Help us to Help them Rebuild!
In January 2011, the Arlington Public Library adopted the Petit-Goave Library in Haiti, which was damaged in the devastating January 2010 earthquake.
For every person who completes Summer Reading in 2016, the Friends of the Arlington Public Library will donate $1.00 to the ongoing restoration of the Library of Petit-Goave and their collection.
A letter from Jean Midley Joseph, Librarian at the Library of Petit-Goave:
A library … for a city with open books!
The earthquake of 12 January 2010 destroyed much of the Haitian Republic. Houses are completely destroyed, others have suffered severe damage and had the cracked wall. Many people (men and women) are the rubble died. Besides the chronic political problems that Haiti is facing at this time, the natural disaster (the earthquake) and humanitarian (hunger, unemployment, homelessness …) were the sign of a painful despair to the people.
Indeed, the library of Petit-Goave has been one of the public institutions of the country to overcome the tragedy of this earthquake of very high magnitude earth. All the physical infrastructure of the library was swept away. Only some of the books under the rubble were recovered thanks to the efforts of managers of the public reading center. The latter has been struggling to be reborn from the ashes a year after the passage of the earthquake. The staff was forced to organize activities under tents. A structure of a mobile library be create to facilitate the access of people living in tents and deans difficult conditions materially to information, documentation and research.
A few months later, following the first visit by Deborah Lazar in Haiti, there was a true international mobilization to help rebuild a modern library in Petit-Goave (populated city of over 300,000 inhabitants) . Noting the slow pace of a possible reconstruction project, we preferred to proceed in renting a building to temporarily house the library; it’s been about 4 years and some months. Deborah Lazar, Katherine Nelson, Desiree Fairooz, New Trier High School, ALA and other partners have helped to make functional the library by paying for the rental, purchase of books, materials …
For now, the reconstruction of the library is in realization of courses thanks to funding from the European Union through the NGO Welthungerhilfe. Hopefully, the building will be refurbished at the end of this year for inauguration. Despite this construction, not everything will be finished, many more challenges are ahead. we are looking for from the project launch a fundraising can be used to purchase new equipment, books and computers …
With these words, we want to thank all our partners, including our Goodwill Ambassador Deborah Lazar and all our friends that support the implementation of actions for the benefit of the library. We strongly encourage other individuals and institutions to join us to continue to do the dream reality.
Jean Midley JOSEPH
Library of Petit-Goave
Anyone interested in helping can also make a donation directly to the American Library Association Haiti Library Relief website.