For seven years Ukrainian-American charitable Sabre-Svitlo Foundation continues to be a primary source of modern foreign literature acquisition for Ukrainian scientific and educational institutions, governmental entities, non-governmental organizations, businesses as well as numerous scholars, students and professionals. Since 1990 up to 500,000 volumes of books and periodicals on various fields of knowledge were delivered from the USA and the European Community, and distributed to more then 5,000 institutions and individual recipients throughout Ukraine. Their number continues to grow.
304 letters and E-mail messages requesting Sabre-Svitlo's books were received in 1997. 41,983 volumes of books and periodicals were delivered to 195 institutions and 1,003 individuals in 24 Regions of Ukraine. Sabre-Svitlo's library and reading room assisted actively recipients' access to the available material. In 1997 768 individuals made use of 2,324 books thanks to this service. Also, Sabre-Svitlo's affiliate in Kharkiv aimed to serve recipients of Eastern Region reported on distribution of 3,057 books.
Sabre-Svitlo had also collected a great deal of information on long-term recipients' fields of interest. This database enables us to provide targeted distribution of valuable material. Scrupulous work has been done in order to prepare and to deliver special collections to the National Parliamentary Library, Central Scientific Library of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences named after V. Vernadsky, Ukrainian Legal Foundation, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, International Christian University, Odesa State University, Lviv Theological Academy, Lviv Institute of Regional Researches, Rohatyn Gymnasium, Chervonohrad Secondary school and numerous other recipients in 1997.
15 articles published in various Ukrainian periodicals in 1997 as well as numerous recipients' letters of appreciation are the best evidence of the efficiency of Sabre-Svitlo's activity. Gathered feedback proved that donated material enabled recipients to develop modern educational programs and courses, to provide students with badly needed textbooks and reference aids, to develop practical recommendation for professionals as well as to assist research of numerous scholars. In addition, such an information was broadcasted several times by TV studio and radiostations. Mrs. Mary Kruger, Director of the USIS, Mr. Andrew Bihun, Commercial Attache of the US Embassy in Kyiv, Mr. Vasyl Kuibida, Lviv Mayor and numerous other representatives of Ukrainian and foreign authorities visited Sabre-Svitlo and encouraged our activity.
However, in 1997 Sabre-Svitlo operated under the most unfavourable conditions since it was founded. Newly adopted custom procedures considerably prolonged period of shipment processing and became payable.
For example, shipment No.18 arrived to Lviv on February 21, 1997 and was finally cleared on April 8, 1997 only. Severe budget limitations and strict taxation policy almost sealed the access to Ukrainian funding sources. Fortunately, value added tax imposed on humanitarian aid in autumn 1997 was soon called back.
In these circumstances grants from International institutions proved to be the most reliable source of financial support. In February 1997 Sabre-Svitlo successfully accomplished the project K96-0755 sponsored by the Eurasia Foundation. More than 51,000 volumes of books and periodicals were delivered to numerous recipients in all Regions of Ukraine within this grant frame. However, this work faced permanent growth of prices and could not been done without additional support. Thanks to the long-term cooperation with the Lviv Railway Administration and the firm žInformation SystemsÓ as well as other occasional in-kind contributors we managed to overcome this obstacle.
In June 1997 the Eurasia Foundation generously granted Sabre-Svitlo for the third time. However, due to prevailing economic conditions it is envisaged to cover distribution costs of just 10,000 books on economy, business and law exclusively. In order to provide distribution of other valuable materials in February 1997 Sabre-Svitlo also applied for the financial support to the International Renaissance Foundation and TACIS program. The latter denied our proposal. Fortunately, it was approved by the IRF, and we were able to start book delivery in September.
Lack of own vehicle considerably affected our distribution efforts. For 7 months since November 1996 Volkswagon cargo van donated to Sabre-Svitlo by the Humanitarian Aid Program of the Counterpart Foundation could not be exploited due to numerous bureaucratic obstacles. Thanks to the combined efforts of the Embassy of the United States of America, Ukrainian Ministry of Emergency, Lviv Regional Administration, the Counterpart Foundation, and some other State institutions which offered us their valuable support we started to operate the cargo van in June 1997. The car substantially contributed to our distribution system. Up to 25 tons of packed books and periodicals were already delivered by the cargo van either to post office, railwaystation or directly to recipients. However, it is still necessary to raise extra money in order to fit the vehicle for long distance book transportation by providing a tent cover.
Despite of financial hardship, Sabre-Svitlo is doing it's best in order to assist important programs aimed to introduce principles of Democracy, rule of Law, and Market economy in Ukraine. 1,000 books and brochures published by the the State Committee on National Minorities and Migration were donated to Sabre-Svitlo for general distribution. This material is badly needed by Ukrainian libraries and universities which are forced to curtail acquisition of even Ukrainian books due to severe budget limitation. In order to cover related expanses the Committee also agreed to provide us a small grant. Distribution should be finished in April 1998.
Sabre-Svitlo also continued successful cooperation with the Lviv branch of State Property Fund. There is a crucial lack of information on privatization and post-privatization development. Material available at Sabre-Svitlo proved to be substantial source of the relevant information. Thanks to the cooperation with the State Property Fund numerous businesses and local authorities became our recipients and their number continues to grow.
In addition to foreign books and periodicals, Sabre-Svitlo translated into Ukrainian and published the set of 5 books of expirienced American and English economists under the title žLibrary of Small BusinessÓ. These books cover basic knowledge as well as practical recommendation on wide variety of problems related to small enterprises, including foundation, marketing, management, finance, and accounting. Professor Anatoly Zavhorodny published a fundamental review of Library of Small Business in the žEkonomika UkrainyÓ magazine No.2, 1997. This material proved to be popular among Ukrainian professionals, businessmen, students as well as governmental officials. In 1997 80 sets of Library of Small Business were donated to the members of Lviv Regional Rada, another 50 were delivered to the Central Office of State Property Fund in Kyiv.
In contrast to previous months 1997 saw the considerable increase of the recipients' interest to Medical sciences which grew up from 7,4% in 1996 to 13,5% of annual book distribution in 1997. Sabre-Svitlo's books were highly appreciated by participants of 12 medical exhbitions and conferences which were held in Kyiv, Lviv, Odesa, Crimea and Ivano-Frankivsk. As it was stated in the letter of prominent Lviv professional Dr. Mathilda Babadagly, despite of modern information sources (Internet, Medline) available, Sabre-Svitlo's books are the most important source for those who appreciate the book.
Therefore, Sabre-Svitlo applied to the World Federation of Ukrainian
Medical Associations for donation of contemporary books as well as
financial assistance for their distribution to recipients designated by
the WFUMA. Our proposal was generously approved. Some of donated books
already arrived to Lviv, other are about to be shipped. Distribution of
the donated material will start in 1998.
In order to provide as wide as possible access to the available material Sabre-Svitlo continued to participate actively in various scientific forums and specialized exhibitions. There were 25 such events in 1997. Among them Conference on Library Cooperation between Ukraine and the United States held in Champain-Urbana, IL, Forum of Ukrainian Publishers, and National Center of Economical Education Workshop proved to be especially useful. Up to 10,000 books were distributed, and approximately 750 individuals and 30 institutions became Sabre-Svitlo's recipients during all these events.
All these accomplishments became possible due the permanent support and careful program supervision of the Sabre Foundation (Cambridge, MA, USA), and Project Director Mrs. Tania Vitvitsky to whom we owed our special thanks. We also highly appreciate the generous support of the Embassy of the United States of America in Kyiv, the Eurasia Foundation, the International Renaissance Foundation, the World Federation of Ukrainian Medical Associations, Lviv branch of the State Property Fund, Lviv Railway Administration, Lviv Postal Service, žInformation SystemsÓ firm as well as our American sponsors and contributors Mr. Roman Procyk, Col. Arkadii Mulak, Prof. Dmytro Shtohryn and many other people who donated their time, money and books to Sabre-Svitlo.