Legacies and disasters

Jill Hurst-Wahl at Digitization 101 discusses the question of how Haiti’s archives and libraries have weathered last week’s terrible earthquake disaster. The initial report from this Facebook librarians’ group was unexpectedly good news: Haiti’s National Library was one of the few buildings left standing in its area; books and shelves were intact.

I was interested and glad to see the topic come up, even though the question often  arises as to whether it’s appropriate to worry about it at a time like this. Yet, when is the right time to think about cultural cornerstones? Two months from now? Two years?

So many legacies, large and individual, are buried when these disasters strike. Ultimately it’s a vital service, trying to hold onto cultural treasures when all hell breaks loose.

My prayers go out all Haitians, especially after this morning’s 6.0 magnitude aftershock there.


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