Archive for mars 13th, 2022

mars 13, 2022

The sympathetic world spirit of librarians is still alive

Announcement of a discussion on the theme “For Ukraine, facts and freedom of speech” at Oslo Public Library one Monday at 15h.

By Mikael Böök

Since I last wrote here in the blog about what librarians (and a few others) are saying about the war in Ukraine, a lot of water has flowed under Kiev’s bridges. If Russian forces manage to take Kiev, or if the Russian military leadership, as we hope, decides to break the siege because a ceasefire has been reached, the war will reach an important turning point.

The purpose of this blog post, however, is not to report on the course of the war, but to continue to reference and comment on what librarians in various quarters are saying about it.

Generally speaking, librarians, like most others, think war is wrong and unjust. But I also claim that there is something particularly peaceful about the library as an institution and about the nature of librarianship. What librarians have said so far about the ongoing Ukrainian war has not shaken this conviction of mine. In the following lines I try to explain why I still believe that the ‘sympathetic world spirit’ (an expression that I brought up in my first blog about the librarians and the war) is still alive among librarians despite the tense world situation.

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