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Harvard Librarians in Cuba

Harvard librarians participated in a group trip organized by Ann Sitkin, cataloging services librarian in the Harvard Law School Library, to visit librarians and libraries in Cuba. Among the 13 librarians on the tour, which took place April 17 through 24, were Leslie Donnell (Kennedy School Library), Paula Ebbitt (Kennedy School Library), and Jan Voogd (HCL Social Sciences Program). This study tour's purpose was to examine how a country with a long and rich literary history and scarce resources organizes its libraries.

"We visited and met with staffs of the National Library, Havana University Library, and several municipal libraries in Havana, Cienfuegos, and Bauta. We hope the contacts we made may lead to future joint visits and programs between Cuban and American librarians," Sitkin said. "We also visited a publisher in Matanzas, Ediciones Vigia, where wonderful limited-edition books are handcrafted from recycled paper and other materials. Another interesting stop was Ernest Hemingway's house on the outskirts of Havana, where we spoke with two librarians about current preservation efforts of the books and papers left by Hemingway at Finca Vigia." A visit to the oldest bookstore in Havana, Moderna Poesia, and the used-books fair in one of the oldest squares in Havana rounded out the trip.

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Last modified on Thursday, May 20, 2004.