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Top > About Us > Preservation and Conservation > Briefing on Nepal Earthquake and Damages on Nepalese Libraries

Briefing on Nepal Earthquake and Damages on Nepalese Libraries

On July 2, 2015, PAC Asia held a briefing on the Nepal Earthquake and the damage to Nepalese libraries. Mr. Takao Murayama, professor at Seitoku University, and Ms. Nobue Yamada, lecturer at Shiga Bunkyo Junior College, gave presentations. Both had stayed in Nepal as senior overseas volunteers with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Mr. Murayama

Mr. Murayama explained that although Nepal experiences a major earthquake every 80 to 100 years, there does not seem to have been enough preparations made to reduce damage. He suggested that this may be partly due to 1) a lack of records of past earthquakes and 2) passing down memories of earthquakes from generation to generation is difficult, since average life expectancy in Nepal was just 64 years old in 2006 and people do not live long enough. In addition, financial and administrative difficulties and inter-regional discrepancies within Nepal itself could worsen this problem. He stressed the importance of comprehensive disaster-preparedness measures including archiving records on earthquakes.

Ms. Yamada

Ms. Yamada, who happened to be in Nepal on the day of the earthquake, April 25, spoke primarily about damage to the Nepal National Library (NNL). The NNL is located in the Harihar Bhawan complex, the former palace of Sankar SJB Rana. The NNL contains 120,000 volumes of library material. On April 25, Saturday, the library was closed, so there was no personal injury, but earthquake cracked the library walls and tossed the book stacks about. There was concern that the building itself could collapse any time, so no entry to the library building was allowed. By the end of May, the NNL had borrowed two rooms from a nearby school to store evacuated library materials. However, the rooms are too small to provide library service, and the library also needs to erect tents to cover all evacuated materials. Library management continues to look for a safe and proper location to move the library to.

The following photographs taken by Ms. Yamada on May 5, 2015.

Outside appearance of the Nepal National LibraryInside of the Nepal National LibraryInside of the Nepal National LibraryInside of the Nepal National Library

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