In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the doors of Latse Library closed permanently. The mission of the original library, which had been generously supported for seventeen years by the Trace Foundation, is now kept alive even with limited resources by former Latse staff Pema Bhum, Tenzin Gelek, and Kristina Dy-Liacco. The three have since launched: The Latse Project, a public, non-profit 501(c)(3), all-volunteer organization dedicated to promoting Tibetan language use and literacy, the exchange of ideas, and providing access to knowledge for Tibetan and Tibetan studies communities by creating and sharing resources. The Latse Project is currently focused on its 108 Translations Project, to which they, along with colleague Gedun Rabsal, have contributed countless hours of dedicated work. For information on this growing trove of publications and other long-standing resources of the organization, see: www.latse.org.
In Tibetan ‘latse’ refers to a summit of a mountain pass. Latse Contemporary Tibetan library is a one of a kind Tibetan research library located in the heart of the West Village, New York. In addition to housing a extraordinary collection of Modern Tibetan literary works, the library frequently hosts lectures, seminars, film screenings and exhibitions of Tibetan art. This resource is meant to introduce Latse library to Columbia students with an interest in Tibetan culture, history and literature. Through three interviews conducted with Pema Bhum, Director of the library, Kristina Dy-Liacco, Librarian and Tenzin Dickyi, a Tibetan writer based in New York and regular library patrons, I hope to showcase the mission of the library, its role in the Tibetan diaspora community in New York and ways in which students can get visit and get involved.