Staff and students from Flinders University’s Archaeology Department have been busy packing and sending books to disadvantaged countries this week as part of the Global Libraries Program.
Run by the World Archaeological Congress (WAC), the Global Libraries Program encourages universities, philanthropic organisations and members of the general public to donate archaeological books to build up library collections in disadvantaged communities worldwide.
A contributor to the program for the past seven years, Flinders Archaeology Department has sent the books – which are donated by the publishers with postage covered by the WAC – to dozens of university libraries and institutions worldwide, including the University of Ibadan in Nigeria, the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil and Deccan College in Pune, India.
Flinders Professor Claire Smith, the immediate past president of the WAC, says the project aims to assist archaeological and cultural heritage management students and professionals to undertake and excel at their work.
“When you visit university libraries in low-income countries it is truly shocking how few books they have – and the ones that they do have are often outdated,” Professor Smith says.
“In countries where an academic’s monthly income might be $600, having a budget for a library to buy a book that costs $150 or $200 is almost impossible,” she says.
“The project is therefore a practical way in which scholars can deal with global inequities in their fields.”