HAITI NATIONAL LIBRARIES
Just as hundreds of libraries helped colleagues in the gulf region after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, we are encouraging libraries, friends of libraries, and other organizations to adopt a library in Haiti. In addition to the three libraries that ALA is fund-raising for currently, there are many other public, community, academic, and school libraries that need help.
Petit Goave is a coastal town in Haiti about 42 miles away from Port-au-Prince. It is one of the oldest cities in Haiti. The earthquake that struck Haiti caused large scale damage to the city and destroyed the municipal library. Petit Goave is the birthplace of novelist and journalist Dany Laferiere. Laferiere writes only in French and has written several books, some of which have been adapted to film. His eleventh novel, L'énigme du retour, which is about his return to Haiti won the Prix Médicis award.
Located about 18 miles west of Port-au-Prince Leogane the earthquake caused damages to over 80% of the city’s buildings, including its municipal library. The library needs a lot of help before it can reopen and serve the community like it did before the earthquake. Leogane is the birthplace of Edwidge Danticat, a writer of novels and short stories. Although Danticat immigrated to America at a young age she is a strong advocate for issues facing Haiti both domestically and abroad.
Croix des bouquets- Wyclef Jean's Birth city
Originally a coastal city Croix des Bouquets was moved inland due to the 1770 Haiti earthquake. Although it is now situated only 8 miles outside of Port-au-Prince where the earthquake originated Croix des Bouquets was not affected by the earthquake as much as some areas. However, the municipal library was damaged by the effects of the earthquake and is in need of support. Croix des Bouquets is the birth place of musician Wyclef Jean. Jean’s uncle, Raymond Alcide Joseph, is the current Haitian ambassador to the United States.
Cavaillon is a small rural town in the Sud Department of Haiti. Many of the buildings were demolished by the earthquake. The library is currently unable to provide services to the public and is in need of many supplies. Cavaillon is famous for being the birthplace of artist George Valris. Valris works in textiles and is known for his voodoo flags, which are elaborate sequined and beaded squares of cloth.
Saint-Louis-du-Sud is a small municipality located 13 miles to the east of Cavaillon. Like Cavaillon Saint-Louis-du-Sud and its library were drastically affected by the earthquake. The library is in serious need of support to help in its efforts to rebuild its services and its community.
The Fondation Connaissance et Liberté (FOKAL)
The Centre Culturel Pyepoudre Library in Port-au-Prince was created by Paula Clermont Pean,
an actress and accomplished writer, in the mid 1990s. The library has several youth groups including a reading club and a debate club. The earthquake destroyed the house in which the library was located. Although the library staff was able to move the library’s collection to secure areas their furnishing and equipment for the computer lab and administration have been completely destroyed. The library staff is currently working to keep the library running by working with schools and mobile structures (to be found) in order to continue to serve the young adults and children that used to frequent the library.
Rasin Lespwa Library
Rasin Lespwa Library is currently housed in the Episcopalian church of Darbonne, a neighborhood of Leogane. Despite damages from the earthquake the Library and the church are still functioning. Unfortunately the church now needs this space and the library must move to a new location. The Association of Rasin Lespwa has been able to acquire land and is now hoping to build semi-temporary structures to allow the library to relocate in the same area. The patrons of the Rasin Lespa Library are mostly young adults, children, teachers, and local farmers. A local youth initiative group is very active in the library.
Araka library is a small library located in the center of Port-au-Prince, and has suffered a lot of damages due to earthquake. Originally the Araka library was a socio-cultural association that evolved into a community library. The library has theater group and showcases many art exhibits for the public. The library's serves a large number of young adults and children, but also artists and musicians.
Cecrej library was created by a fund given by Ernest jean Baptiste, a haitian writer and scholar.
The library is located in Diquine in the southwest outskirts of Port-au-Prince. Before the earthquake the Cecrej library was very active and offered many activities for the public such as conferences, reading groups, and more. Currently the building is in need of important repairs due to damages resulting from the earthquake in order for the library to reopen and serve its community.
If your library or group is interested in ‘adopting’ a library please contact Michael Dowling at email@example.com
To make a donation, please visit the Haiti Library Relief Fund page to find the three ways you can donate.