Cuban Government Imprisons Operators of Independent Libraries

The Chronicle of Higher Education has This Story [Sub. Required] on the Cuban government's continuing crackdown on political dissidents. It has dealt a serious blow to the independent-library movement on the island, which had become a key source of information for Cuban scholars since its emergence in 1998.

More than a dozen independent librarians were among the 36 dissidents sentenced on Monday to prison terms of 12 to 27 years, according to Gisela Delgado, director of the library movement.

"These people were convicted because they committed illegal acts against the country," Gustavo Beliz, a spokesman at the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City, said Wednesday. "This has nothing to do with libraries."

Borneo needs better library system says Minister

Here's A Short One on The Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Pehin Dato Seri Paduka Dr. Haji Awang Hussein Bin Haji Awang Mohd Yussof, who yesterday afternoon told members of the CONSAL XII from ASEAN countries while they made a courtesy call to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport that libraries in the country are in need of upgrading. During the informal discussion, Minister Dr. Haji Awang Hussein said that he was impressed with the library system in Singapore.

China on Its Way to Building 'Learning Society'

Two stories on China today, This One says Chinese Expats living in Shanghai would like to see the city build more museums, libraries and theaters, are turned off by the poor manners of many local residents and appreciate the city's English-language media.

This One says While many people sang and danced to celebrate the traditional Chinese Lunar New Year, many spent the week-long holiday in libraries and bookstores. This new trend to spend holidays in libraries and bookstores inChina was greatly advanced by the country's call to build a "learning society" at the 16th Party Congress last November.

"China has created an excellent atmosphere for learning and reading now," said Zhou Keda, a professor with the Guangxi Regional Academy of Social Sciences. "Many Chinese, young or old, will by no means give up learning and reading during holidays."

Comic books already big in French libraries

A story on NPR\'s Morning Edition this morning profiled the world\'s largest comic book convention*, just wrapping up today in the city of Angouleme, France. Reporter Frank Browning says that schoolchildren are let out for the festival, and mentions that many librarians visit the show as well. He even says that, on some days, the only books checked out at Angouleme libraries are comic books! The public library system there has a special collection of comic book materials, a partner to the Musèe de la Bande Dessinée* (Comic Book Museum) run by the French government\'s Centre National de la Bande Dessinée et de l\'Illustration (National Center of Comic Books and Illustration).
Somehow I doubt that this kind of recognition will be hitting the comics world Stateside anytime soon.
*These links are entirely in French. If you have unfiltered Internet access, you can see roughly translated versions using Google\'s language tools.

Most Botswana school libraries have nothing to read

A Sad Story from Botswana, where most school libraries have nothing to read. They celebrated International School Library Day in Ghanzi this week.

Egypt Opens New Library of Alexandria

Yet Another Story on the Great Library of Alexandria, this one from National Geographic doesn\'t break any new information, but does have a really nice picture. Here\'s Another.
You can also read Address of president Mubarak inaugurating Bibliotheca Alexandria.

\"Maintaining intercultural dialogue and interaction is the only rational way to eliminate violence and tension and build bridges among peoples using knowledge and peaceful coexistence as common bases of communication.\"

Alexandria Library Opens Despite Controversy

From CNN...

\"About 3,000 dignitaries from around the world are expected to attend Wednesday\'s opening of the \"Bibliotheca Alexandrina,\" whose ancient roots go back more than 2,000 years. Critics say the project amounts to an expensive gimmick which does little to improve education in a developing country of 68 million. Alexandrians think the library, the result of a $200 million, 20-year old project backed by the UNESCO and many countries, could do a lot to revive the fortunes of the city that houses one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.\" Read More.

Bare shelves mar return of Egypt\'s glory

Charles Davis contributes this Guardian story:

\"A scholarly row has blighted the reopening of
Alexandria\'s great library.
It has taken 1,700 years to replace. But now the great library of Alexandria, whose precious manuscripts were torched in AD271, is about to reopen - to a reception blighted by controversy.\"

Read the full story.

Flooded Municipal Library in Prague

Klaus Graf writes \"The most serious damage the library incurred was the flooding of the 20,000 rare and historical books and documents. \"We are therefore asking the public in the Czech Republic and abroad, libraries and other institutions, companies and firms worldwide for help. It can be material help or financial help. We need special technologies, above all equipment for the restoration workshop. Financial help is needed for such equipment\". Read more at:

Delegation to donate 16,000 books to Iraq

Charles Davis writes \"From story at A total of 16,477 books are expected to arrive in Iraq
today as a show of solidarity in an initiative that has received
global support.

A 25-member Jordanian delegation from a number of
organisations will deliver the books to the ministry of higher
education in Baghdad, where they will be distributed to facilities for
higher education. \"


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