E. European leaders appeal to IFLA re: Cuba and Library Repression

Walter Skold writes "In a powerful and important letter released today by the Czech-based human rights group, People In Need ( sme.htm) several major dissidents from the former Soviet Union have called on IFLA to complete its investigation of the destruction of independent libraries in Cuba, and the jailing of more than a dozen leaders in the growing movement.The text of the letter to Paul Sturges, the Chair of FAIFE, has been posted at("

Peru National Library - Priceless collection of Spanish colonial-era papers could be lost

Charles Davis sends us
this story from the Detroit News about Peru's State Library's preservation troubles:

These volumes are rarely brought out for display at Peru’s once-grand National Library, where the ravages of humidity, auto exhaust and decay are taking a heavy toll in one of the world’s most important repositories of papers from the Spanish colonial era.

Librarians are hampered with an inadequate arsenal — aging vacuum cleaners, a couple of household air purifiers, soft-bristle brushes. Gonzales, one of the library’s chief researchers, longs for specialized high-tech equipment and climate control systems to halt the collection’s deterioration.

French Librarian Arrested for Stealing from National Library

French authorities arrested librarian Michel Garel, charging him with stealing rarities from the very collection he's managed for more than 20 years. Police claim that Garel, 58, head of the French National Library's Hebrew-language archives, has been lifting items, some dating back to the 14th century, from the collection for several years. Read all about it.

RFID Opens Library's New Chapter

"The National Library of Australia is seeking a new book-detection system, preferably one that uses radio frequency identification. Libraries worldwide, including the Vatican Library, are turning to RFID to track their collections. The national library has issued a request for proposals to replace a book security system for its collection of more than seven million items.
The collection's security is foremost, but the library also hopes a new system will include features such as automated stocktaking." Read More.

Iran to reconstitute libraries in Afghan capital

Anonymous Patron writes "A Real Short One says According to Iran's Official News Agency (IRNA) Iran and Afghanistan have signed an agreement to reconstitute the libraries of 10 schools in the Afghan capital Kabul.

Iran is to reconstitute the libraries based on an agreement earlier reached between Iranian Ambassador to Afghanistan Mohammad Reza Bahrami and Afghan Ministry of Education Administrative Deputy Seyed Eshraq Husseini. Iran has allocated $25,000 for the project.

The Iranian side is to donate 10,000 volumes of books on poetry, fiction and biography to reconstitute the libraries which will be made available to the public in September.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has also pledged to construct four technical and vocational complexes in the Afghan cities of Balkh, Herat, Nimrouz and Kandahar."

Russian Librarians Visited MD - Study Disabled Patrons Service sends us this story about what was a fun and informative trip. From the story:

"A small group of Russian librarians visited Maryland last week for a lesson in how to help the disabled - and a little history of Edgar Allan Poe. Touring such locations as the Enoch Pratt Free Library and the State Disabilities Law Center, the librarians were trying to learn more about how libraries in the United States serve the disabled and help them learn about their legal rights.
After their visit, each of the four librarians is expected to return to Russia and tackle a project for the coming year."

Pakistan Library Steps Into the Digital Age

"While many libraries in Pakistan wither for the lack of funds, Dyal Singh Trust Library, a century old institution and the second largest repository of books in Punjab, proudly continues to provide quality services to the book reading community of Lahore. However, while the numbers of visitors remain high, Chief Librarian Abida notices a decline in visitors. She blames this trend on the increasing use of computers for reading books and journals on the Internet."
More from the Daily Times.

One-day Library Strike Suspended

Here's one from the BBC about a series of
one-day walkouts taking place by library staff in Kent (UK). The issue is over the County's plan to restructure library services, a move intended to improve the library's effriciency. The most recent strike was suspended as managers postponed the first stage of restructuring. It's not over yet though. According to their union spokesman, the strikes will continue into July if it's not resolved. Read More.

Beetles Eat Books at Israel's National Library

Beetles (more specifically Anobium punctatum) love books, but can be picky eaters (they don't like the ink).

Members of this species were recently found in the Judaica section among the collections in Israel's National Library in Jerusalem, but luckily did not find the letters of Albert Einstein (donated to the National Library by the great scientist) to their taste.

More here: from CNEWS .

Library Seeks High-rise Resident: Feathered, with Appetite

A library versus nature story out of Paris, France about some dirty birds who keep running afoul and messing things up at the National Library. They've decided to employ a peregrine falcon to handle the situation accordingly.
Read It.


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