for WMUK 102.1 FM
Between the Lines is my weekly radio show about books and writers with a Michigan connection. It airs every Tuesday at 7:50 a.m., 11:55 a.m., and 4:20 p.m. (or listen anytime online), on WMUK 102.1 FM, Southwest Michigan's NPR affiliate. I am the host of Between the Lines.
This week's guest: Maira Bundza
|Latvia's National Library (Photo by Maira Bundza)|
Small kids and the elderly bent with age, and every age between, lined up in a human chain in the Latvia's capital city Riga. It began in Old Riga and stretched across a bridge to the opposite shore of the Daugava River. It was a cold January day in 2014 but 14,000 book lovers created what became known as the “Path of Light.” One by one by one, they passed books from one pair of hands to the next, down the chain until they reached the new National Library of Latvia. The “chain” was five miles long and the passing of the books began at midnight.
“Yet they didn’t get that many books across because everybody stopped to look at them,” says Maira Bundža, a librarian of Latvian heritage at Western Michigan University’s Waldo Library. “Even though it was freezing cold that day, people were so fascinated with the books.” Bundža has often traveled to Latvia and most recently toured the National Library there.
Bundža was born to Latvian parents; refugees who immigrated to the United States during World War II when the Soviet army invaded Latvia. She moved to Kalamazoo in 1982 to work at the Latvian Studies Center at WMU, and in 15 years she created the largest ...
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