Big Step Forward for Higher Education in Haiti
April 5, 2012
LWB and State University of Haiti Sign Memorandum to Build the Central Library Reserve
Library Without Borders / Bibliothèques Sans Frontières signed a memorandum with the Rector of the State University of Haiti to formally launch the RUCHe Central Library Reserve, the first of its kind in Haiti. The structure will be built on the site of the future UEH campus at Damiens, north of Port-au-Prince, and will accommodate all the library collections of UEH’s 18 departmental divisions. The new building will provide storage capacity for more than 300,000 books, more than ever possible before, as well as state-of-the-art conservation facilities. Today, the libraries of UEH have a collection of 75,000 books, but according to LWB President Patrick Weil only 10,000 of these books are up-to-date, usable, and appropriate for university-level studies. LWB and UEH aim to increase the number of usable, new books to 300,000 within three years.
LWB is now in the process of identifying partners and donors for the project, whose total cost is estimated at 5 million Euros.
The Damiens Campus will be the source of much activity in the future. In addition to housing the new Central Reserve Library, UEH plans to move many of its facilities there, and the University has already begun implementing plans to build a Graduate School there.
LWB and UEH staff members are designing the RUCHe Central Library Reserve to be modeled on major university library reserves in Europe and the United States, such as Yale University’s off-site library reserve.
The project is locally known as La RUCHe in Port-au-Prince. “Ruche” is French for beehive, and the acronym stands for Réserve Universitaire Centrale Haïtienne. UEH and LWB are committed to ensuring that the RUCHe becomes a hive of information and development in Haiti.