LIAS Initiates a Community Library in Tobruk

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LIAS Initiates a Community Library in Tobruk

In November 2013, LIAS signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the US Institute of Peace (USIP) to hold joint activities working with Libyans to prevent, manage and resolve conflict without violence.

Since that date, the two organizations have sought to collaborate on workshops, public lectures, and conferences in both Libya and the United States to enhance conflict resolution skills in Libyan society through knowledge sharing, training, and development of curriculum and teaching materials.

In 2014, a further opportunity to collaborate arose which LIAS has enthusiastically taken up.  USIP were looking for a home for a collection of their reference books and some audio-visual materials – these covered a very wide range of topics and perspectives in subject areas including history; conflict resolution; interfaith dialogue; truth and reconciliation; globalisation; and many more. LIAS was extremely pleased to find a home for this extraordinary resource, comprising over 5,000 volumes.  They had been housed in the USIP library in Washington DC.

Once the collection of books had been packed and crated, in October 2014 they were put on a ship bound for the UAE and were then transferred to another vessel, which is on route to the eastern Libyan city of Tobruk.

For much of 2014, Tobruk has hosted the Libyan House of Representatives, but the city has limited reference library facilities.  LIAS has determined that this fabulous collection of reference books will provide an excellent community resource for the city.  The progress of the vessel loaded with the books on the final leg of their journey is being tracked by the LIAS team on a daily basis and it is expected to arrive before the end of January.

In addition, further collections of books donated by the Chairman of LIAS, Dr Aref Ali Nayed are also on their way to Tobruk.  In total, the LIAS Tobruk community library is expected to make available over 9,000 volumes for use by the community and, in particular in support of education in the city.

It is expected that the library set-up including the shelving of all of the books and the cataloguing of all of the titles will be completed during the second quarter of 2015.