The project is under the direction of the Sabre Foundation, a Cambridge-based public charity which solicits books, journals and other educational materials for distribution in the former Soviet bloc. St. Onge, along with representatives from Sabre and other participating institutions, discussed their efforts in a private meeting with the first lady, then attended a reception in the White House East Room for organizations involved in similar initiatives.
"She was very excited to hear about our progress," said St. Onge in an interview last week. "Mrs. Clinton is very interested in these sort of programs, especially after her trip to Romania and other countries in Eastern Europe earlier this year."
St. Onge became involved with the foundation's work as a result of her visit this past spring to Bosnia, where she explored the possibility of academic collaborations between Boston College and the University of Sarajevo. The OIP organized a donation of over 500 books and several journal collections from the University for the foundation's first shipment to aid the development effort.
"This is great recognition for BC as one of the flagship universities in this project," St. Onge said. "We plan to arrange more donations and hopefully people will begin looking at their own libraries for materials they would consider offering.
"A program like this is also helpful in building longer-term arrangements," added St. Onge, noting the appearance on campus last Friday by the University of Sarajevo librarian, who is also the Bosnian minister of Culture and Education. "As Bosnia rebuilds, they are looking to develop partnerships with institutions in the US and this could present a wonderful opportunity for Boston College."
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