22 January 2010
News about Haitian libraries
The Bibliothèque Nationale d'Haïti has sustained heavy damage from the earthquake, but has not collapsed. Historic preservation architects will eventually examine the state of the building, but of course only after the most essential structures (hospitals, sanitation, etc.) are first dealt with.
St Gonzague's patrimonial Library is completely destroyed. A two-part YouTube video that discusses the damage is available from un petit cabanon.
The Library of St. Martial–which possess manuscripts from the 17th through 19th century–has also sustained heavy structural damage and will require rescue intervention. The Library of the University Quisqueya was also severely damaged by the earthquake.
In the meantime, the International Committee of the Blue Shield has launched an online registration for volunteers. The website is available in English and French; please use only lower case letters in your address.
The President of Libraries Without Borders has supplied me with a list of bibliographic needs for Haitian university libraries. Special attention is being paid to books in French on the following topics: Letters, Agronomy, Linguistics, Odontology (dentistry), Health, Psychology, History, Geography, Sociology, Philosophy, Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Science. If you wish to donate, please contact me for more information. A complete list of their needs is available as an Excel workbook file.
To hear some on-the-spot coverage, you can listen to the podcast of an interview (in French) with one of our former colleagues, Jean-Euphèle Milcé, which took place in Haiti on Thursday, 21 January by Radio-Télévision Suisse; please scroll to Forum: édition spéciale en direct d'Haïti.
Thanks for your support.
Member of IFLA Governing Board 2007-2009, 2009-2011
Secretary of the IFLA Preservation and Conservation Section
Conservateur des manuscrits
Présidente du COSADOCA
Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire
CH 1015 Lausanne Dorigny
Tél +41 21 692 47 83