British book sparks ancient manuscripts destruction

Charles Davis writes "from

An Indian mob has destroyed 30,000 ancient manuscripts
and rioted in retaliation for Oxford University Press
publishing a British author's book about a Hindu king.

The incident was sparked by an allegedly objectionable
remark by author James Lane on the legendary Maratha
king Chhatrapathi Shivaji in his book "Shivaji: The Hindu
King In Islamic India".


Nat Hentoff in Village Voice - ALA should help Cuba

Steve Fesenmaier writes "One of the great champions of freedom in this country is Nat Hentoff. For decades he has been writing about challenges to human rights, both in the US and around the world. He has received many awards for his human rights prose - and now is asking American librarians to stand up against the last remaining Communist dictatorship in the world - Cuba.

full story"

Ghanaian public libraries crisis

Two sad articles about the state of libraries in Ghana.
and: Ghanaweb

The MP for Hohoe South, Mr. Kosi Kedem has appealed to government and parliament to go to the rescue of public libraries whose state he described as "extremely alarming and an embarrassment to the country."

"Most of the qualified professional librarians have deserted. Right now, there are only five professionals instead of a minimum requirement of 62. The staff is so underpaid that there is no motivation for work".

The situation, he added was so bad that the board could not fulfill the barest minimum condition needed to retrieve donor funding from the Carnegie Corporation of the USA to fund the establishment of a national library in Ghana which was contingent upon the rehabilitation of the public libraries.

British Library claims it adds £363m ($600m) to e

Owen Massey writes "The British Library has attempted to quantify its contribution to the UK's economy, according to this story in the Financial Times: the BL claims a return of 4.4 times its tax funding."

Jewish "Holy Books" On Display at the Alexandria Library

David Goldman writes "The new Alexandria Library in Egypt, renovated by the Egyptian and Italian governments via UNESCO, recently opened a manuscript museum with a display case containing the holy books of the monotheistic religions. Next to the Torah, the museum director placed the infamous Russian antisemitic forgery "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion." The Protocols is the infamous, anti-Semitic book which describes a Jewish plan for world dominiation.

Library troubles in Canada

Two LISNews readers sent in stories about Canadian libraries this week. Janet Clark points us to The Globe and Mail

Friendships in Claresholm [Alberta], a town of 3,622, have dissolved. Smiles on the street have been replaced by people who shuffle by with their heads down.

News of screaming matches and an anonymous leaflet campaign swept through the streets like a prairie grass fire. A flood of letters poured in to the weekly newspaper.

The municipality wound up in court recently, pitted against some prominent citizens.

All over a library.

Meanwhile, zamiel gives us a CBC item about library closings in Regina, Saskatchewan:

REGINA - The Regina Library System recently announced that it will close the Dunlop Art Gallery and three library branches in 2004. Patrons are questioning the decision, which will eliminate 27 jobs and a number of library services.

"I really feel that this is a blow to the city and the province," said art historian and Dunlop Gallery patron Annie Gerin. "To me, this is not just related to the library. There's a much broader cultural issue here that hasn't been discussed at all by the board."

Librarians Seek Improved Access to Foreign Journals Says For many libraries in Africa without access to foreign journals, the problem may be one of a lack of communication rather than a lack of resources, according to a seminar for librarians which took place on 8 November 2003. The event, held in conjunction with a meeting of the West African branch of the Standing Conference of African Universities in Accra, Ghana, found that although many university libraries were no longer able to afford any international journals at their standard rate, awareness of opportunities to acquire them at special discounts, or even free of charge, is limited.

The West's Secret Marshall Plan for the Mind

Originally published in the International Journal of Intelligence and Counter Intelligence (vol. 16, no. 3 (July/Sept. 2003) pp. 409-427), The West's Secret Marshall Plan for the Mind by John P.C. Matthews is an article about a little-known operation under which more than 10
million books and journals were sent to scholars and professionals in
Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. More than 500
publishers in Europe and the U.S. cooperated.

Mainland Chinese Visiting Hong Kong Buying More Banned Books

The Voice Of America News has This One that says Tourists from mainland China are coming to Hong Kong in increasing numbers. Many come to sightsee and shop and, on average, spend more than the typical European or American tourist in the city. But the money not only goes toward jewelry and designer labels. An increasing number of Chinese tourists are snapping up books banned on the mainland.

Role of Australian Libraries in the Online Environment

Sandra Henderson writes: "The Australian Parliament has released a major report "The Role of Libraries in the Online Environment". The report can be found here and submissions made to the Senate Committee which produced the report can be found here."


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