A Bridge of Books Between Park City and Dharan Nepal
The late Jim Powell, resident and generous patron to Park City Library, built a bridge between our local library and the Bimal Library in Dharan, Nepal.
A soldier during WWII in the 10th Mountain Division, Jim came to know the Ghurka soldiers from Nepal. Years later, he reconnected via the internet and visited Dharan, Nepal. Linda Tilson, former Park City Library Director reflects on the program. “Struck by the disparity between our library and what Bimal Library had, Jim created the Sister Library Program. He provided money to ship donated books to Dharan and sponsored a trip for their trustee, Rohit Rai, to visit Park City and learn more about operations and funded a trip for me to visit the Bimal Library.”
Tillson reported the gratefulness of the Bimal Library and its users for the materials sent from Park City. “They had so little but seemed more content and happy than people in the U.S. who have so much.”
Once on the verge of suspending operations, Bimal, now has a collection of nearly ten thousands volumes. Rohit Rai explained proudly, “We expanded storage and reading/seating rooms, are open 7 days a week and added a desktop computer basically for administrative jobs.”
“Today we stand strong, taller than other libraries in Dharan or neighboring districts in East Nepal. We have year-round programs to embrace a larger number of public participation,” explains Rohit. “I think Jim Powell would be surprised to see the sister library relationship thrive and would perhaps feel very happy with his choice to help us.”
Current library director, Adriane Juarez is pleased the relationship with Bimal Library still exists. “We are truly grateful for Jim’s generosity and for his support of our sister library in Nepal. He provided valuable resources for both communities. His contributions in helping libraries transform lives has made a lasting impact.”
Rohit sends a huge Thank You to all Parkites, Park City Library staff, Friends of the Library, anonymous financial donors and well-wishers. “No matter how much we thank from our heart, it will still be too little. I look forward to a strong relationship, kind gesture and extended support from Park City.”