Several years ago, the newspaper Svoboda wrote about “The difficult life of the Ukrainian book,” editorializing that the passing of Ukrainian Americans left their libraries in danger of being discarded. The children and grandchildren of the deceased do not know what to do with their inherited libraries, nor can they evaluate the treasures left them.
Another group of concerned Ukrainian Americans are those who love their books, but are getting older and want to find a meaningful depository for their treasures. They want their books to be actively read and cherished. If these books do not find a home, they are thrown away. A solution is now available: they can send their books to a library in Ukraine.
I have invested two years into finding an adequate and inexpensive solution. With the help of Natalia Brandafi, chief operating officer of Meest-America Inc., we can help families and individuals save their books.
Thanks to the generosity of Meest, the plan is to use the offices and services of Meest to send the books at cost to Ukraine and have the librarians at the Lviv library distribute the books to libraries throughout Ukraine. The other option is for the sender to designate a recipient in Ukraine and have Meest send to that address at minimal cost.
Lviv professional librarians along with volunteers of the “Tovarystvo Okhorony Pamiatok Istoriyi i Kultury” (Ukrainian Society of Historical and Cultural Monuments) will catalogue every donated library, analyze and identify, with the agreement of the books’ owners, the destination of their books. Research materials and rare books will be transferred to academic and university libraries. Humanities books, such as those on music and art, will be designated for appropriate institutions. General category and children’s books will go to school and village libraries.
The donating individual must package the books and send them to: Meest-America (BOOKS-UKRAINE), 600 Markley St., Port Reading, NJ 07064.
If you need to contact someone at Meest, please contact John Vysotsky by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Somewhere on the package the sender should write “BOOKS UKRAINE” and his billing address so that Meest personnel will know to whom to send the discounted billing.
If the sender has his own address for delivery, he should show this address and write on it “BOOKS-UKRAINE” to get a preferential price. The books will go directly to the designated address.
This is the most optimal and inexpensive way to save the heritage of our loved ones and the heritage of Ukraine. I hope readers of The Ukrainian Weekly will take advantage of this proposal and share the information with others.
Sunny Isles Beach, Fla.