The collection includes both printed books and manuscripts that are personally consulted by about a hundred and fifty people a year from all over the world. Staff answer hundreds more long distance queries by e-mail or telephone. Although children’s literature is not their primary domain, they have about 4,500 titles in their collection. Crystal, a trained librarian and director of the research department, presented me with a bibliography of their current holdings for children related to HIV and pulled several of her favorites from the shelves. She proudly showed me the large number of new children’s authors published since the political and cultural changes of 1994.
It was fun, not only to renew my friendship with Crystal, but also to see this creative program promoting English literature in southern Africa. I was pleased to add my Wisconsin pushpin to their impressive map of researchers.