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National Library of Trinidad and Tobago

As a woman the national library has become a place where I have been able to access the computer and the internet to be able to get information, share information and collaborate with groups on issues of gender equality, the prevention of abuse and domestic violence and it has been a safe place for me in many situations.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Women Weave the Web Digital Action Campaign. Learn more »

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kellyannaustin's picture

If you haven't done so

If you haven't done so already, would you want to map this site for us? It would be so appreciated! You can go here to do so: https://safespaces.crowdmap.com/

Best,

Kelly

Sherna Alexander's picture

Mapped site

Dear Kelly,
After I published to the journal I went and mapped this site.

Regards,

Sherna Alexander Benjamin
Sister in Unity, Technology, Service, and Voice

"Breaking the Silence is not a popular choice, it is the right choice"
https://m.facebook.com/OabiOrganization
"There may be times when we are powerless to preven

Tam's picture

Dear Sherna, I love libraries

Dear Sherna,

I love libraries for all of the reasons you have written about, and I am so glad to know that you are there, and have a beautiful library, available to you in so many ways. Libraries offer safe, public havens especially for women escaping from violence, who need access to information, and safe places to meet in community. How great that we can all be in touch with you through this one. I appreciate very much your quotation about Breaking the Silence. It is a subject still so resisted. Finally more and more of us insist on speaking, and now we are also finding each other, all over the world.

With Love in Sisterhood,

Tam

Sherna Alexander's picture

Thank you

Thank you, I have found safety, solitude and comfort in this library. It has given me the opportunity to expand my reach and to be able to use the internet and free wifi to be a voice. Wish we could have libraies opening 24 hours a day.. loll

Regards,

Sherna Alexander Benjamin
Sister in Unity, Technology, Service, and Voice

"Breaking the Silence is not a popular choice, it is the right choice"
https://m.facebook.com/OabiOrganization
"There may be times when we are powerless to preven

Idara's picture

FUTURE LIBRARY

Hi Sherna,

Your description of the library is far fetched from what is obtainable in the libraries around my community and indeed my country.

I love the library, but in my country the libraries are so worse than archives, the internet doesn't seem to work there, electricity supply in the library are short.

The internet cafes which would have been better in sharing of information but then these days people are more committed to their phones and other private information sharing spaces.

Maybe in the future our libraries would be better equipped.

Idara.

Sherna Alexander's picture

Be the change

We must become that change we want to see, the libraries are not good then begin to campaign your government to have better facilities somtimes a little noise does much, reach out to international organizations to come in and build a new library, we can no longer just sit and accept it, we must become the change.

We must unite and be each others keeper in this change, where are you based?

A community without a proper library is like history lost, futures gone and memories fading, libraries breathe education, training and life.

Regards,

Sherna Alexander Benjamin
Sister in Unity, Technology, Service, and Voice

"Breaking the Silence is not a popular choice, it is the right choice"
https://m.facebook.com/OabiOrganization
"There may be times when we are powerless to preven

Fiona J McKenzie's picture

Libraries

Hi Sherna,

The brevity of this piece made me turn to your profile and read some of your other entries. I was right to do so because the fact that you found safety in a library is such a revealing detail. Your personal story is extraordinary and very powerful. I read your speech http://worldpulse.com/node/91144 and was extremely moved.

For me, libraries have always been magical places - repositories of minds from the past, stories, information, the starting point for many journeys. I'm glad that you have given recognition to the importance of these places and I'm glad that this library has been a place to re-source yourself.

With very best wishes,

Fiona

Fiona McKenzie

Sherna Alexander's picture

Thank you

If the walls of the library could talk it will tell of my fears, my fights, my tears, my dispear, my victories, my discouragement and my joys. I wish it could show of a magical future of peace and a world free of violence. Thank you for taking the time to read my post it truly means a lot.

Regards,

Sherna Alexander Benjamin
Sister in Unity, Technology, Service, and Voice

"Breaking the Silence is not a popular choice, it is the right choice"
https://m.facebook.com/OabiOrganization
"There may be times when we are powerless to preven

Marah Mbine Ngole Epie's picture

Thank You!

Hi Sherna!
Nice to know you are using the library. You say the library space has been a safe place for you in many situations. Can you throw more light on that?
Warm up and keep on, you're on track!

Marah
Vocal Contributor/Community Listener

Sherna Alexander's picture

Library place of healing

The library the place I call a second home, the tramatic experiences of violence have touched my life too often than I can keep track, the moments of dispear, pain and being alone have pushed me to places and behaviours that I no longer find shame in speaking about.

The library have and conti ue to be a place where I find solitude, a place to think a place to recharge and a place to fee safe for a few hours and prepare my mind to meet the nightly abuse, many times I contemplated taking my life I found myself in the library to reflect and let the tears flow.

Many times I know when I reach home physical, emotional and sexual abuse awaited me I took the time in the library after school or even during school to prepare my mind to accept the pain of the abuse. Only the walls of library can speak of my fears, tears, discouragement, victories, joys and defeats.

You see those walls everytime I walk through those doors I felt safe yet still abandoned, I felt comforted yet alone.

Regards,

Sherna Alexander Benjamin
Sister in Unity, Technology, Service, and Voice

"Breaking the Silence is not a popular choice, it is the right choice"
https://m.facebook.com/OabiOrganization
"There may be times when we are powerless to preven

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