Helping rebuild Haitian Libraries

The Digital Library of the Caribbean has launched a Protecting Haitian Patrimony Initiative and are seeking contributions and volunteers to help in the effort. The project is described here. You can follow the links below to donate funds or volunteer to help in the effort.

In response to the earthquake on January 12, 2010, many institutions and individuals have expressed an interest in supporting Haitian libraries and archives as they begin the difficult and costly process of rebuilding and working towards the future.  The Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) has been working closely with its partner institutions in Port-au-Prince and is poised to play a vital role in helping them coordinate their efforts to rebuild and implement a long-term plan of sustainability for the future.  The Protecting Haitian Patrimony Initiative builds on strong, long term partnerships, with an emphasis on accountability and transparency.  The core objectives are as follows:

Mission: The Protecting Haitian Patrimony Initiative brings together international contributors to assist Haiti with the preservation of Haitian cultural patrimony while respecting local sovereignty.

Guiding Principles: The directors of the partner institutions in Haiti provide leadership for the Protecting Haitian Patrimony Initiative. They are responsible for identifying the most critical areas of need related to the preservation of cultural patrimony and making recommendations to the dLOC Executive Board. The dLOC Executive Board has final approval authority for the allocation of funds raised through the Protecting Haitian Patrimony Initiative. Contributors consist of both individuals and institutions seek to support the mission of the Protecting Haitian Patrimony Initiative.

In an effort to maximize impact, contributors commit to sharing information and collaborating in support of Haitian libraries and archives, however, all parties are free to pursue other group and/or individual projects. Contributors agree to actively participate in the strengthening of Haitian institutions in an effort to enhance the ability of Haitian institutions to manage and preserve their collections in-country.

The initiative has three goals: Encourage communication across institutions working to assist Haiti’s libraries coordinate technical and in-kind assistance for Haiti’s libraries; raise dollars to support specific collection/archival recovery and preservation projects in Haiti, including purchasing and shipping needed materials, paying travel costs for specialists to travel to Haiti, paying wages for personnel doing archival preservation and recovery work in Haiti.

Who are they helping: Four main collections of Haitian Patrimony in Port-au-Prince, Archives nationales d’Haïti
Bibliothèque haïtienne des Pères du Saint-Esprit / St. Martial
Bibliothèque haïtienne des Frères de l’Instruction Chrétienne / Saint Louis de Gonzague
Bibliothèque nationale d’Haïti.

In addition to the four collections mentioned above, there is a great need to support the redevelopment of the libraries at the State University of Haiti and the University of Quisqueya, as well as the public libraries of FOKAL and other private collections.  First priority is given to the immediate needs of the patrimonial libraries, but other collections may be considered if funding allows.  

How are we going to help? The rebuilding of the libraries and archives in Haiti is led by the local directors of each institution.  Through a multi-tiered approach that involves institutions, organizations and individuals, the Protecting Haitian Patrimony Initiative provides an avenue for increased communication and collaboration in the international community and financial, in-kind and technical assistance for the Haitian libraries and archives.

At the institutional and organizational levels, contributors dedicate resources (financial, technical, in-kind or human capital) to support the Haitian libraries and archives.  Additionally, contributors commit to sharing information, strategies and best practices related to outreach to Haiti. 

At the individual level, contributors agree to: Donate financially (see here); Organize fundraisers; Provide supplies requested by libraries and archives; Pack or ship items collected; Travel to Haiti to assist – specialized; Travel to Haiti to assist – general

How will the money be allocated?

Funds collected through the Protecting Haitian Patrimony Initiative, via its coordination site at Florida International University, are used to support the future development of Haiti through the preservation of Haitian cultural patrimony.  All funds except for administrative fees charged from the credit card companies will go directly to support the partner institutions in Haiti.  All donations are tax deductable. 

First priority is given to the immediate needs of the patrimonial libraries.  Other collections may be considered if funding allows or if other unforeseen critical needs arise.

Funds are intended for, but not limited to, use in the following critical areas: Partner institution temporary staffing costs; Equipment; Archival and storage materials; Shipping; Travel for specialists.

The dLOC Executive Board has final approval authority on all allocations.  All funded partner institutions must comply with the reporting requirements of the FIU Foundation.  An accountability report of all expenses is available at www.dloc.com.

How can I donate online? In order to donate online, click on this link (or the button above).  It will take you to the FIU institutional donation page.   On the first page you will enter your personal contact information and <<Continue>> to the next page.  On the second page, you will enter the amount, select <<Digital Library of the Caribbean Fund>> and enter the payment information.  All donations to this fund will be allocated to the Protecting Haitian Patrimony until at least August 2010. However, if you would like, you can state in the comment line that the donation is directed to the Protecting Haitian Patrimony initiative.  (See example here)

For more information and to volunteer to work go to http://web1.dloc.com/ufdc/?g=dloc1&m=hithaitianlibhelp

One thought on “Helping rebuild Haitian Libraries

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s