Building a Library

Three boxes of donated books, from students in Germany, are currently sitting in the lobby of their school, waiting for DHL to ship them to my school in Ethiopia.

My school needs a letter of support, from the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance, to avoid paying customs fees and taxes. The fact that DHL is shipping the books, for free, because they are a charitable donation, from one school to the other, doesn’t seem to matter.

Books saved me. Skipping school to go to the Detroit Public Library saved me. Books took me from Jeffries Projects, in Detroit, to around the world. I could be pushing too hard, on trying to get the books.

As the African Studies and African American Studies Librarian, at Duke University, before I retired, February 28, 2017, to return to the Peace Corps (I served in Kenya, 1986/88), getting books was my job. My life was all about traveling to South Africa, to touch base with my book vendor, in Cape Town.

I was able to attend book festivals in Haiti and make arrangements on collecting Afro Caribbean materials, then, meeting with that new book vendor, at their home, in the Dominican Republic. I dragged Duke faculty around Accra, after a conference in Ghana, to libraries and bookshops, to find out the types of books they needed for research and in the classroom.

Today, I can’t manage to get three boxes of books from Point A to Point B. Such is life. I will figure this out. The books will be delivered to my school. I may need to call in a favor, or two, from my library connections.

Get ready for your phones to ring. –GGT

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