Librarian's Day in Cuba - Meet ASCUBI President

Hector Marino sent in an interview with Margarita Bellas Vilariño President of
the Cuban Association of Librarians.
By Maribel Duarte Gonzáles.
On June 7th we celebrate the Librarian’s Day in Cuba.
Which are the origins of this celebration?

This remembrance has its origin in 1950, when a group
of librarian proud of calling themself ‘’librarians’’
and due to an idea of the journalist Cesar García
Expósito, took that date in honor of the day of birth
of Antonio Bachiller y Morales, who was the first
bibliographer and later was named the father of the
Cuban Bibliography .
After the triumph of Revolution that idea was retaken
and by the Nr.86 decree of The Executive Committee of
Ministers Council issued on May 12nd 1981, was
stablished officially the June 7th as the Librarian’s
Day in Cuba.

Which are the activities you will carry out during
this ocassion for Librarian’s Day?
For that celebration all the libraries in the country
will hold activities in the provinces and the central
act will have place here in the National Library
‘’José Martí’’ , where 30 brilliant professionals of
all over the country will receive the commemorative
seal ‘’Antonio Bachiller y Morales’’. Conjuntly with
that central activity in Havana, at the same time
we’ll celebrate the event ‘’Culture and Development’’
at the Conventions Palace. Besides, all medical
libraries during June 6th, 7th and 8th will celebrate
an event for the 40th anniversary of medical Libraries
in Cuba. The university libraries will have also an
event saluting the Librarian’s Day during 4 days
untill June 9th.

I would like you to explain everything regarding those
librarians will receive the distinction.

They are 30 professionals from all over the country.
We have made an exhaustive selection because we
received around 90 nominations. I precise that our
association has increased notabily and we have new
institutions like Las Tunas, for example.

How may associates has the association in this moment?

We have around 2400 associates.

And how many filials?

Well, in June 7th will be found 3 new filials which
are Las Tunas, Granma and Holguin, and the only
missing is Guantánamo. We are working on that to have
a filial at least in each province. The associates are
working hard, participating in several activities. One
of our main tasks is that: to create work and
developing actions, to stablish recognitions, and for
that day we are going to distinguish the detached

Could you tell us in advance which are the detached

We’re still working on it but I can tell you in
advance we have 3: Villa Clara, Havana City and
Camagüey. All them are doing a magnificent work in the
association. Anyhow we are analyizing another 2 in
order to see if they are able to be included or not
because are doing a good work also.

All librarians in our country support ‘’The Battle of
Ideas’’ that our people and government are carrying
out. Will they continue with this important objective
of our Revolution?

I think so, our association works hardly in that
sense, we’ve always received the support of the
filials and their presidents, when there is something
that involve us in the battle as to know how the
blockade damages our libraries. I think libraries have
an important role within this battle, we work with
children, young people, adults and we have the tools
to develop a job in that direction. I think we always
work for everything our country requires , facing all
the counter-revolutionary demostrations. Anyway the
Revolution can count with all librarians.

The way as the improvement and formation of the
librarians is functioning, do you think relief is

I think that the National school of technicians is
helping with the formation of new librarians. We have
the universalization of teaching where public
libraries develop an important work in this battle. I
think so, formation of librarians is guaranteed and
regarding relief is necesary to work harder with young
people for them to maintain the example to teach new
generations. We must teach them all famous librarians
such as María Teresa Freire de Andrade, Regla Peraza
and others who are still working with us like García
Carranza and Lisia Prieto, who are symbols of
librarians for us. Young people must know about them.
In fact the faculty where the career of librarian is
available for studying is working a lot for the
students to became Masters in Bibliotecology by
knowing those importants persons. I think we all
should continue foreward, to keep collaborating and
knowing all the relevant figures of the cuban
bibliotecolgy and to give the same love we have always

Congratulations to all cuban librarians, males or
females, for this day and success, we are sure you
will continue ahead, supporting and collaborating with
our people."

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