Invitation to Leslie Burger

(This question and invitation was just emailed to ALA President, Leslie Burger, and posted to FREADOM's blog)

Dear Mrs. Burger,

Last year, during the Banned Books week, you were quoted in a nationwide press release as follows:

"Throughout history, there always have been a few people who don’t want information to be freely available. And this is still true," said ALA President Leslie Burger. "The reason more books aren’t banned is because community residents - with librarians, teachers and journalists - stand up and speak out for their freedom to read. Banned Books Week reminds us that we must remain vigilant."

We would like to ask the same question that Honorary Lifetime ALA member did earlier this month in a letter to you. He wrote to you on January

January 6, 2007

Leslie Burger
ALS President
Princeton Public Library
65 Witherspoon Street
Princeton, NJ 08542

Dear Leslie,

CIF maintains a "Book Burning" web page. However, despite repeated
requests, it has failed to provide links to Amnesty International and
OAS Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ reports concerning the
destruction of books and other library materials in Cuba. Court
documents indicate judicially ordered “incineration� of myriad items,
largely confiscated from bibliotecas independientes.

Please explain why ALA/OIF refuses to acknowledge such bibliocide.

With best wishes,

Sanford Berman
4400 Morningside Road
Edina, MN 55416

Enclosed: “Books Known to Have Been Burned in Cuba in 2003�

The last document he referred to is the one Amnesty International activist, ALA member and library director, Emeritus, Steve Marquardt, Ph.D, compiled, which is part of our new "Read A Burned Book" campaign.

Mrs. Burger, you are the President of a great organization that tries to speak up for those who are silenced. Don't you understand that the librarians and teachers and journalists in Cuba who do stand up to actual BOOK BURNING (not merely banning) get beaten, or jailed, or exiled?

We hope you will lead by example and sign this statement. But, if you do not wish to support this Intellectual Freedom effort of FREADOM's, could you at least explain why?

Walter Skold
Poet, Librarian, Journalist