Chief Librarian Sarah Aponte would like you to join her in acknowledging some of our most generous book donors:
The steady growth of our library over the years is an indication of the unconditional support we have received from so many people who from the very beginning have dedicated their time, capacity, and utmost commitment with the task of advancing higher education to turn this ongoing academic project into a reality. One of those regular book donors is Ana García Reyes, a founding member of the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute. She is currently Associate Dean for Community Relations/Institutional Advancement at Eugenio María de Hostos Community College in New York.
Any visitor to our library would be surprised to find such a large number of signed books from living – as well as deceased — Dominican authors. In fact, these acquisitions have landed in our shelves thanks to the diligence of Ana García Reyes who takes every opportunity to purchase the latest books and publications during her frequent visits to the Dominican Republic. Afterwards, books in hand, she arranges to meet with the authors to kindly ask them to sign their books. These books, emblazoned in ink by some of the most important authors, artists, intellectuals and public figures in the Dominican Republic, are representative of the emotional bonds that characterize relations between Dominicans back home and those living abroad.
But there is more to it: Our library is proud of being a repository of several signed books from people whose artistic and literary works , vision and personal trajectories have been nothing but exemplary. Among these is Vivas en su jardin signed by Dedé Mirabal , sister of Patria, Teresa and Minerva Mirabal, the three women and political activists brutally murdered in 1960 by during the Trujillo dictatorship. Dedé Mirabal transformed the family home into a museum to honor her sisters and all of those who fought for freedom and democracy. Vivas en su jardin recounts the story of the Mirabal sisters through Dedé’s tender eyes: their family upbringing, underground political activism and fascinating love life; their aspirations as independent, educated young people and women; and finally, the terrible burden Dedé Mirabal has been carrying since that fatal day when her three beloved sisters were assassinated. Dedé, however, invites young people, and those not so young, to enter her world—her own garden where the seeds of life blossom— where they can learn about their own history so they will always remember those who sacrifice their lives to build a better world. This book is a reminder of the perseverance of the human spirit. It is signed books like these that make the books in our collection more intimate, meaningful and special.
Without doubt, Ana García Reyes’s signed book donations have enhanced our capacity to provide access to unique, bibliographical material that adds value to the task of disseminating Dominican culture and history in the United States.
Amaury Rodríguez, Library Research Assistant