Burbank Library getting hundreds of donated Armenian books

Los Angeles Daily News, CA
March 25 2004

Burbank Library getting hundreds of donated Armenian books

By Alex Dobuzinskis , Staff Writer

BURBANK — Burbank libraries will soon have more than 200 donated
books either about Armenia or written in Armenian for their
international collection, a community organizer said Wednesday.

The library’s acquisition of Armenian books comes at a time when the
number of Armenians moving into Burbank is on the rise.

Pharmacist Tamar Kekorian, the wife of Burbank school board member
Paul Kekorian, said about 100 books were collected at a book fair
earlier this month and other books have been collected in the
meantime to bring the total to more than 200. The goal is to collect
400 to 500 books.

“It’s such a tremendous project that we decided to stretch it over
nine to 10 months so that we can actually accomplish it,” Kekorian

The books already collected are valued at more than $5,000, she said.
The books were donated by local residents, and some provided money to
buy new books.

The first phase of the book collection focuses on books about
Armenian history and the Armenian genocide of 1915.

The next phase of the collection will involve the donation of
children’s books, some of them written in Armenian.

One of the books ready to be donated is by poet Hovhannes Toumanian,
who was born in 1869 and wrote a number of short, fablelike stories
such as “Nazar the Brave.”

Nazan Armenian, a member of the Armenian National Committee of
Burbank, said the book donation program is good for the libraries.

“It will drive more Armenian patrons to use the library,” she said.

Kekorian said she got involved in collecting books for the city after
head librarian Sharon Cohen approached her husband and asked for help
in obtaining more books about Armenia.

“I would like to encourage others to be involved in projects like
this. Because due to budget cuts, it’s very difficult for libraries
to have the kinds of collections that they would ideally like to
have,” Kekorian said.