International

Malaysian National Library to start digital library on Islam

A Short Piece Says The National Library is planning to launch the International Islamic Digital Library (IIDL) during the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Summit.

Its director-general Datuk Zawiyah Baba said the National Library had been working on the project since 2001 in collaboration with the Multimedia Development Corporation and major institutions and also institutions on Islam in Malaysia.

The festival of school libraries

News From Russia has a Short Piece that says The wife of the Russian President, Ludmila Putin, has opened a festival of school libraries - "Bibliobraz." The aim of the festival is to draw the attention of the whole country to "the difficult but so important profession of librarians," said the wife of the President, as addressing the participants in the festival.
The festival of school libraries which will be held from September 30 to October 2 in Moscow, will be attended by the winners of the school-library contest from all regions of Russia, the workers of literature and art, schoolchildren and representatives of the Education Ministry.

Uzbekistan: Privatization In Publishing Means Books Are Often Out Of Reach

An Article From Radio Free Europe says the partial privatization of the publishing sector since independence has increased the price of books to the point where not all parents can afford them.
"Provision for textbooks needs a state-level, national policy. What does such a policy consist of? For this there must be state protectionism. Protectionism means favorable credits and donations. Value-added taxes must be omitted from the printing of textbooks and literature for children," Abakirov said.

Report about Cuban prison conditions

Fang-Face writes "Reporters Sans Frontiers (Without Borders), has some news up about how journalists are being treated in Cuban prisons. I had mentioned this site to Richard Kent of Friends of Cuban Libraries and he wrote back that some of those journalists are also independent librarians.
The material about the jailed journalists is a bit dated, the most recent is from 08 Sep. There also an a commentary on the situation in general."

Over 500 mil books checked out from Japanese libraries in 2001

News Out Of Japan where A record 520,830,000 books were checked out from public libraries in Japan in the year ended in March 2002, meaning that each citizen borrowed an average 4.1 books that year, an education ministry survey showed Friday.

Briefing on the Investigation of Antiquity Loss from the Baghdad Museum

DefenseLink.mil has the Transcript From A Briefing on the U.S. government's investigation into the theft and looting of the Iraqi museum in Baghdad. Briefing slides used in this briefing are available Here, and A photo from today's briefing is located Here.
Colonel Matthew Bogdanos is the person that has been leading the U.S. government's investigation into the theft and looting of the Iraqi museum in Baghdad and gives his his interim report in this briefing. He says 30 exhibits from the main gallery, 30 display- quality, irreplaceable pieces, are still missing from the museum. Another 16 pieces were damaged, most notably, the Golden Harp of Ur. In total, the number of artifacts now known to be missing from the museum stands at slightly over 10,000. As it has for over the last five months, this number will change on a daily basis.

Ethiopian Book of Psalms to Be Returned

Charles Davis writes "from
afromet.org
Posted to mailing list at
museum-security.org.

A handwritten copy of the Book of Psalms that British troops
looted from Ethiopia in the 19th century will be returned.

A group that works to return looted treasures to Ethiopia said
Tuesday that it will take the 300-year-old book to Addis Ababa, the
capital of the eastern African nation, later this month. British
soldiers took the book and other treasures when they stormed the
mountain fortress of Emperor Theodore II at Magdala during an
invasion of Ethiopia in 1868. The Association for the Return of the
Magdala Ethiopian Treasures bought the book from a private dealer for
$1,200 earlier this year. The volume is in a leather case stamped
with the words "Taken at Magdala." It is written in the ancient
Ethiopian language of Geez. A label inside describes it as "one of
the few surviving manuscripts that is not in the British Museum from
the enormous looting which took place after the assault on the
fortress of Magdala.""

Barbados Sees Decrease In Library Membership

News Out Of Barbados, where Only one-fifth of this country’s population are members of the National Library Service. Furthermore, over the last three years, membership at that department has declined by over 5 000 persons.
These statistics were revealed to the Barbados Advocate by library officials, who noted that as of June 2003, membership was 55 595, down from 61 107 in December 2001. These figures account for 28 713 adults and 26 882 children, and suggests that Barbadians do not utilise our national libraries as much as they should, according to one source.

President Kalam launches Indian digital library

Indian President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam has launched the portal of Digital Library of India. The portal will have about 27,000 books in a digitized form. Speaking on the occasion, the President called upon the people to bridge digital divide. Lauding the project, Dr. Kalam said that efforts should be made to digitize our traditional knowledge.
Full Story

The Cuban crackdown

Fang-Face writes "On 03 September, columnist Murray Dobbin had an interview with Carlos Fernandez de Cossio published, in which Senor Cossio explains the basis for Cuba's actions. Cossio's arguments are suprisingly coherent. He does not cite any real evidence for his charges of independent librarians as terrorists, but he comes across as highly rational despite his anti-U.S. criticisms smacking of conspiracy theory. In any event, he presents Cuba's side of the story."

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