Nine of the 11 libraries of the State University of Haiti in Port-au-Prince were seriously damaged during the January 12, 2011 earthquake and remain inaccessible. However, as of September the university's 15,000 students, researchers and professors can now access resources via an academic digital library sponsored by Bibliothèques Sans Frontières (Libraries Without Borders), in collaboration with the State University of Haiti and with the financial support of the Louis D. Foundation/Institut de France.
This new 100 square meter building, located in the center of the city within the Science Department, was constructed to withstand both seismic and cyclonic activities. The first Digital Library of the State University of Haiti consists of 60 computers equipped with broadband Internet access to millions of online academic resources (books, periodicals, newspapers, etc.).
Many of the digital resources are available through Research4Life, a public-private partnership working to achieve the UN's Millennium Development Goals by providing the developing world access to critical scientific research. Elsevier is a founding partner and the leading contributor of content with more than 1,600 participating journals and 1,800 electronic books, and access to SciVerse Scopus. In October, Elsevier announced that it is contributing an additional 950 electronic books to Research4Life. "Health practitioners and researchers in developing countries will benefit greatly from this increased ebooks offering," said Kimberly Parker, HINARI Program Manager at the WHO. "We greatly appreciate the efforts made by Research4Life partners to continuously improve and update their content offering to those who need it most."
The University of French West Indies and Guiana and 20 online editors' partners are also providing access to resources at the new digital library. The library will also support documentary research trainings as well as the development of new technologies of information and communication within the university.