Ustidar (ph), a librarian who headed up the preservation department, was one of the first to return, one of the few librarians who survived. The library's director and some 20 members of staff died in the tsunami.
...Banda Aceh's only public library was a busy place, used by more than 800 people a day. They would come to read the periodicals, magazines, and newspapers from around the region, to wait their turn to get online, access the World Wide Web.
...Since the tsunami, the sense of what's essential has shifted to new homes, clean water, restored livelihoods. In a city of ruined schools, clinics, and neighborhoods, rebuilding a library doesn't seem like a high priority.
This veteran librarian insists it is. "Life is more than just food and shelter," she says. "A full stomach without knowledge means little. We need education. We need knowledge to expand." Knowledge in an information age to catch up, keep up.