A little gem in Prague: the Václav Havel Library

September 19, 2019

The Tennessee Journalist of 18 September 2019 carries a short featrure on a human rights asset in Prague: Beyond the bustling Old Town Square is a little library off a side street. With humble signage and a modest building, the Václav Havel Library welcomes thousands of people yearly. The library, named after and founded in 2004 by former Czech president Václava Havla, is meant to be a hub for education, art and social progress. The main meeting space holds about 100 people, and there are gatherings there almost daily from September until June. Events like debates, film screenings and literature nights are open to the public and frequently entice students.

There are two large conferences that the library hosts each year, one in the spring and one in the fall. The spring conference is meant to discuss Havla’s European Dialogues and their implementation into today. In addition, the fall conference is to award and celebrate that year’s winner of the Havla Human Rights Prize. [see: http://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/awards/vaclav-havel-prize-for-human-rights-pace]

Aside from hosting events throughout the year, the library also serves as a publishing house. “A lot of Czech people don’t know who we are or what we do,” Stránská said. As the institution continues to grow, the concern of the financial requirement and having enough people to run the library continues to rise. “Three years ago, we did not have an education manager,” Stránská said. “Now we are thinking we’ll need to add another within the next year to help manage the interest.”

The library is open for use by researchers, as well as an online database available for public, global use. More information about the library, its history and upcoming events is located on its website.

One Response to “A little gem in Prague: the Václav Havel Library”

  1. Robert Lee Says:

    Thanks for reminding me of this library. I visited it the last time I was in Prague and will go again – a touchstone for what’s humane in this crazy world. I met him once at the Prague Bookfair when we both were on deck flogging books. I thought he would be 6 feet tall and have a powerful presence. Instead he was a small, shy man who somehow stood tall and strong because of his values and life. I once stood on a stage in Prague where he had been forced to sweep the stage as punishment for his views. They said nobody ever kept the stage cleaner . . . So sorry not to be there with Clare, but so glad she feels at home in Crete. I’m planning to return next March and be there for Pascha (April 19) and expect that she will join me. Our unique relationship continues – it’s not weird if it works . . .

    👍🙏

    On Thu, Sep 19, 2019 at 8:42 AM Hans Thoolen on Human Rights Defenders wrote:

    > Hans Thoolen posted: ” The Tennessee Journalist of 18 September 2019 > carries a fshort eatrure on a human rights asset in Prague: Beyond the > bustling Old Town Square is a little library off a side street. With humble > signage and a modest building, the Václav Ha” >


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