Friday, March 16, 2012

Gasprinskiy Library Launches Fundraising Campaign

The Gasprinskiy Library has announced a fundraising marathon called the “Kindness Campaign.” It is hoped that the fundraising campaign, running from March 1, 2012 to January 1, 2013, will help the Library move forward in their mission to preserve and revive the Crimean Tatar language and culture.

Liliya Kaderova, Deputy Director of the Library, announces the fundraising campaign at March 14th press conference in the Reading Hall.
As an institution of the Ukrainian government, the Library is severely underfunded and struggles to maintain even basic services. In order for them to pursue their mission, it is necessary to raise funding from outside sources.

Three major problems will be addressed by this campaign:
1. The deteriorating condition of the library building. The library building is an architectural monument from the 16th - 19th centuries. The oldest part of the building, on the south side, was built in the 16th century and the main building in the 19th century. Until 1910 the building housed a medrese (Islamic school). The building is typical old Crimean architecture – a brick, single-story building with a pitched tiled roof. Under the house are extensive vaulted cellars. Due to lack of funding from the state budget to perform repair and restoration work, the building is slowly disintegrating. The roof leaks in several places, the walls are cracking, and the storage vaults are in poor condition. Furthermore, there is no space to accommodate the full document collection of the library. (See photos below)

2. No funds for acquisition. At this time, the library is dependent on donations to expand their collections. There are no funds in their budget to acquire the documents needed to complete their collections—such as Ismail Gasprinskiy’s newspaper Terdjiman, of which the library only has approximately 30%--and new publications relevant to Crimean Tatar language, history, and culture.

Masthead of Ismail Gasprinskiy's newspaper Terdjiman.
3. Lack of access to their language and culture by the inhabitants of the over 300 remote Crimean Tatar communities spread across the peninsula. To solve this pressing need, the Gasprinskiy Library would like to purchase a “bibliobus” (bookmobile) which they would operate in partnership with the Ministry of Culture.

A bookmobile in America.

For the next ten months, the Library is planning monthly events to promote their fundraising campaign, including performances at the Crimean Tatar Drama Theater, musical concerts, poetry readings, and art exhibits, with the proceeds going to the Library. You can read the full press release (in Russian) under Pages on this blog.

Underground vault of the library where many books are stored.

Leaking ceiling in the stacks area of the library.

Crack in the wall of the Reading Hall.

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