Bibliotheek Permeke in Antwerp (Belgium) is an inspirational place. Built 10 years ago right in the middle of a deprived part of the city it was a farsighted first step in the city’s endeavour to clear the slums and improve the lives of its people. Now, a decade later, every day thousands of readers visit the library - ideally by bike - to borrow books, use the internet, to read and get information and drink coffee in the glass pub. Bibliotheek Permeke is a symbol that books change lives and that the power of reading is vital and essential.
On April 23 Erik Tonen and Peter Everaers met the library visitors in the foyer, raised funds for the UNESCO literacy projects in South Sudan and showed rare and fine books to the readers they would otherwise very likely never have seen.