Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Haiti Earthquake Severely Damaged It's Libraries

Haiti's Libraries Need Your Help!

From an article written by Madison Smartt Bell  in The Huffington Post,
"The Saint Martial compound was hit hard by the earthquake, though not completely destroyed. One of the school buildings fell to the ground. The church has been severely damaged. The building housing the library was structurally compromised, though it didn't collapse; in the weeks following the earthquake the current librarian, Patrick Tardieu, managed to get the collection boxed and removed.

So now the collection is in the same situation it was during the Duvalier days, when the dictatorship might well have destroyed it--because of its inspiration to freedom. Books don't do well in boxes in Haiti, whose climate is extremely hard on paper. I once received by mail an old book I had searched for long time. Though carefully sealed in a plastic wrapper, the paper was shot through with worm holes. When I took the plastic off, I found that the pages were uncut. No one had read this book, so far, but the worms.

The Bibliothèque Haïtienne, like the other collections which are also in danger, won't directly feed or clothe or shelter Haitian people. But it contains a spark of the spirit they need to keep going. More than an archive of their past, it holds the promise of their future"

The John Carter Brown Library at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, has established a fund, "Saving Haiti's Libraries." To make a donation, and view a special online exhibit of Haitian cultural treasures, visit http://www.brown.edu/Facilities/John_Carter_Brown_Library/haiti/
For more information about Haiti's libraries, go to: