Library Officials Travel to Cambodia on Book-Buying Trip

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Library Officials Embarking on Book-Buying Trip to CambodiaTwo Library officials traveled to Cambodia on Saturday, October 19, 2012 to purchase Khmer books and materials for the Mark Twain Neighborhood Library Khmer collection, which is located in the heart of Cambodia Town.

“These books are not available online or through traditional sources like a local bookstore,” Mayor Bob Foster said.  “Thanks to a generous donation from the YMCA of Greater Long Beach, we’re sending two of our librarians to Cambodia to help expand our Khmer book collection so we can share Cambodian history and culture with the Long Beach community,”

The trip is funded by a donation from the YMCA of Greater Long Beach. Funding to purchase and ship the books have been provided by the Miller Foundation, The Friends of the Long Beach Library and the Long Beach Rotary Charitable Foundation through the Long Beach Public Library Foundation.

“These new books will support the resurgent demand among the Long Beach Cambodian community to learn and read the Khmer language, and also serve as a resource for college students,” said Library Services Director Glenda Williams, who is going on the weeklong trip with Susan Taylor, Department Librarian at Mark Twain Library.

During its murderous reign in the 1970s, the Khmer Rouge violently opposed literacy and specifically targeted educators for death.

Long Beach has one of the largest populations of Cambodians outside Southeast Asia. Due to heavy use, many of the Khmer books in the Mark Twain Neighborhood Library collection are tattered, torn and literally falling apart.

The Library is seeking the following types of books: Children’s, fiction, cooking, self-help, health and medical books, religious, computer science, history, culture, and wedding customs.

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