Rule-of-Law Texts to Croatia
On November 19th, Sabre hosted an open house to introduce its Information Technology Training Center. Dr. Helena Pavic, president of Croatian partner Sabre-Zagreb, performed the ribbon-cutting, and refreshments were provided by local merchants.
The celebration was an opportunity for guests to see the training room, which includes networked Pentium II Windows 95 computers linked to the Internet via a dedicated leased line. The training center has been operating since mid-1998. Trainees and interns of diverse backgrounds from five countries have so far participated in pilot programs designed to test the methods and relevance of Sabre's approach.
Dr. Helena Pavic cuts the ribbon, opening the new Information
A Customized, Hands-On Approach. The trainees come to Sabre with different backgrounds and different goals for using information technology in their professional lives back home. Sabre's experienced trainers are able to tailor each program to meet individual needs. Translating services are provided as needed. Using such a customized approach allows Sabre's trainers to impart useful lessons even in brief periods.
So far this year, the Information Technology Workshops have welcomed trainees and interns from Romania, Croatia, China, Mongolia and Ukraine, including two Fulbright scholars. Sabre has received requests for more information and training from over 20 countries. The following examples illustrate how Sabre meets the needs of diverse professionals:
Dr. Radu Darlea was sent to Sabre by Freedom House in Washington, DC, where he was a visiting fellow in a democratic leaders program. As the Advisor for Communication Matters and Information Technology at the Council of Reform for the government of Romania, Dr. Darlea requested tutorials focused on publishing on the Internet and information technology management issues. Marketing & Training Coordinator Kimberly Bartlett also arranged site visits to the Information Technology Division of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where Dr. Darlea observed the latest uses of new information technologies in government.
Sabre trainee Dr. Radu Darlea, noted to his sponsoring
Ms. Davorka Granic, Ms. Andrea Horic and Ms. Marija Kopljar, librarians at the law and medical faculties at the University of Zagreb, Croatia, had an intensive two-week course on Internet-related resources and commercial databases. In addition, site visits were arranged to libraries at Harvard and MIT, as well as Massachusetts General Hospital's Treadwell Library.
Professor Jiang Chang-Bin was referred to Sabre by the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard. He heads the division for Ukraine at the International Strategy Research Center of the Party Academy of the Chinese Central Committee. As well as discussing Internet resources on Ukraine, Prof. Jiang also received a tutorial in viewing Ukrainian and Chinese character fonts when using the Internet.
As part of Sabre's new initiative, a World Wide Web internship has been created to involve overseas visitors more directly in Sabre's information technology work. In 1998 two interns have participated:
Olena Parkhomenko, a computer science student from the Univeristy of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Ukraine, worked on the development of Sabre's website as well as the site of the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute during her internship.
Jigjidsuren Nanjidjamts, a lecturer in the Software Department at the Mongolian Technical University, explored the use of Java, Perl and HTML in website development.
Jigjidsuren Nanjidjamts, World Wide Web and
U.S.-Based Advantages. As the above examples suggest, Information Technology Workshops give trainees the opportunity to see for themselves how technology is integrated into a democratic and market-based system. Site visits with professional counterparts in the Boston area are an important part of the training program. In the course of their training, participants make direct contact with individuals and institutions that may lead to collaborative projects as well as further training and educational opportunities. Trainees may come to Sabre directly from their home institution or while participating in other programs in the U.S.
Follow-On Services. The Sabre training staff is available not only throughout the training period, but also by e-mail to respond to issues that participants may face subsequently. Sabre provides a variety of follow-on services, including donations of appropriate technical books. In countries where the Foundation has an ongoing program, these donations can be sizable, as in past shipments to the Ghana Internet Society.
Support. Sabre staff is experienced in organizing programs for international visitors and is sensitive to the needs of those coming from other cultures. Typically, one staff person serves as the key contact throughout the stay to handle program-related and personal concerns of the participant. As necessary, Sabre can assist with securing accommodations.
Costs. Thanks to the generosity of a private donor, Sabre can provide training without charge for qualified participants or their sponsoring institutions through 1999. Beginning in the year 2000, Sabre will introduce a fee structure to cover the costs of training. The cost of travel to the Boston area, insurance and room and board is the responsibility of the participant or sponsor. Questions about program costs can be addressed to Kimberly Bartlett at email@example.com or by phone at 617-868-3510. A complete program description is on Sabre's website at www.sabre.org.
"I need more room!" was the message from Warehouse Supervisor Rafael Morales in early December, as end-of-year donations of new books, CD-ROMs, journals, cassettes, and teaching aids were taken into inventory.
Though Sabre's warehouse space was expanded by 30% earlier in 1998, the quality and quantity of end-of-year donations seems likely to surpass expectation-possibly to $18 million, a doubling of the $9 million in book donations accepted in 1997. A new inventory database developed by Program Officer John Emery already reveals that 1998 will push Sabre past the $100 million milestone in total materials received since the first shipment to Poland in 1986. Dunn & Co., which leases space to Sabre at a Clinton, MA, facility, has offered additional warehouse space as needed.
The books selected by Sabre staff from publishers' offering lists in 1998 cover a full range of subjects and educational levels, from pre-school visual aids to advanced texts in the hard sciences, humanities, law, and medicine. The inventory will fuel the planned expansion of Sabre's donation programs worldwide.
The top donating commerical publishers in 1998 included: John Wiley & Sons (science, business); Springhouse Corp. (medical, nursing); Lippincott-Raven Publishers (medical); the H. W. Wilson Company (reference); World Book, Inc. (reference, children's books); and six divisions of the McGraw-Hill Companies (elementary, secondary, college, professional).
Non-profit publishers continued their special effort in restocking the National and University Library in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Presses participating in this project in 1998 included University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins University, Kent State University, Oxford University, University of British Columbia, University of Illinois, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, University of North Carolina, University of Texas, and Yale University.
In 1998, with the ongoing support of USIA, private donors, and USAID's Ocean Freight Reimbursement Program, outgoing shipments are expected to reach $11 million in value, up from $9 million the previous year. Countries receiving containerized shipments in the first 11 months of 1998 included: Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kyrgyz Republic, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. In December further containers are scheduled for Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ghana, Grenada, Liberia and Ukraine. With shipping donated by United Parcel Service, sets of early-learning materials in support of Peace Corps programs for learning-disabled children are en route to St. Lucia.
Students unloading a shipment to PERDCA, Project for
Following discussions begun after the Christian dinner in March (see story on page 4), Sabre and Peace Corps expect to sign a new cooperative agreement, under which the Foundation will supply educational materials for Peace Corps projects throughout the world. Sabre will provide the equivalent of five 40-foot containers (about 100,000 books in all) within the first year.
Sabre has worked with Peace Corps since 1991, supplying books for use in Peace Corps projects everywhere from Thailand to Tanzania. Cooperation is now being expanded and formalized, as the Peace Corps Gifts-in-Kind Program strives to keep pace with the expected increase in demand as the number of Volunteers rises toward 10,000 by the year 2000. The new agreement will allow Peace Corps to centralize the ever-growing requests from Volunteers overseas, and to fulfill the requests through access to Sabre's inventory of new books, CD-ROMs and early learning materials.
Sabre's Dinner in March. Left: Peace Corps Director Mark Gearan (right) and Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer.
Right: Harriet E. Elam, Counselor, United States Information Agency, Dave Peterson, Program Officer for Africa, National Endowment for Democracy, and Sabre Steering Committee member John L. G. Archibald.
In early October, a dedicated group of Ann Arbor Ukrainian-American retirees watched as the first of two shipments containing the late Jaroslav Holub's collection of 50,000 books and numerous language tapes left his home in Detroit for Lviv, Ukraine. The seventeen volunteers had worked since April to pack and prepare the books for donation to the Ivan Franko Lviv State University Library in Ukraine.
Mr. Holub had spent a lifetime assembling a library in history, political science, philosophy, economics, and reference books, which he kept in his house on a quiet residential street in Detroit. Several years ago, Mr. Holub promised Professor Jaroslav Hrytsak, a visiting scholar from Ukraine who was born in his hometown, that he would donate his library to the Ukrainian Historical Institute at the Lviv State University.
When Mr. Holub passed away earlier this year, his widow Ludmyla Holub-Ohorodnyk requested help from friends and the Ukrainian Alumni and Student Association, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. They formed the Friends of Mr. Holub Committee, which, in turn, drew on Sabre's experience in handling shipments of private libraries.
After Sabre Project Director Tania Vitvitsky met with the Committee in Detroit, Sabre arranged for the first of two sea containers to be parked on the street outside Mr. Holub's house. According to Mr. Wasyl Ohar, who directed the effort, the containers were hand-packed by the volunteers and six "strong young men" recruited for this purpose. As this update goes to press, the two containers are being unpacked and processed by the Ivan Franko Lviv State University Library.
Prof. Iaroslav Isaievych, Sabre-Svitlo President, U.S. Ambassador Steven Pifer, Mary A. Kruger, Counselor for Press and Cultural Affairs, and Tania Vitvitsky, Sabre Foundation Project Director, at the October 27th ceremonies opening the Kyiv Branch of Sabre-Svitlo Foundation at the University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. Local funding for the Kyiv Branch has been provided by the Renaissance Fund, and USIS is partially underwriting the costs of book donation in Ukraine.
With funds contributed by the Croatian communities of North America, Sabre was able to support library holdings in human rights, environmental law, intellectual property, taxation and commercial law in the 200-year-old Central Croatian Law Library at the University of Zagreb. In all 3,000 texts have been provided thus far.
In November, Project Director Tania Vitvitsky traveled to Sarajevo, Tuzla, and Zenica to lay the groundwork for a shipment of children's books. Funding for the shipment has been provided by the Dusky Foundation.
At the urging of American Ambassador Cameron Hume and his staff in Algiers, Sabre has undertaken a feasibility study of a book donation and library assistance program for Algeria. Project Director Tania Vitvitsky and Secretary Charles Getchell spent four days in Algiers in late October, meeting with senior officials of the National Library, the University of Algiers, a private business management school, a community library, and individuals prominent in education and the professions. They found a strong interest in a wide range of booksæfrom children's to technology--especially in the English language. A report will be forwarded to the State Department and the U. S. Information Agency in mid-December.
Children's Room Librarian at the Palace of Culture in Algiers, October 1998.
Beginning in 1990 with a discretionary grant from William G. Bowen, President of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Sabre received program grants totaling $685,000, plus a $100,000 matching fund to assist other organizations with purchases of titles not normally donated. Sabre's program was part of a larger Mellon effort, directed by Princeton economics professor Richard Quandt, focusing on library-building and higher education in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Though Mellon's funding was entirely expended early in 1997, the program still continues with partial support from the recipients themselves. When Comptroller Ken Mackler closes out the reporting at the end of 1998, Sabre will have delivered the following material aid:
Behind the numbers is an even more important qualitative achievement: donee organizations select titles and quantities by e-mail from a computerized inventory. This assures that Sabre's partners receive only the materials they need. Introducing consumer choice into the donation process helps to bridge the transition to a market economy. Thus, the methods developed for the highly sophisticated clientele of the four "Mellon countries" now serve as a standard worldwide.
Early this year, Sabre was awarded an $85,000 grant by the U.S. Agency for International Development for a book donation program to assist the Cuban people. In March, Project Director Tania Vitvitsky and Secretary Charles Getchell traveled to Havana to discuss program details with Caritas Cubana, with whom they had had a preliminary meeting in 1997. A partnership agreement with Caritas was signed in Havana in March, inventory lists were provided, and Sabre is waiting for the first order.
Havana school children (photo by Tania Vitvitsky)
Ellen Elliott has joined the Steering Committee for the Scientific Assistance Project. A member of the board of directors of the Peace Corps Foundation, Ms. Elliott served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Poland and as a consultant to the German Marshall Fund in Poland and Romania. She is Program Officer at a San Francisco non-profit responsible for arranging professional meetings for visitors coming to the U.S. under USIA auspices.
Kimberly Bartlett, Marketing & Training Coordinator for the Information Technology Workshops program, came to Sabre from Washington, DC, in July 1998. Ms. Bartlett is responsible for marketing information technology services to prospective trainees and their sponsors and coordinating the schedules of the trainees while they are with Sabre.
Kevin Nichols, longtime graduate student intern and the newest Sabre Fellow, joined Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) as an intern at the Tuzla office in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Mr. Nichols observes exhumations, family recognitions at the state morgue of exhumed bodies, and autopsies. He writes press releases, monthly reports, the PHR Bosnia project newsletter, and maintains and updates the web site for PHR's Bosnia section.
Irene Danysh, Sabre Public Relations Officer, left in August to join the teaching staff of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa in Nairobi. She is serving as Sabre's East Africa Representative under the new Michael W. Christian program.
Ford Davidson, student intern and Harvard freshman from Seattle, joined Sabre in September. Mr. Davidson has previously worked on political campaigns, and has served as a page in the U.S. Senate. At Sabre, his tasks include database design and development, data entry, on-line research and general office work.
The 1999 edition of Twentieth Century Criticism, a reference anthology of major essays published periodically by Gale Research Publications, will reprint two pieces by Josiah Lee Auspitz on the American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce. The articles previously appeared in Commentary and The American Scholar.
A collection of papers presented at a July 1998 conference jointly sponsored by the linguistic and theology departments of the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, is scheduled to include a new essay by Mr. Auspitz on the Hebrew names of God.
Sabre Fellow Frederic R. Kellogg served on the organizing committee for a May 1998 conference in Karpacz, Poland, on "Democracy and the Post-Totalitarian Experience", sponsored by the American and Polish Branches of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy. The conference proceedings are being edited for prospective publication by Rodopi Publishers, Amsterdam.
Donors are listed by their name and location. An asterisk (*) denotes a donation to the Michael W. Christian program for Africa.al-Babtain, Abdul Aziz S., Kuwait
A complete listing of financial donors will be available in the 1998 annual report.