for $1,540 more for shipping plus the cost of the container, $2,500. I have no doubt we will get there. We still have some fund raising events up our sleeves, but I haven't had time to work on them just yet".

By the end of the Bookshelves Project she could report with some pride: "This project certainly does qualify as "great." If it did not, we would not have had so many people and organizations supporting it. We have had eight organizations (and their members) including Soroptimist International of Alhambra-San Gabriel-San Marino, Rotary International of Alhambra, KAA, KSOC, KSNY, AHEPA, Daughters of Penelope of Santa Barbara, two companies (providing in-kind assistance) and over fifty individuals (including a film/television celebrity) who have donated to this cause. I think as a grass roots project, that speaks volumes."

Just days after returning from her first visit to Kythera, Cynthia found the inspiraation for this project. During the ribbon cutting ceremony for the City of Alhambra's new municipal library, she realized that the City (where she works) may no longer need the bookshelves that remained in the decommissioned old library and that there could be an oppotunity to obtain some of them for Kythera's proposed library of which Mayor Koukoulis had spoken.

Photographs of the shelving in situ in California

Although locating bookshelves and obtaining them may appear to be an easy task, the bureaucratic red tape involved in obtaining property belonging to a municipality can be quite daunting. In January 2009, Cynthia reported: "I just received a message from the Director of Public Works who states that used bookshelves do not have much value on the auction market and are only worth about $120 per ton for the recycled steel, minus the agents commission. The shelves will have to be declared surplus and of no significant value, at which time I will be able to obtain them for Kythera for the suggested price of $1 per shelf unit. I accepted that price without hesitation. It might only cost about $100 to purchase the shelves.

I have a tentative February 10th presentation date with the Rotary to see if they will assist in this project. Also, since I am a member of the Soroptimists of Alhambra-San Gabriel-San Marino, I might be able to convince them to help with the project. The shipping might cost about $10,000 and the soroptimists' help in fundraising will be invaluable. I'll know more after the presentations.

The City is anxious to mobilize removal of the shelves, so as I expected, I am under a tight timeframe to move them out of the old library."

Cynthia also faced numerous additional logistical challenges.
A. How to remove the shelving units from the old Alhambra Library, and where to store them?

In August 2009 Cynthia reported "We don't have the container yet. Half the shelves are stored indoors at a warehouse that belongs to a Rotarian and half are stored in my backyard (It's summer here so it's alright & they are covered). But they have to be moved before the rains come.

The City didn't want volunteers to dismantle the shelves in the City owned library building for liability reasons, so City staff moved them out of the library, but they cannot be stored on City property. It took a crew of six people a week to dismantle and bundle the components for the shelves. They transported them to Al's Towing in Alhambra where they are stored until we can shiip them.

It took a huge effort to get the shelves dismantled and into storage and it was very chaotic. I left someone else in charge who's concept differred from mine. Once I inventoried the equipment, I found that we didn't have the proper number and size of shelves to go with the respective frames so another work party was dispatched (2 more days) to go back into the old library to gather the pieces we were missing. The second batch was transported to my backyard. Another tricky piece of the puzzle - now that the shelves are out of the old library, City staff can't be used to load the container. A local church that has offered help from their youth group, but volunteer labor can be unpredictable and I am worried about the continuity of the project. Although many of the staff that have been working on this project might offer to volunteer to load the container, as the director of the department for which they work I can't allow that because it could be perceived as coercion from me. So the Soroptimists will provide a stipend to them (funded through the fundraising effort) for their work. One of the staff happens to also work for a shipping company. He has experience organizing the loading of containers. I have asked him (on behalf of the Soroptimists) to be the lead person in the task of loading of the container. So between the City staff who are familiar with the project and the volunteers from the church the container will be properly loaded.

I won't lie, it's been a difficult project. I've lost a lot of sleep over the whole thing. The nice thing is that all of these people really are dedicated to the project, so I know they will come through. I am trying to get the shelves shipped in the next couple of weeks, but I can't bring the container into the warehouse until we are ready to ship because of the inconvenience it will cause the warehouse owner. Now that I am telling the shipper I'm ready to move forward, I am getting frustrating information from them."

B. Will it be better to own the shipping container the shelves are to be sent in, or just use the one provided by the shipper?

One of Cynthia's contacts advised her that "most people don't own the container. I think there is more paperwork involved and it might be more work to pass through Customs. So I think shippers don't want to deal with that and try to discourage it."

Although there would be no additonal charge to use a container provided by the international shipping company, once the container arrived in Pireaus the load would have to moved to another container (at a cost to the project for the labor to do so) because the international shipper did not service Kythera and for liablity reasons could not allow their container to be loaded onto another vessel. The cost of shipping from Pireaus to Kythera would be $1,500 U.S. Once the container arrived on Kythera it would have to be immediately unloaded and returned to the vessel. Any additional time on the island would result in a rental charge for the container. The transport of the emplty container back to Pireaus would cost an additional $1,500 U.S. After extensive research, Cynthia located a "sea worthy" container with the appropriate inspection certificate at a cost of $2,500 U.S. Determining that the cost of transferring the load in Piraeus, potentially paying rent while the container was on Kythera and shipping the container back to Piraeus could be just as costly and possibly more costly, than purchasing the container outright, Cynthia decided purchasing the container was the better choice.

C. Can a free or inexpensive location be found to store the shelves until they could be shipped?

If storage space had to be rented it would prove costly. Ultimately space in a warehouse in Alhambra was donated by Rotarian, Al Pavone, owner of Al's Towing which had limited indoor space that could be used to store the shelves. This saved a tremendous amount of money since the shelves were in storage for approximately six months before they could be shipped. "We are finalizing our inventory to see what components we still need to get from the old library before we ship. We have been authorized to go back into the building and take whatever we still need. We are in really good shape. It looks like we have about 30-eight foot long wall sections, about 25-eight foot long free standing double sided sections, and 2-eight foot long display/counter units. The next hurdle will be weight. these bookshelves are steel. They are HEAVY!!! Hopefully we will be able to send the whole lot.

I can't tell you how many people have asked if they could go Kythera to help reassemble the bookshelves on the island. I told the staff that disassembled them that I'm sure they would be welcome, but they would have to fund their own way there. I'm attaching a photo of the crew with some of the dismantled shelves in the background.

Everyone is really excited about this project!"

Vikki Vrettos Fraioli posted an extended report on the Message Board, 31.05.2009.

The Shelving project was reported in the kythera-family Newsletter in June, 2009 , and July, 2009

John Stathatos acts as the Kytherian connection

John Stathatos is a great advocate for Hellenic and Kytherian culture on the island. He is the Director of the Kythera Cultural Association. John has been engaged in numerous cultural Projects, such as Photographic Encounters, and the restoration of the Fatseas collection of photographs, which were featured in a Benaki Museum exhibition.

He is a great advocate for the Municipal Library.
In October 2009, he wrote to Cindy and George advising / asking that:

1. You may add my name to any document. My address is Strapodi, Chora, Kythera 80100.
2. The container will be unloaded alongside or behind the new municipal library in Agios Elias, Kythera.
3. There is equipment on the island to unload the container. I will try to find out the cost, and can probably get it done for free, but I obviously need a few days to get the details.
4. Has Tina (Anoni) chosen a haulage company to carry the container from Piraeus to Kythera? If not, I might be able to get a discount rate from a local trucking company. Again, I would need till Monday or Tuesday to confirm this.
5. I saw the mayor today and brought him up to date.
6. Do we have even a very rough ballpark figure for arrival on Kythera?

On the 12th January, 2010, the shelving arrived on Kythera, and was unpacked on the same day, and packed away safely in the Library at Kontolianika.

John Stathatos announced:

"As it happened, the right crane to offload the whole container was out of commission. Fortunately work had finished on the inside of the library, which is nice and dry, so I got the municipality to provide some labour, and we got everything unloaded in a couple of hours.

Above, are couple of photos; we’ll take more when it comes time to assemble the shelves. (See below).

Congratulations on completing the final lap of your grand project!"

The Project was written up in the December 2009 issue of Kytheraismos newspaper

Cynthia sent an excited email to her many Shelving Project supporters:

"This is so coool! See article below regarding bookshelves project. It was run in the local Kytherian newspaper, Kytheraismos, and is posted on the kythera-family.net website. I know most of you cannot read it so once I get the translation, I'll send it along.

Gay (Kinman - a fellow Soroptimist)! you made the paper!!!! Aren't you glad you showed up that cold morning for the loading of the container?????

Organisations mentioned (that I can recognize - I don't speak or read Greek) - Alhambra, Soroptimist International, Rotary, Kythera Society of CA, Kythera Association of AU, Kythera Association of NY."

Photos > Modern Portraits

submitted by Stephen Trifyllis on 03.09.2013

'' A FINE GATHERING''

a celebrated table at astikon cafe [ livadti cafeneo ] after the church service at potamo on sunday having a coffee with the bishop , mayor and friends ....

Photos > Modern Portraits

submitted by Stephen Trifyllis on 03.09.2013

TRIFYLLEIO FOUNDATION CEREMONY

the ceremony at the kytherian nursing home on the 13 august 2013 to recognise the donors and benefactors of the nursing home on a lovely August evening ...

Photos > Modern Portraits

submitted by Stephen Trifyllis on 03.09.2013

trifylleio foundation ceremony ...

the bishop of kythera performs a service at the potamo nursing home before the awards are granted to the the major donors and sponsors to the nursing home ..

Photos > Modern Portraits

submitted by Stephen Trifyllis on 03.09.2013

trifylleio foundation ceremony..

collecting her award as one of the benefactors and donors of the nursing home in potamos is Mrs. Black of Brisbane and potamos on the 13th august , the award was given to her by the mayor of kythera at a ceremony at the nursing home

Photos > Modern Portraits

submitted by Stephen Trifyllis on 12.09.2013

'' strategy meeting ''

meeting at potamos early in august with the mayor and some of the new members of the newly formed Brisbane kytherian association , meeting was to get ideas on how the kytherian association of brisbane can assist the people of kythera with the functions that the new committee plans , on the mayors left is peter souris [ president ] melina mallos and annazina [ poteri ] black ... we wish the new brisbane committee best wishes ...

Photos > Modern Portraits

submitted by George Vardas on 09.08.2013

Walking the fields

An old lady walking through the fields near Aghios Konstantinos at Livadi

Photos > Modern Portraits

submitted by Kytherian Publishing & Media on 12.05.2013

Making the tsipoura, otherwise known as tsipouro

From page 63, In Search of Kythera and Antikythera

Author: Tzeli Hadjidimitriou

When Published: 2013

Publisher: Tzeli Hadjidimitriou

Language: ENGLISH

Available: 2013

In Europe, Available from:

http://www.odoiporikon.com/shop/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=54

It will also be available in all the book shops on the island of Kythera, during the 2013 summer season.

In Australia & Asia Pacific:

Kytherian Association of Australia Bookshelf

Kytherian World Heritage Fund Order Form

Description: 252 page hand held guide book - "Lonely Planet guide standard".

ISBN: 978-960-00330-5-3


Front Cover, In Search of Kythera and Antikythera

Text and photographs by Tzeli Hadjidimitriou

Tzeli Hadjidimitriou. Author of In Search of Kythera and Antikythera

Translated into English by Despina Christidoulou

Designed by Yiannis Alexandropoulos and Alexis Veroucas



It’s printed and on the way from Greece!

A dedicated guide book on Kythera, in English.

Highly acclaimed professional photographer and travel writer, Tzeli Hadjidimitriou was the author and visual artist behind the Unexplored Kythera & Antikythera guide book in Greek.

It’s probably the best selling book relating to Kythera, ever.

The English version is called In Search of Kythera & Antikythera and will be
available for purchase in Australia from the end of May, just in time to take over for Kytherian summer. Great for those visiting the island for
the first time, or seasoned travellers wanting to get more out of their stay. Great for the grandkids!

A handheld guide book with 252 dedicated pages on Kythera. In Australia it is available for $25 plus postage from the Kytherian Association of Australia, and from the Kytherian World Heritage Fund. The Kytherian Association of Aiustralia partly sponsored the book.

See also www.kytherianassociation.com.au/books.html

In Greece it is available through

Tzeli Hadjidimitriou
photographer & travel writer

14 Tideos str.
11635 Athens
Greece
0030-6972216970

Email, odoiporikon

Email, odoiporikon 2
www.odoiporikon.com


Download the 3-page .pdf segment from the April (Kytherian Association of Australia) Newsletter, here:

kaa newsletter tzeli april 2013 pp1-3 A.pdf

About Tzeli Hadjidimitriou


Tzeli Hadjidimitriou was born in Mytilene, Lesbos in 1962. She holds a degree in Economics from the University of Thessaloniki (1980–86) and
pursued further studies in the field of Direction of Photography for the Cinema, in Rome (1986–88).

In 1985, on a scholarship from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, she attended a series of seminars by Michelangelo Antonioni on the art of cinematography. She also holds a superior diploma as an official translator of the Italian language and a certificate in video-montage.

A professional photographer in Greece since 1988, she has worked in television for ten years and also in the cinema industry as a stage photographer, collaborating with many film and photography
directors.

Although mostly described as an “artistic landscape photographer”, her “lens” has also focused extensively on artworks, interiors and archaeological subjects and she collaborates with museums, galleries, architects and publishing houses.

Her work is regularly presented in individual and group exhibitions in Greece and abroad. She is a regular contributor of articles and photographs to several newspapers and magasines.

Tzeli Hadjidimitriou organises photography workshops on Kythera and Lesvos in Spring time and in Autumn. In this journey on the islands of
Lesvos and Kythera, you will travel an interior meditation path, where the relationship of the soul and the light will reflect in your photographs.
This travel photography workshop provides a platform for those who seek to know a place in its history, people, tradition and culture, through
the lens of a camera.

Rather than being a laboratory for learning the latest techniques in digital photography, participants will try to capture the atmosphere of the Greek soul. We’ll learn how to “see” and how to compose the image in our minds, before taking the picture. In other words, we will get to know a place by learning how to capture and see the light on a face, a landscape or an object, and connect this place with ourselves through photography.

A Typical page, page 164

Download page 164 as a .pdf, here:

KYTHIRA GUIDE 2013 page 164.pdf


[Photograph on the page]

The churches and the ravine of Kato Hora

[Text on the page]


Option One

(recommended for walking as far as Kato Hora)

Your first walk, in order to cover the historical landscape of Mylopotamos, entails going down to the district of Kato Hora, with its Venetian castle and fantastic view and romantic sunset. We recommend you come to this point on foot to enjoy the architecture of the houses and arches as well as the gardens full of bougainvilleas in the houses along the narrow lanes.

Signs guide you to the asphalt road on the left and, after 400 m, to the right, down to the gulley. After 1.4 km, after passing another district of M opotamos, Piso Pigadi, you reach Kato Hora, the prettiest village dis­trict in the whole of Kythera. It still retains the island's traditional colours and typical architecture.The houses built within the castle and those around it share the same homogenous features. Due to the lack of space, they have two storeys and do not communicate internally but via an external staircase that terminates in a terrace supported by an arch beneath which was the ground floor entrance, that was also used as an ad hoc storage space for agricultural produce and tools. The ground floor spaces were low, stone-built arches with the characteristic corner fireplace. Note the innovative chimneys, designed to withstand the force of the powerful winds, as well as the stone flower­boxes, standing on stone supports called fourousia. These were usually placed under the windows and their origin is Venetian.

In the small square you can also see the old English School, built in 1825 with funds donated by Mylopotamiots. Behind it is a little road that leads to the castle. Imposing and dominating, just like his city, the Lion of Saint Mark of the Serene Republic of Venice still keeps a lookout over the visitors' entrance. Visitors are impressed with the expansive view from the walls over the gorge towards the permanently stormy west, which is still wild, precipitous and forested.

The castle of Kato Hora (Lower Hora) was built by the Venetians to protect the inhabitants from pirate raids and also so that they could oversee the stormy west coastline. It's said that 50 refugee families from Crete and Cyprus who lived in the castle in 1545, suppfied the essential army in order to guard it It grew especially after the destruction of the castle-city of Agios Dimitrios (Paleochora) by Barbarossa in 1537 and after the conquest of Monemvasia by the Turks in 1540. when the inhabitants who were saved fled there
for protection. The presently empty, but wonderfully restored, houses of Kato Hora and the narrow lanes.........

Photos > Modern Portraits

submitted by Kytherian Publishing & Media on 12.05.2013

Tzeli Hadjidimitriou. Author of In Search of Kythera and Antikythera

The most sophisticated travel guide of Kythera ever published.

Author: Tzeli Hadjidimitriou

When Published: 2013

Publisher: Tzeli Hadjidimitriou

Language: ENGLISH

Available: 2013

In Europe, Available from:

http://www.odoiporikon.com/shop/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=54

It will also be available in all the book shops on the island of Kythera, during the 2013 summer season.

In Australia & Asia Pacific:

Kytherian Association of Australia Bookshelf

Kytherian World Heritage Fund Order Form

Description: 252 page hand held guide book - "Lonely Planet guide standard".

ISBN: 978-960-00330-5-3


Front Cover, In Search of Kythera and Antikythera

Text and photographs by Tzeli Hadjidimitriou

Translated into English by Despina Christidoulou

Designed by Yiannis Alexandropoulos and Alexis Veroucas



It’s printed and on the way from Greece!

A dedicated guide book on Kythera, in English.

Highly acclaimed professional photographer and travel writer, Tzeli Hadjidimitriou was the author and visual artist behind the Unexplored Kythera & Antikythera guide book in Greek.

It’s probably the best selling book relating to Kythera, ever.

The English version is called In Search of Kythera & Antikythera and will be
available for purchase in Australia from the end of May, just in time to take over for Kytherian summer. Great for those visiting the island for
the first time, or seasoned travellers wanting to get more out of their stay. Great for the grandkids!

A handheld guide book with 252 dedicated pages on Kythera. In Australia it is available for $25 plus postage from the Kytherian Association of Australia, and from the Kytherian World Heritage Fund. The Kytherian Association of Aiustralia partly sponsored the book.

See also www.kytherianassociation.com.au/books.html

In Greece it is available through

Tzeli Hadjidimitriou
photographer & travel writer

14 Tideos str.
11635 Athens
Greece
0030-6972216970

Email, odoiporikon

Email, odoiporikon 2
www.odoiporikon.com


Download the 3-page .pdf segment from the April (Kytherian Association of Australia) Newsletter, here:

kaa newsletter tzeli april 2013 pp1-3 A.pdf

About Tzeli Hadjidimitriou

Tzeli Hadjidimitriou was born in Mytilene, Lesbos in 1962. She holds a degree in Economics from the University of Thessaloniki (1980–86) and
pursued further studies in the field of Direction of Photography for the Cinema, in Rome (1986–88).

In 1985, on a scholarship from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, she attended a series of seminars by Michelangelo Antonioni on the art of cinematography. She also holds a superior diploma as an official translator of the Italian language and a certificate in video-montage.

A professional photographer in Greece since 1988, she has worked in television for ten years and also in the cinema industry as a stage photographer, collaborating with many film and photography
directors.

Although mostly described as an “artistic landscape photographer”, her “lens” has also focused extensively on artworks, interiors and archaeological subjects and she collaborates with museums, galleries, architects and publishing houses.

Her work is regularly presented in individual and group exhibitions in Greece and abroad. She is a regular contributor of articles and photographs to several newspapers and magazines.

Tzeli Hadjidimitriou organises photography workshops on Kythera and Lesvos in Spring time and in Autumn. In this journey on the islands of
Lesvos and Kythera, you will travel an interior meditation path, where the relationship of the soul and the light will reflect in your photographs.
This travel photography workshop provides a platform for those who seek to know a place in its history, people, tradition and culture, through
the lens of a camera.

Rather than being a laboratory for learning the latest techniques in digital photography, participants will try to capture the atmosphere of the Greek soul. We’ll learn how to “see” and how to compose the image in our minds, before taking the picture. In other words, we will get to know a place by learning how to capture and see the light on a face, a landscape or an object, and connect this place with ourselves through photography.

A Typical page, page 164

Download page 164 as a .pdf, here:

KYTHIRA GUIDE 2013 page 164.pdf

The churches and the ravine of Kato Hora

[Text on the page]


Option One

(recommended for walking as far as Kato Hora)

Your first walk, in order to cover the historical landscape of Mylopotamos, entails going down to the district of Kato Hora, with its Venetian castle and fantastic view and romantic sunset. We recommend you come to this point on foot to enjoy the architecture of the houses and arches as well as the gardens full of bougainvilleas in the houses along the narrow lanes.

Signs guide you to the asphalt road on the left and, after 400 m, to the right, down to the gulley. After 1.4 km, after passing another district of M opotamos, Piso Pigadi, you reach Kato Hora, the prettiest village dis­trict in the whole of Kythera. It still retains the island's traditional colours and typical architecture.The houses built within the castle and those around it share the same homogenous features. Due to the lack of space, they have two storeys and do not communicate internally but via an external staircase that terminates in a terrace supported by an arch beneath which was the ground floor entrance, that was also used as an ad hoc storage space for agricultural produce and tools. The ground floor spaces were low, stone-built arches with the characteristic corner fireplace. Note the innovative chimneys, designed to withstand the force of the powerful winds, as well as the stone flower­boxes, standing on stone supports called fourousia. These were usually placed under the windows and their origin is Venetian.

In the small square you can also see the old English School, built in 1825 with funds donated by Mylopotamiots. Behind it is a little road that leads to the castle. Imposing and dominating, just like his city, the Lion of Saint Mark of the Serene Republic of Venice still keeps a lookout over the visitors' entrance. Visitors are impressed with the expansive view from the walls over the gorge towards the permanently stormy west, which is still wild, precipitous and forested.

The castle of Kato Hora (Lower Hora) was built by the Venetians to protect the inhabitants from pirate raids and also so that they could oversee the stormy west coastline. It's said that 50 refugee families from Crete and Cyprus who lived in the castle in 1545, suppfied the essential army in order to guard it It grew especially after the destruction of the castle-city of Agios Dimitrios (Paleochora) by Barbarossa in 1537 and after the conquest of Monemvasia by the Turks in 1540. when the inhabitants who were saved fled there
for protooion. The presently empty, but wonderfully restored, houses of Kato Hora and the narrow lanes.........

Making the tsipoura

Photos > Modern Portraits

submitted by Stephen Trifyllis on 21.04.2013

''xpona polla forty manea .... trifyllianika

one of the most prominent and lovely families from kythera , the manea family, celebrate forty maneas birthday recently at a luncheon at americanos restraunt at agia pelagia ....

Photos > Modern Portraits

submitted by Stephen Trifyllis on 21.04.2013

' the champs elysees of kythera'

the most famous street on our little island , a lot quieter in the winter months than in the busy summer period, but what ever season, we love walking up and down this famous street!!

Photos > Modern Portraits

submitted by Stephen Trifyllis on 21.04.2013

'' shopping day''

great and old fashion way of getting around , not seen much in kythera but this gentlemqan still uses his donkey to go to his ''horafyia to collect his veggies....

Photos > Modern Portraits

submitted by Stephen Trifyllis on 18.04.2013

'' a nice meal ..

march april is the perfect time to catch these moreton bay / balmain bugs , these were caught just of diakofti ,this diver can dive down to 20 meters with no air tanks ,they caught a few of these , when boiled they tasted terrific ...