Saturday, 5 September 2009

Lebanese National Library Foundation

The Lebanese National Library Foundation saw a need to fulfill: restore and bring to the public the archive of books and newspapers with a history of more than hundreds of years. The effort is tedious and straining. Exhibitions are arranged often to keep the spirit alive. Beyond their wars, Lebanese are often aware of their written heritage and their freedom of speech across ages.
In the world today, many are questioning the existing necessity of National Libraries. With the age of technologies and unwired web of information, does anyone flip through books or dictionaries or even encyclopaedias?
The National Public Library in France (Bibliotheque Nationale de France) is under a severe strain of “take over” from the gigantic info monster: Google. Under the cover of digitizing all documents, the French are propelled into the digital faster track. They have already covered 800 000 documents, and wonder if Google's intentions are beyond the profit when proposing a full coverage of the archives.
The Lebanese National Library is far from that fear. They are still desperately fundraising to restore first, and then erect a space. They are certain that a memory brought back to life could encourage the younger generations of researchers into a far broader capacity of understanding.
And these youngster need an access to the past to built a better future.



Rita said...

I just wanted to share my gratitude to you Sarah for opening up a wonderful window to what is happening in art and culture in the arab world and beyond. I'm just discovering all the posts,and I'm amazed and also very excited by all the information and activities that are going on in that part of the world.
This particular post has brought hope to me. As I'm personally fond of old books, and like to collect them, I cannot emphasize enough the necessity to preserve such wealth and the simple pleasure of having such old books in our hands or in future generations' hands.
I have often seen the "do not touch" sign next to a painting or a sculpture, but that has not stopped me from being inspired by that particular work of art.

I think that what the Lebanese National Library Foundation is doing is a wonderful thing, even if we won't be able to "touch them" for any reason given, those books will inspire many generations to come.

sarah said...

Thank you Rita for your support as it means a lot to me.
Books is wealth if it is presented in its best attire: diversity. It looks like the more ideas, opinion and debates there are in books or other medium, can we get a clearer notion of human kind's evolution.