BiblioTaptap Bookmobiles for Haiti
Libraries Without Borders and its partners are launching Haiti’s first bookmobile service. BiblioTaptaps are named after Haiti’s “Tap taps” – gaily painted buses or pick-up trucks that serve as shared taxis. With a name that literally means “quick quick”, these vehicles do not leave until they are filled with passengers, and follow fixed routes all across the country.
Beautifully decorated “Tap taps” are part of Haiti’s history, landscape and imagination. Decorated with painstaking care by talented Haitian artists, LWB will launch three bookmobiles between July 2012 and January 2013. They will reach more than 15,000 children and adults every month in Port-au-Prince and its surroundings, as well as Haiti’s North and Center departments.
BiblioTaptaps fulfill a critical need for access to information and reading in post- earthquake Haiti. In Port-au-Prince, bookmobiles will circulate in the neighborhoods that were hit hardest by the earthquake, providing books and making intellectual resources available to many for the first time since the earthquake. In the North and Center departments, the bookmobiles will primarily focus on underserved communities where libraries are nonexistent and there is limited access to books. Making knowledge and information available is a key part of Haiti’s reconstruction effort.
15,000 people given access to books every month
3,600 hours of reading and literacy activities a year
20 underserved neighborhoods and remote villages
40 local Haitian associations supporting the bibliotaptaps
BiblioTaptaps are more than just bookmobiles – they are places along roads and near displaced persons camps where people can meet, read, open discussions and foster debate. They provide space for local organizations to hold educational workshops covering topics ranging from environmental awareness to cholera prevention.
The BiblioTaptap project is a result of a longtime partnership and collaboration between the primary supporters of expanding access to books and intellectual resources in Haiti: Libraries Without Borders, the National Library of Haiti, the Haitian National Bureau for Books, and the Foundation for Knowledge and Freedom (FOKAL).
This program is supported by the European Union, the Digicel Foundation in Haiti, the French-Caribbean Institute for Cooperation, and FOKAL.
To download our full press release, click here.
For further inquiries, please contact Anthony Chase, LWB project manager.