The Worldly Librarian

International library issues


IFLA report on Internet Governance

Posted by worldlylibrarian on January 22, 2009

Related to my last post, IFLA has posted their report from the Internet Governance Forum, held this January in Hyberadad, India.

Among other things, the IFLA representatives raised issues such as the problems for libraries in getting internet access in third world countries, access to public information, and other topics.


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IFLA blog

Posted by worldlylibrarian on January 15, 2009

Stuart Hamilton, the Senior Policy Advisor for IFLA, has started a new blog that looks quite interesting. Right now, most of the posts deal with his representation of IFLA at the Internet Governance Forum that took place earlier this month in India. Check it out!

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IFLA hosts cultural convergence meeting

Posted by worldlylibrarian on December 15, 2008

For the next two years, the secretariat of the International NGO Working Group on Convergence will be hosted by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. The first meeting of the group took place in November.

This group brings together agencies from across the cultural and heritage sector to work on issues that are of concern to many different fields. In addition to issues like copyright, digitization, and others, the Working Group deals with the protection and preservation of cultural heritage. This is of particular interest to me, as it relates to my research into the protection of libraries during wartime and their post-conflict restructuring.

More information on this first meeting of the Working Group (which included representatives from the International Council of Archives, the International Council of Museums, and others)  can be found on the IFLA web site.

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European digital library goes online

Posted by worldlylibrarian on November 20, 2008

Just a quick note that the Europeana, an online library, archive, and museum which I have previously written about, is scheduled to go online today (Nov. 20, 2008). I have not been able to access it – probably because lots of other people are doing the same – but have a look when you can.

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China opens Cold War-era archives

Posted by worldlylibrarian on November 16, 2008

More than 41,000 documents were recently declassified by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to a report by China News. They mostly cover the time period between 1960 and 1965, a time period when China was in conflict with several of their neighbours. Over the next three years they will be declassifying documtnes from the 1965 to 1972 era.

Of course, the question remains just which documents were not declassified…

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Ethiopian librarian is CNN “Top 10 hero of 2008”

Posted by worldlylibrarian on November 5, 2008

Yohannes Gebregeorgis, an Ethiopian librarian, has been chosen as one of the “Top 10 heroes of 2008” by CNN.

Growing up in poverty, he fled to the United States as a political refugee in 1981. After becoming a librarian, he eventually returned to Ethiopia in 2002, and proceeded to open a children’s library in his home with books donated by the San Francisco Children’s Library.

He also founded Ethiopia Reads which, among other things, works to provide books for school libraries, and also publishes traditional stories from regions and ethnic groups across Ethiopia.

You can vote for Yohannes Gebregeorgis to be the CNN hero of 2008 at the first link above.


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Malaysia to host World Congress of Muslim Librarians

Posted by worldlylibrarian on October 9, 2008

Kuala Lumpur will be the site of the fifth World Congress of Muslim Librarians and Information Scientists (WCOMLIS) . The event will take place from November 25th to the 27th, and is expected to attract more than 200 library professionals.

The congress is not designed to be religious-based, but instead is focussed on Islamic literature and information sources.

Previous WCOMLIS meetings have taken place in the United States, Turkey, Iran, and once before in Malaysia.

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Norway funding Sri Lankan library trikes!

Posted by worldlylibrarian on September 23, 2008

Norway is providing funds to Sri Lankan libraries for the purpose of providing new resources. This not only includes books in a wide variety of subject areas, but also motor tricycles to provide library service in the most remote areas.

The first installment is for 3 million Sri Lankan rupees (about $30,000 Canadian, or 19,000 Euros), with another 3 million to come. This is just the latest in a series of grants from the Norwegian government to support these libraries, which are located in various cultural centres across the country.

Source: Lexis-Nexis/Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) Sept. 20, 2008

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Deliberate Destruction of Libraries in Wartime

Posted by worldlylibrarian on September 10, 2008

I’m happy to report that my article on the effect of war on libraries has been published in the latest edition of Focus on International Library and Information Work. You need to be a CILIP member to view the most recent issues, but I have posted a PDF here. The citation is:

Cook, H. (2008). The deliberate destruction of libraries in wartime: Sarajevo and beyond. Focus on International Library and Information Work, 39 (2), 56-59.

A report on my research, which was partly funded by an award from the Atlantic Provinces Library Association (APLA), is also available in the latest issue of the APLA Bulletin.

(Thanks to APLA, SMU, and of course, Duncan and Heather for the backpack!)

The National and University Library in Sarajevo, still being repaired in 2007 after being burned in 1992.

The National and University Library in Sarajevo, still being repaired in 2007 after being burned in 1992.

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Cambodia seeks inclusion of genocide records in Memory of the World Program

Posted by worldlylibrarian on September 8, 2008

Cambodia is hoping that archival material related to the Cambodian genocide will be included in UNESCO’s Memory of the World program, designed to guard against the loss of historical documents. The program will help preserve and disseminate important archival material. There are a number of national projects currently under way, ranging from Poland’s Warsaw Ghetto archives to a selection of historical postcards from Tunisia.

At least 1.5 million Cambodians died from execution or starvation in the mid 1970’s when the Khmer Rouge was in power.


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