No to cold war between librarians!

The National Parliamentary Library of Ukraine during the unrest of 2014. Photo: Halyna Kyrychenko, Deputy Director of the National Parliamentary Library. Source: Творчість та інновації в українських бібліотеках.

The IFLA Governing Board today issued a second, reassuring statement on Russia’s war against Ukraine. In connection with IFLA’s first statement of March 1, Mikael Böök commented it on this blog: «We are now witnessing a general drift towards a «Decoupling From Russia», not only politically and financially, but also culturally and in the field of science and scientific communication. … How gratifying that IFLA deviates from that Cold War mentality and practice!»

And the same can be said today. After expressing «thoughts and sympathy … with the victims and our colleagues, the library and information workers in Ukraine», IFLA’s Governing Board says among other things:

«IFLA believes that librarians and information professionals around the world share the same intrinsic values. Therefore, it can not be the intention to exclude libraries and librarians on the basis of their nationality, or to isolate them. This is particularly important when the exercise of individual freedom of expression comes at great personal risk».

And furthermore: «The Governing Board of IFLA has discussed the correspondence and demands for the exclusion of the Russian Members of IFLA. According to the Statutes, the conditions for exclusion are currently not met and the necessary proof is lacking that Members are behaving in a way that would constitute a valid reason to exclude them. This decision was taken unanimously at an extraordinary Governing Board meeting on Friday, 18 March 2022».

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