December 19, 2016

Extended deadline for CFP: CAPAL17: Foundations & Futures: Critical Reflections on the Pasts, Presents, and Possibilities of Academic Librarianship

CFP: Call for Proposals

CAPAL17: Foundations & Futures: Critical Reflections on the Pasts, Presents, and Possibilities of Academic Librarianship

CAPAL/ACBAP Annual Meeting – May 30 – June 1, 2017

Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences 2017
Ryerson University
Toronto, Ontario

The Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians (CAPAL) invites you to participate in its annual conference, to be held as part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences 2017 in Toronto, Ontario, which lies in the territory of the Haudenosaunee and the Mississaugas of the New Credit River. This conference offers librarians and allied professionals across all disciplines an alternative space to share research and scholarship, challenge current thinking about professional issues, and forge new relationships.

Theme

In keeping with the Congress 2017 theme, From Far and Wide: The Next 150, our focus is CAPAL17: Foundations & Futures: Critical Reflections on the Pasts, Presents, and Possibilities of Academic Librarianship.

This conference provides an opportunity for the academic library community to critically examine and discuss together the ways in which our profession is influenced by its social, political, and economic environments. By considering academic librarianship within its historical contexts, its presents, and its possible futures, and by situating it within evolving cultural frameworks and structures of power, we can better understand the ways in which academic librarianship may reflect, reinforce, or challenge these contexts both positively and negatively.

How can “recalling, retelling, and scrutinizing” our stories help us to understand the present and envision the future of academic librarianship? What are the logics and practices that constitute and reconstitute our profession, and inform our assumptions and approaches?

This conference engages with current discussions surrounding what many consider to be a significant juncture in academic librarianship: the turn towards critically examining the contexts and roots of our profession. How for instance, do we as a profession integrate understanding of the pasts and presents of broader social contexts and engage meaningfully in these necessary conversations?

Potential Topics:

Papers presented might relate to aspects of the following themes (though they need not be limited to them):
– Critical reflections on librarian identity, agency, and representation (in areas such as gender, sexuality, race, decolonization/indigenization, professionalism, stereotypes)
– Critical reflections on core values: intellectual and academic freedom, access to information, privacy of information, preservation and curation, professionalism, etc.
– Bringing the oppositional practices of broader social mobilization around movements (e.g., Black Lives Matter, Idle No More, transgender rights, and others) to bear on our work
– Critical librarianship in practice: collections development and management, information literacy, reference services, and other areas of service (e.g., cultural bias in knowledge organization; absent histories, etc.)
– Critical reflections on career paths (e.g., early-career professionals, new and emerging roles, specializations, management, leadership, etc.)
– Unpacking of language, rhetoric, and discourse that influence and constitute our profession and services (e.g., buzzwords, military or business speak, oppositional discourses of past/future, print/digital, progressive/obsolete, etc.)
– Modes of knowledge creation, research dissemination, and engagement (e.g., oral traditions, co-creation, copyright, open access, and other forms of scholarly communication, etc.)
– Critical review of current educational requirements and training for academic librarians

The Program Committee invites proposals for individual papers as well as proposals for panel submissions of three papers. Proposed papers must be original and not have been published elsewhere.

Individual papers are typically 20 minutes in length. For individual papers, please submit an abstract of no more than 400 words and a presentation title, with a brief biographical statement and your contact information.

For complete panels, please submit a panel abstract of no more than 400 words as well as a list of all participants and brief biographical statements, and a separate abstract of no more than 400 words for each presenter. Please identify and provide participants’ contact information for the panel organizer.

Please feel free to contact the Program Committee to discuss a topic for a paper, panel, or other session format. Proposals should be emailed as an attachment as a .doc or .docx file, using the following filename conventions:
Lastname_Keywordoftopic.docx

Proposals and questions should be directed to the Program Chair, Courtney Waugh at cwaugh5@uwo.ca

Extended deadline for Proposals: the 3rd of January, 2017

Further information about the conference, as well as Congress 2017 more broadly, will be available soon.

Journal of Radical Librarianship call for editors

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Stuart Lawson <00000a1635137d03-dmarc-request@jiscmail.ac.uk>
Date: 2016-12-19 7:56 GMT-03:00
Subject: [RLC-DISCUSS] Journal of Radical Librarianship: call for editors
To: RLC-DISCUSS@jiscmail.ac.uk

Hi,

The Journal of Radical Librarianship has now been running for over two years. The number of articles we’ve published has been small, but a couple of research articles have been published this year – Jennifer Soutter’s ‘The Core Competencies for 21st Century CARL (Canadian Association of Research Libraries) Librarians: through a neoliberal lens’, and Ian Clark’s ‘The digital divide in the post-Snowden era’ – and more are in the pipeline.

Since it’s been a while since we started the journal, the current editors have decided it’s time to make an explicit call for other people to get involved as well if they wish. The initial editorial group has worked well but it was formed by whoever who willing and able at the time, and it was never intended to be static. Two people have recently stepped down as editors so it would be a good time for anyone who is interested in joining to come on board.

The journal can publish articles across a wide range of subject areas. The ones we have designated to specific editors at the moment are listed on the website (https://journal.radicallibrarianship.org/index.php/journal/about) but this is by no means exhaustive and we would welcome anyone with expertise in an area they feel is not represented – or to volunteer to share editorial responsibilities for an area that is listed.

‘Editorial responsibilities’ essentially means guiding research and theory articles through peer review. Feel free to ask me anything about the process off-list if you like. In addition, please let us know if you’d be happy to lend your time as a peer reviewer.

Thanks,
Stuart (on behalf of the editors)

November 17, 2016

Support for Natalya Sharina

Martyn Wade martyn.wade@hotmail.co.uk via infoserv.inist.fr
Nov 16
to ifla-l

Dear Colleagues

You may recall that IFLA has made a number of statements regarding Natalya Sharina – a Russian Librarian who is accused of inciting hatred by having “extremist” books on the shelves of the Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow. Donna Scheeder, IFLA President, has also written to the Russian authorities expressing our concerns. (See http://www.ifla.org/publications/node/10844, http://www.ifla.org/node/10488, http://www.ifla.org/node/9992) After being held under house arrest for over a year her trial has now commenced. (See this report on the BBC News website for more information: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-37852934)

Amnesty International have also raised concerns over the case against Natalya Sharina, calling her a prisoner of conscience. They are asking for supporters to write appeals to the Russian Prosecutor General and Chairman of the Investigation Committee of the Russian Federation. For more information see the Amnesty website at https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/eur46/2900/2015/en/

IFLA remain concerned over the unnecessary and disproportionate treatment of Natalya and continue to be in touch with her lawyer and to monitor the situation.

Regards

Martyn Wade
Chair, IFLA FAIFE

November 14, 2016

CFP: CAPAL17: Foundations & Futures: Critical Reflections on the Pasts, Presents, and Possibilities of Academic Librarianship

CFP: Call for Proposals

CAPAL17: Foundations & Futures: Critical Reflections on the Pasts, Presents, and Possibilities of Academic Librarianship

CAPAL/ACBAP Annual Meeting – May 30 – June 1, 2017

Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences 2017

Ryerson University

Toronto, Ontario

The Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians (CAPAL) invites you to participate in its annual conference, to be held as part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences 2017 in Toronto, Ontario, which lies in the territory of the Haudenosaunee and the Mississaugas of the New Credit River. This conference offers librarians and allied professionals across all disciplines an alternative space to share research and scholarship, challenge current thinking about professional issues, and forge new relationships.

Theme

In keeping with the Congress 2017 theme, From Far and Wide: The Next 150, our focus is CAPAL17: Foundations & Futures: Critical Reflections on the Pasts, Presents, and Possibilities of Academic Librarianship.

This conference provides an opportunity for the academic library community to critically examine and discuss together the ways in which our profession is influenced by its social, political, and economic environments. By considering academic librarianship within its historical contexts, its presents, and its possible futures, and by situating it within evolving cultural frameworks and structures of power, we can better understand the ways in which academic librarianship may reflect, reinforce, or challenge these contexts both positively and negatively.

How can “recalling, retelling, and scrutinizing” our stories help us to understand the present and envision the future of academic librarianship? What are the logics and practices that constitute and reconstitute our profession, and inform our assumptions and approaches?

This conference engages with current discussions surrounding what many consider to be a significant juncture in academic librarianship: the turn towards critically examining the contexts and roots of our profession. How for instance, do we as a profession integrate understanding of the pasts and presents of broader social contexts and engage meaningfully in these necessary conversations?

Potential Topics:

Papers presented might relate to aspects of the following themes (though they need not be limited to them):

– Critical reflections on librarian identity, agency, and representation (in areas such as gender, sexuality, race, decolonization/indigenization, professionalism, stereotypes)
– Critical reflections on core values: intellectual and academic freedom, access to information, privacy of information, preservation and curation, professionalism, etc.
– Bringing the oppositional practices of broader social mobilization around movements (e.g., Black Lives Matter, Idle No More, transgender rights, and others) to bear on our work
– Critical librarianship in practice: collections development and management, information literacy, reference services, and other areas of service (e.g., cultural bias in knowledge organization; absent histories, etc.)
– Critical reflections on career paths (e.g., early-career professionals, new and emerging roles, specializations, management, leadership, etc.)
– Unpacking of language, rhetoric, and discourse that influence and constitute our profession and services (e.g., buzzwords, military or business speak, oppositional discourses of past/future, print/digital, progressive/obsolete, etc.)
– Modes of knowledge creation, research dissemination, and engagement (e.g., oral traditions, co-creation, copyright, open access, and other forms of scholarly communication, etc.)
– Critical review of current educational requirements and training for academic librarians

The Program Committee invites proposals for individual papers as well as proposals for panel submissions of three papers. Proposed papers must be original and not have been published elsewhere.

Individual papers are typically 20 minutes in length. For individual papers, please submit an abstract of no more than 400 words and a presentation title, with a brief biographical statement and your contact information.

For complete panels, please submit a panel abstract of no more than 400 words as well as a list of all participants and brief biographical statements, and a separate abstract of no more than 400 words for each presenter. Please identify and provide participants’ contact information for the panel organizer.

Please feel free to contact the Program Committee to discuss a topic for a paper, panel, or other session format. Proposals should be emailed as an attachment as a .doc or .docx file, using the following filename conventions: Lastname_Keywordoftopic.docx

Proposals and questions should be directed to the Program Chair, Courtney Waugh at cwaugh5@uwo.ca

Deadline for Proposals is: the 23rd of December, 2016

Further information about the conference, as well as Congress 2017 more broadly, will be available soon.

November 8, 2016

Kent State LIS Study-Abroad in Cuba

The School of Library and Information Science, along with the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is offering a study-abroad opportunity in CUBA!

If you are interested in exploring new cultures, and particularly learning more about young people (“Generation Z”) and how they consume culture in another country, this class is for you.

This four-week open learning course is scheduled for May 15-June 10, 2017 — online for three weeks, with one week of travel in Cuba (May 29-June 3, 2017).

YOU ARE INVITED to attend an information session for this course on Thursday, Nov. 10, at 6 p.m. in Franklin Hall, room 340, at Kent State University. If you are not in the Kent, Ohio, area you can participate in the session remotely:

JOIN WEBEX MEETING
https://kent.webex.com/kent/j.php?MTID=m35b0dcad68028838320184ad6a08e8c7
Meeting number: 715 199 653

JOIN BY PHONE
1-650-479-3208 Call-in toll number (US/Canada)
Access code: 715 199 653

The session will be recorded and later posted to this site: https://www.kent.edu/ccistudyabroad/cuba. A course overview and travel itinerary are located on that page as well.

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Course description: “The Real World” Cuba: Examining Gen Z Pop Culture Across Borders

Being a teen has clear implications across the globe. This course will examine how adolescence is defined transnationally, as well as young people’s relation to culture. What does “culture” mean to contemporary young adults living in the U.S. compared to those living in other countries? What is produced for this generation in each place? How do young people consume such culture? How do they interact with it? How do they produce, claim, and consume the culture they create for themselves? And subsequently, what can we learn about transnational cultural production, dissemination, and consumption for and by young people? This course will introduce students to Generation Z and the impact of culture on their lives, comparing the US and Cuba in these respects.

The trip to Cuba includes three cities (Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad) and a lot of Cuban culture. We’ll spend three days in Havana, immersed in Cuban pop culture with top Cuban artists from various art, film and music collectives and interact directly with Cuba’s Gen Z. From there we’ll travel to two of Cuba’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites which will show, among other things, “true masterpieces of human creative genius.”

For more information, including course objectives and a travel itinerary, visit https://www.kent.edu/ccistudyabroad/cuba.

Faculty:
This course is co-taught by SLIS Assistant Professor Marianne Martens, Ph.D. (for graduate students) and JMC lecturer Wendy Wardell (for undergraduates).

Marianne Martens, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor in Kent State University’s School of Library and Information Science (SLIS). Her research and teaching cover the interconnected fields of youth services librarianship and publishing, with a special focus on Digital Youth. She is the author of Publishers, Readers and Digital Engagement: Participatory Forums and Young Adult Publishing (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). Prior to her academic career, Martens worked in children’s publishing in New York. You can read more about her at mariannemartens.org.

Wendy Wardell, an Instructor in JMC’s Advertising sequence, has more than 14 years of B2C experience in the advertising industry. She has worked for local, national and international ad agencies including Ogilvy, Malone Advertising, WB Doner and Liggett-Stashower. She has experience in planning, directing and executing programming designed to drive sales, and she has a proven track record of increasing consumer brand loyalty. She has implemented product launches for ZYRTEC and HUGGIES and has also managed integrated communications plans for global consumer brands including Glade, Ziploc, Windex, BENADRYL and TYLENOL.

All the best,

Flo

<~>~<~>~<~>~<~>~<~>~<~>~<~>~<~>~<~>~<~>~<~>~<~>
Flo Cunningham
Marketing Communications and Public Relations Specialist
School of Library and Information Science
Kent State University
330-672-0003
fcunning@kent.edu

www.kent.edu/slis
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ksuslis
Twitter: @KentStateSLIS

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library. — Jorge Luis Borges

September 1, 2016

The Mortenson Center Launches Libraries for Peace Initiative

From: Clara Chu to multiple lists
Subject: The Mortenson Center Launches Libraries for Peace Initiative

[please forward as appropriate]

The Mortenson Center warmly invites libraries and librarians around the world to take part in our International Peace Day initiative. Visit our website (librariesforpeace.org) to learn about what libraries are doing to promote peace, how they can initiate their own efforts, and where these actions are taking place; to discuss and share ideas of libraries and peacebuilding; and to serve as an information hub for an international library celebration and action day for peace.

JOIN this Libraries for Peace (L4P) movement by going to the website to:

1. Celebrate Library for Peace (L4P) Day on 21st September, 2016 (International Day of Peace)
2. Pledge to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
3. Share your story of how you and/or your library are working toward building a peaceful and sustainable local and global community.

The Libraries for Peace web portal was created to advance the mission of the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, which for the past 25 years, has worked to strengthen international ties among libraries and librarians worldwide for the promotion of international education, understanding, and peace. Libraries as information, education and cultural centers have a role in advancing peace internationally.

For more information, please email mortenson@illinois.edu

Clara M. Chu
Director and Mortenson Distinguished Professor
Mortenson Center for International Library Programs
142 Undergraduate Library, MC-522
1402 W. Gregory Dr.
Urbana, IL 61801 USA
Email: cmchu@illinois.edu Phone: (217) 300-0918
http://www.library.illinois.edu/mortenson ~ phone: (217) 333-3085

August 3, 2016

World Libraries (CFP)

World Libraries — a peer-reviewed, open access LIS journal published by the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois — invites submissions on library and information topics of interest to an international audience.

If libraries, museums and archives are windows to the world, it follows that those working in them must also be internationally engaged, sharing ideas across borders, profiting from the successes and discoveries of farflung colleagues, and strengthening alliances built upon shared philosophies.

World Libraries is a cooperative, collaborative project devoted to the free and unfettered sharing of knowledge. Working from the premise that librarianship has always had and should always have an international scope — and that we ignore ideas and neglect allies at our own peril — we invite LIS professionals and fellow travelers to engage in an ongoing conversation.

Topics may include but are not limited to:
– Library and information trends, including the maker movement, sharing economy, gamification, resilience, connected learning, haptic technology, linked data and elder services
– Disaster preparation and recovery, including crisis informatics
– Preservation and conservation, including the impact of global climate change
– Scholarly communication, including libraries as publishers and information creators
– International dialogue on LIS topics, including organizations such as IFLA and the International Librarians Network
– The impact of library and information services on political discourse and activity, socio-economic trends, and quality of life
– Marketing and advocacy, including case studies of approaches and campaigns
– Library design and innovative use
– The for-profit library sector and economic globalization
– Comparative librarianship, including postcolonial studies
– Information services and minority groups, including immigrant communities, indigenous people and LGBTQ+ people
– Literacy, including information and artifactual literacy
– Demonstrating the value of library and information services
– Access to information and intellectual freedom
– The future of library and information services
– Leaders or influential figures in the library and information sector
– And library and information topics in any country or region, particularly emerging countries and regions

Submissions may take the form of research papers, interviews, reportage and correspondence, opinion pieces, talks and lectures, roundtables, multimedia storytelling, and product and media reviews (including books, audio-visual works and electronic resources). Other types of submissions are welcome and will be given due consideration by our editorial team. Accepted research papers are evaluated by at least two peer reviewers.

World Libraries is published in English, but non-English content is welcome and translation assistance may be available.

Authors whose works are published in World Libraries are given the option of retaining the rights to their works. They may retain copyright or select a Creative Commons license that best suits their needs. More information will be provided upon acceptance of a submission.

For more information about World Libraries and to make a submission, visit http://worldlibraries.dom.edu/index.php/worldlib/about/submissions.

Questions? Please contact World Libraries editor Scott Shoger at sshoger@dom.edu

More about World Libraries

World Libraries is a project of the faculty, staff and students of Dominican University Graduate School of Library and Information Science; an advisory board of library and information professionals from around the world; and an ever-changing cast of contributors and readers. It was established in 1990 under the title Third World Libraries.

Past contributors and editors include Marta Terry González, Loriene Roy, Ken Haycock, Sara Paretsky, Roderick Cave, D. J. Foskett, Norman Horrocks, Carlos Victor Penna, Josefa Emilia Sabor, Peter Havard-Williams, Herbert S. White, Jeanne Drewes, Lars-Anders Baer, Peggy Sullivan, Robert P. Doyle, Michael E. D. Koenig and John W. Berry.

Themed issues have focused on indigenous library services, Latin American librarianship, the Center for Research Libraries and information services in Cuba, Nigeria and Poland. The entire run of the journal is available at http://worldlibraries.dom.edu.

May 20, 2016

IFLA-FAIFE statement on the continuing detention of the Director of the Library of Ukrainian Literature

Message from Martyn Wade, IFLA-FAIFE chair. (IFLA is the International Federation of Library Organizations, and FAIFE is its Committee on Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression.)

Dear Colleagues,

In November IFLA issued a statement expressing strong concern over the targeting of the Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow by the police, and the arrest and house detention of its Director Natalya Sharina. Natalya was charged on suspicion of inciting hatred or animosity toward a social group. IFLA believed that this action was disproportionate and unnecessary, and called for the issue to be resolved in a calm manner without further escalation.

Since then Natalya has been charged with gross embezzlement and she remains under house arrest.

IFLA believes that libraries and librarians have a key role in supporting human rights, including freedom of access to information and freedom of expression, and an attack on libraries or librarians is an attack on democracy and culture. It remains of the view that the treatment of the Library of Ukrainian Literature, and its staff – and in particular Natalya Sharina – is completely disproportionate and unnecessary.

Donna Scheeder, President of IFLA, has now written to the Chairman of the Investigation Committee of the Russian Federation, and the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation on behalf of IFLA calling for Natalya to be released from house arrest, and for the cessation of all legal action.

IFLA-FAIFE has also issued a further statement on the position of Natalya Sharina which can be found at http://www.ifla.org/node/10488

Amnesty International is also continuing to campaign for Natalya Sharina’s release and has issued an Urgent Action report which can be downloaded in English, French or Spanish from https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/eur46/3849/2016/en/ The Update includes the addresses of the Chairman of the Investigation Committee and the Prosecutor General.

Martyn Wade
Chair, FAIFE

April 22, 2016

Around the World: Libraries, Archives and Public Life

KIAS2016

The Kule Institute for Advanced Study (KIAS) and the School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS) at the University of Alberta are helping bring together a conversation on Libraries, Archives, and Public Life from universities around the world, including speakers from Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Malta, Scotland and the United States:

Paul Arthur, Professor, Digital Humanities, School of Humanities & Comm Arts, Western Sydney University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Guylaine Beaudry, University Librarian, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Michael Carroll, Director, Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, Washington College of Law, American University, Washington DC, USA

Richard J. Cox, Professor, School of Library and Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Alice Crawford, Digital Humanities Research Librarian, University of St. Andrews Library, St. Andrews, Scotland

Brendan Edwards, Head, Library & Archives, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Mario Hibert, Lecturer, Department of Comparative Literature and Librarianship, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Sarajevo, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Marc Kosciejew, Head of Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences, Regional Business Centre University of Malta, Malta

Konstantina Martzoukou, Course Leader, MSc Information & Library Studies, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland

Nigel A Raab, Associate Professor of History, Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California, USA

Seamus Ross, Interim Director, Coach House Institute, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Frank Tough, Associate Dean (Academic) and Professor, Faculty of Native Studies, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Sam Trosow, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Information and Media Studies, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada

and others, including graduate students from the MLIS program at the University of Alberta.

In the digital age libraries and archives, arguably more vital than ever, are contested entities and commodities. Technologies can be great boons or severe limitations. The world of information is enlarged or shrunk depending on the availability, scope and distribution of services. Just as influential are geo-political location and a funding climate. Not all sectors and, in fact, not all populations enjoy equal influence and benefits. Concerns about access, sustainability and preservation affect and often determine the content, media and technology housed within libraries and archives. The social construction of knowledge and information behaviour emerge as key ways of understanding the changing roles of libraries and archives as meeting, creating and thinking spaces. The internet conference will explore these suggestive themes by attending to a central question: what are the implications for public life?

Background: The Around the World forum, organized for the fourth time this year, is an experiment that brings together scholars from around the globe to talk about digital culture without the environmental cost of traditional conferences. Institutes and researchers are invited to participate either through presenting or by joining in the discussion. The conference is live-streamed world-wide and archived after the event.

For further information and the archived talks from previous years please see: http://aroundtheworld.ualberta.ca/

March 31, 2016

CAPAL 16 Preliminary Program

The preliminary program for CAPAL 16 is out and it’s very exciting. Here is Colleen Burgess’ announcement:

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the conference organizing committee, I am pleased to present the preliminary program for CAPAL16: Beyond the Library: Agency, Practice, and Society, the third annual conference of the Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians (CAPAL). The program can be viewed in full online at: http://conference.capalibrarians.org/program/

In keeping with the Congress 2016 theme, Energizing Communities, CAPAL16 seeks to look “Beyond the Library” to rethink how academic librarians engage with their communities within which our institutions are situated or those with whom we share disciplinary concerns or approaches. Such communities may be physical, epistemic, academic, or imagined communities, communities of identity, or those communities around us and to which we contribute.

We are honored to welcome keynote speakers Leroy Little Bear, Ry Moran, and Dr. Bonnie Stewart. Long-time advocate for First Nations education, Leroy Little Bear served as Director of the Harvard University Native American Program, and helped to design the Bachelor of Management in First Nations Governance at the University of Lethbridge. Dr. Bonnie Stewart serves as the Coordinator for Adult Teaching for the University of Prince Edward Island, where she directs and develops professional education and career development initiatives for a suite of adult education programs. Ry Moran is Director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) at the University of Manitoba, which is tasked with preserving, protecting and providing access to all materials, statements and documents collected by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). A Metis and graduate of the University of Victoria where he studied political science and history, Moran worked in traditional language preservation with a focus on Michif. In 2008, he received a National Aboriginal Role-Model Award, which led an invitation to Rideau Hall and his involvement with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as Director of Statement Gathering, and eventually Directorship of the National Research Centre.

Registration for the conference is now open and available at the following link: http://congress2016.ca/register

Note that Congress fees are cheaper if you register before March 31st.

Please visit our website for further information and updates: http://conference.capalibrarians.org

The CAPAL Research & Scholarship Committee is pleased to offer a CAPAL 2016 Preconference Workshop at the University of Calgary on May 28, 2016. For further information and updates, see the pre-conference workshop webpage: http://conference.capalibrarians.org/preconference-workshop/

Also, follow us on Twitter at #CAPAL16 and join our Facebook page at https://goo.gl/dedxUU to connect with others attending.

Best,

Colleen Burgess, Communications Chair

January 20, 2016

CFP: Many Worlds to Walk In: Exploring Diversity in Children’s Literature, Librarianship, and Education

Many Worlds to Walk In:
Exploring Diversity in Children’s Literature, Librarianship, and Education

Call for Paper Proposals
Deadline for submission: February 15, 2016

A peer-reviewed graduate student conference on children’s literature, media, and culture

University of British Columbia – Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Saturday, April 30, 2016

Many Worlds to Walk In: Exploring Diversity in Children’s Literature, Librarianship, and Education is a one-day conference on April 30, 2016 showcasing graduate student research in children’s literature. You are invited to submit an academic paper proposal that contributes to research in the area of children’s and young adult literature, librarianship, education, media, or cultural studies. Submissions of creative writing for children and young adults are also welcome. We are particularly interested in research and creative pieces that draw on the broadly interpreted theme of diversity–including research on narratives that depict diversity and the diverse formats we use to create and share narratives.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

– Diverse theoretical perspectives on children’s and young adult literature (e.g. postcolonial, feminist, queer, eco-critical approaches)
– Multiculturalism and stories of underrepresented, marginalized, or disabled populations
Underrepresented formats of stories for children and young adults (graphic novel, picture book app, etc.)
– Inclusive programming and services in children’s librarianship and education
– Indigenous and aboriginal narratives
– Oral storytelling and sign language storytelling
– Newcomer, refugee, and immigrant narratives
– Otherness and trans-national identities
– Problematic interpretations and definitions of diversity
– Diversity within genres: boundary-pushing books, films, etc.
– Cross-media adaptations of children’s and young adult texts
– Translated and multilingual texts for children and young adults
– Resources and services for multilingual readers and families
– Empathy-building through story
– Imagined identities: diversity in fantasy, created worlds
– Multiple perspectives on historical events (Holocaust narratives, etc.)

The topics above are a guideline for the proposals we would like to see, but we are eager to receive paper proposals on any facet of diversity in children’s and young adult texts.

Academic Paper Proposals

Please send a 250 word abstract that includes the title of your paper, a list of references in MLA format, a 50 word biography, your name, your university affiliation, email address, and phone number to the review committee at submit.ubc.conference@gmail.com. Please include “Conference Proposal Submission” in the subject line of your email.

Creative Writing Proposals

Submissions of creative writing for children and young adults in any genre are welcome, including novel chapters, poetry, picture books, graphic novels, scripts, etc. Please send a piece of work no longer than 12 pages double spaced. (Anything shorter is welcome– poetry, for example, might only be a page). The submission should include the title of your piece, a 150 word overview of your piece (describe age group, genre, and links to the conference theme), a list of references in MLA format (if you have any), a 50 word biography, your name, your university affiliation, email address, and phone number. Please send your submission to the review committee at submit.ubc.conference@gmail.com. Please put “Creative Conference Proposal Submission” in the subject line of your email.

For more info, please contact ubc.conference.2016@gmail.com. Thank you; we look forward to seeing you this spring!

December 9, 2015

Review of the Library Juice Press Handbook of Intellectual Freedom

A review of our Handbook of Intellectual Freedom was just published on the website of ADBS, the main library association in France. The review, by Joachim Schöpfel, is in French, but Google translate makes it fairly readable in English. The book is very timely in the French context, as the reviewer points out. We’re very happy to see this connection to our colleagues in France.

June 9, 2015

Interview with Chris Roth

Chris Roth is the author of Let’s Split! A Complete Guide to Separatist Movements and Aspirant Nations, from Abkhazia to Zanzibar, which was published by Litwin Books in March of this year. Chris is a social-cultural and linguistic anthropologist with an interest in the symbolic politics of nationalism and ethnicity. He has worked extensively with indigenous groups in northern British Columbia and southeast Alaska and is the author of an ethnography of the Tsimshian Nation. He has also done research with and about New Age and paranormal subcultures in the U.S. and elsewhere. Don’t be intimidated by his academic accomplishments though. As a writer and a person, Chris has a sense of fun and an earthy sense of humor. He publishes an entertaining and very informative blog about micronations and nationalist movements called “Springtime of Nations.” Chris agreed to do an interview with me about his book, to better give people a a sense about it.

Chris, thanks for agreeing to this interview.

I’d like to start by asking about your blog, Springtime of Nations, which kind of led to the book. Would you describe it and tell us how it got started?

I started the blog in 2011, around the time I began working on Let’s Split! In a way, the book sort of led to the blog—or they led to each other, I suppose—since I was researching the topic of separatist movements and finding that underneath all of the so-called “normal” international politics in the news there were these smaller struggles for self-determination that were being lost amid the noise, and I started presenting these stories as news dispatches from a sort of alternative international order. Of course in the years since then the world has changed a lot. Now things like the Scottish and Catalonian independence votes, and Islamic State and Kurdistan forming themselves in the Middle East, and of course the Russian puppet states sprouting like mushrooms in Ukraine, are bigger stories. I was analyzing and commenting on things like the rise of ISIS and the powderkeg of Crimea before the mainstream media were. For years I did a feature in the blog called “The Week in Separatist News,” which involved sifting through piles of news reports from around the world, and this was a fantastic way to do the front-end, moving-target research on the hundreds of movements worldwide that I discuss in the book. Lots of people, even overseas, have told me that when they Google “springtime of nations” the first thing that comes up is my blog. The Wikipedia article on the actual Springtime of Nations—the wave of European revolutions in 1848—is actually only the second hit. That kind of surprised me the first time I noticed it. So I guess people are reading it!

In addition to being fun to read, your blog really has turned into an unparalleled information resource on the topic, and so is the book. Why don’t you give an outline of the book itself?

Well, this is an example of a book written because it was a book the author wanted to read. I was frustrated that there wasn’t a single volume that gave an overview of modern separatist movements in the way that readers would be able to connect with. There were global guides to rebel movements written by security-consulting firms, there were a few books specifically on micronations, and there were some rather slapped together volumes listing independence movements which had either no maps at all or only tiny crude maps; one such book had flags, but they were in black and white, which makes one wonder: why bother? It occurred to me that a lot of the trends underlying separatist movements were bigger than local: the attempts to erase or redraw borders left over from European colonialism in places like Africa and the Middle East, grass-roots indigenous movements in places like South America and the South Pacific and the Arctic, the ongoing fragmentation of former pieces of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, and tensions arising with those discontented with the European Union—all of these phenomena deserved to be addressed in a way that allowed the reader to see this phenomena alongside one another and interacting. This also allows readers to see larger-scale historical trends—for example, the sense that empires based in Moscow, London, Istanbul, Tehran, and Berlin (in Berlin’s case, a monetary empire) are still trying to sort out where their respective spheres of influence begin and end after the geopolitical earthquake of 1918, when World War I ended. In some ways, World War I has more geopolitical reverberations today than World War II does—that’s how the whole idea of “self-determination” “became a thing,” as they say nowadays—and its aftermath is still being worked out in borderlands like the Balkans and the Caucasus and the Steppes and the Levant. Most of all, I was lucky to have a publisher that shared my vision that a book that brought together large amounts of information that hadn’t been brought together before also needed to have that information visually presented in a new way that would grab people. One of the things I’m happiest about with the book is that as you flip through it there are these dozens of maps that are full color and that show different layers of information about a particular region—historical borders, aspired-to borders, demographic features like the distribution of different ethnic and linguistic groups, and also some of the resource areas and trade routes that sharpen a lot of the ongoing conflicts and movements. The first few map makers we talked to said, “No, no, you can’t do all that in one map, you’d better just have one map that shows the languages of the region, and another one showing what the borders were before 1918, and another one” etc. etc. And I said, “No, but it’s all connected, you can’t understand why what’s happening in Iraq and Syria is happening in the way it is unless you see it, bang, all at once.” Valerie Sebestien did our maps and they’re unlike any collection of maps I’ve seen. In conjunction with the hundreds of flag designs and the sidebars with numbers and data in them scattered through the book, and what’s I hoped would be the go-to book for anyone interested in this very central topic.

Yes, I think it is the go-to book on this topic, whether someone is looking for a reference book or a book to sit and read on a Sunday afternoon. As you recall, when we first discussed the book, I was expecting it to be much shorter, and I was surprised by the amount of work the designer had to put into it to lay out all the pages (and how much money she charged us). The length of it – it comes it at 634 large-format pages. Had you ever written something that substantial? Was it a surprise to you as well?

It was. I realized it was a big topic, but I didn’t realize how much space I would need to give it the treatment it really deserves. I envisioned something that would weigh in as much shorter. If I’d known from the beginning that the final product would be that long I might not have had the guts to jump in and start, but as it happened it just mushroomed. My other full book, which is an academic book, an ethnography of the Tsimshian tribal group in Alaska and British Columbia, was shorter, but I must say it took longer than I expected it would. I’m a perfectionist at heart, I suppose: I wanted to make sure that the issues I wanted to raise and the points I wanted to make were completely nailed down, and I took a similar approach with getting Let’s Split! to a point where I felt it was doing its full job. Of course, with Let’s Split!, there’s a difference: since I discuss ongoing political situations, I’m writing about a moving target. Some aspects of it are—I won’t say outdated—but partially superceded. That’s inevitable. But I was happy it saw print on a timetable that allowed last year’s Scottish referendum and the expansion of ISIS and the eastern Ukrainian conflict to get full treatments in there. And I feel the book sets a historical and political background for new events that may arise. When new separatist regions flare up—and I’m anticipating further disintegration in Libya and Moldova soon, as well as an acceleration toward independence in Kurdistan and regional fragmentation within England—Let’s Split! is still a place to turn to to understand the history and the dynamics.

I think we’ve given people a fair idea of the book. As a final question, what other book projects do you envision maybe doing down the road?

It would be nice to be able to update Let’s Split! every few years to keep up with current events, but whether it makes sense to do that will depend, of course, on its reception. Recently, I’ve been intrigued by deposed royal families and governments-in-exile, which is a category of non-state or pseudo-state that overlaps with the material in Let’s Split! but also gets at some of the legal and metaphysical questions at the very root of the idea of statehood, and also involves an appreciation of social structures and descent systems in different cultures, which is an interest of mine coming out of anthropology. As with Let’s Split!, one of the attractions of this topic is that it’s a zone where serious geopolitical and legal questions intersect with wildly colorful stories of real people whose stories tend to get buried in the 21st-century news cycle. I’m not sure I’m up to another giant global survey of a volume, but those are the kinds of alleys and byways of history and politics that my mind is running down lately. Readers can check out the Let’s Split! Facebook page as well as the Springtime of Nations blog to see what sorts of things are turning up in my research as I start to orient myself for the next thing.

That sounds like some very interesting material on the horizon. I hope that Litwin Books will be involved in publishing it.

Thanks very much for taking the time to do this interview.

My pleasure!

May 11, 2015

2015 Solidarity Statement from Librarians and Archivists with Palestine

Arabic children's books

Bayt al-Karameh (Haifa)

In early April, members of Librarians and Archivists with Palestine went on a follow-up trip to Jerusalem, the West Bank (Ramallah and Birzeit) and ’48 (Nazareth, Haifa, and Akka). We’ve just posted a report/solidarity statement (reproduced in full below), as we did after our initial delegation in 2013. Note the last section with some specific ideas for projects and campaigns we may embark on—if you think you might like to get involved, join the LAP network. If you want to join LAP’s (low-traffic!) email announcement list, send a blank message to lapannounce-subscribe@lists.riseup.net. You can also follow @Librarians2Pal on Twitter and like our Facebook page.

Librarians and Archivists with Palestine 2015 Delegation Report and Solidarity Statement

May 2015

In April 2015, nine librarians from four countries traveled to Palestine for an in-depth trip to follow up on the work of our 2013 delegation. In 2013, sixteen librarians had met with representatives from academic libraries, cultural centers, community education spaces, family libraries, museums, media centers, special collections, and more. From that delegation, the Librarians and Archivists with Palestine network was formed, and within this network, an advisory board of Palestinian librarians, archivists, information workers, and activists was convened.

Since 2013, our small group of sixteen delegation participants has grown to a network of almost 100 members in 15 countries. We have created a website profiling organizations we met with in Palestine. We have made art, spoken at conferences, written articles, read poetry on the subway, and encouraged hundreds of people to read Palestinian literature.

Our April 2015 delegation was divided into two streams. One stream focused on academic and research libraries and issues related to knowledge production in Palestine, with a focus on such topics as cataloging and classification, library outreach, library science education and training, open access publication, translation, and technology. The academic and research libraries stream met with Birzeit University Library, the Palestinian Library and Information Consortium (PALICO), Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA), Institute for Palestine Studies, and Mada Al-Carmel.

The second stream focused on access to children’s literature in Arabic, both inside the West Bank and inside ‘48 (Israel), and met with representatives from the Tamer Institute, Qattan Foundation, Al-Tufula Center, International Board on Books for Young People – Palestine section, and Palestinian public and school librarians in the West Bank and ‘48. The two streams joined to visit Maktabat Kul Shay (Haifa), Dar Al-Aswar (Akka), the Educational Bookshop (Jerusalem), and a number of other organizations.

In all our travels and work, we respected the Palestinian civil society call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel and did not partner with any organization that violates this call. As librarians and archivists, as people who believe in access to information, we affirm that institutional academic and cultural boycotts are appropriate responses to curtailed freedoms and are effective tools for change.

As we traveled, we continued to see and learn about the effects of Israeli occupation on Palestinian life. We passed by the weaponized apartheid wall, checkpoints, and segregated roads. We noticed the rapid proliferation of Israeli settlements on hilltops above Palestinian villages, even larger in number and size than what some of us had seen in 2013, evidence of the ongoing theft of land and forced displacement that Palestinians have been experiencing for decades.

In all our meetings, we heard about the “enemy state” designation that prevents literature from being sent directly to Palestinian stores and libraries if it has originated in Lebanon, Syria, Iran, and sometimes other countries. This is a particular problem with Lebanon, a major hub of Arabic-language publishing.

We were told about the book shipments into the West Bank that might be returned to Amman, quarantined for days (at a cost of 1000 shekels per day), or destroyed depending on Israeli inspectors’ arbitrary decisions.

People shared stories of individuals bringing books into Palestine—from London to Jerusalem, from Jerusalem to Ramallah, from Ramallah to Gaza, from Ramallah to Haifa, or from Lebanon to Jordan to Ramallah—a process that is neither scalable nor easily sustainable.

We heard about the widespread unauthorized printing and copying of Arabic-language literature that render publishing and writing risky and sometimes unsustainable ventures, but also make literature accessible to the majority of readers who have trouble affording original publications.

We heard how journalists and editors at Palestinian newspapers and magazines have adapted to continuing Israeli censorship by engaging in self-censorship.

We heard from booksellers, writers, and librarians about the need for more local stories written by Palestinians for Palestinians. One cultural center director in Nablus estimated that 90% of children’s books there have been translated from other cultures. In Haifa, librarians talked about how a lack of local young adult literature leads Palestinian teens to prefer to read in Hebrew or English than in Arabic.

People also discussed the need to get Palestinian voices out into the rest of the world, and suggested translations from the original Arabic as a powerful and necessary step in the process. Palestinian writers themselves need more opportunities to get out of occupied territory and travel.

In both the West Bank and ’48, people talked about insufficient school budgets that leave little or no money for school librarians to stock their shelves with quality books. In ’48, discrepancies in headcount calculations and funding levels hit Palestinian students hardest, leaving them with overcrowded classrooms and paltry resources.

We heard about the myriad ways that Israeli universities suppress the academic freedom of Palestinian students and faculty in ‘48—apartheid, racism, and censorship at these schools creates a chilling effect that makes it difficult for Palestinian scholars working in ‘48 to openly engage in activism and organizing on campus and to publish their work.

We were told about the limited approved vendor lists set by the Israeli government in ’48 that result in a chain of informal agents, each levying their own fees, that librarians must tap just to get needed books from desired publishing houses who aren’t on the list.

Academic librarians from the PALICO consortium spoke to us about the challenges of acquiring access to databases and other electronic resources for their library users, as so many of these tools are behind a paywall, and prohibitively expensive. We learned that the active engagement of PALICO librarians with global networks and programs like Research4Life and EIFL has allowed Palestinian academic libraries to mobilize resources for their user groups in the context of this private commodification of scholarly information sources. A librarian at Birzeit University told us, “We don’t have freedom of information and we struggle to give the right education and information to Palestinian people.”

We heard about Gaza, where 180 schools and 5 universities were damaged in Israel’s 2014 assaults on the region. Two IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) libraries were completely destroyed. It is now virtually impossible to bring in books (among other resources) through the tunnels from Egypt to Gaza. Smaller libraries have few books despite large and avid user bases.

We met courageous and innovative publishers in the Galilee including Dar Al-Aswar, established in 1974 as part of the struggle to renew Palestinian identity and culture, and the four-year-old Rayya Publishing, which has already released around 100 books (mainly new publications) by Palestinian writers from all over.

We heard about programs to encourage reading, from “Daddy Read To Me” by Ramallah’s Tamer Institute, to bilingual (Arabic and English) author events at the Educational Bookshop in East Jerusalem, to the emphasis on learning and creativity that makes Haifa’s Beit Al-Karme “More Than a Library,” to “My Mother Is Reading for Me” for pre-kindergarten children in Nablus, to the initiative of Nazareth’s Al-Tufula Pedagogical Centre to produce children’s books so appealing they’re “eatable.”

We learned about both new and longstanding initiatives at research centres like Mada Al-Carmel in Haifa and the Institute for Palestine Studies in Ramallah, to collect, describe, digitize, and make accessible archival sources and oral histories from Palestinians in ‘48 and the West Bank.

We heard from Palestinian academic librarians developing vital knowledge platforms for their communities and for researchers around the world. The Birzeit University Law Library’s legal database Al-Muqtafi gathers and makes searchable a comprehensive collection of all legislation enacted in Palestine from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, in both Arabic and English search interfaces. Cataloguers at Birzeit created and continually add to an Arabic-language equivalent of the Library of Congress subject headings.

We saw how Mada Al-Carmel in Haifa serves as a haven and a hub for Palestinian researchers who may not otherwise find institutional support in ‘48, nurturing academic inquiry and engaged scholarship beyond the constraints of the university. Mada Al-Carmel’s programs bring seminars, workshops, and discussion groups into community spaces, and their electronically published research is freely accessible.

On the last day of our trip, Al Bireh Municipality hosted us in their public library for a meeting of our Palestinian advisory board. We reported on our week of meetings, brought forward a number of ideas, and asked people what they thought we should pursue. We learned more about struggles for different kinds of libraries in Palestine and heard a variety of views from our board members, who came from the Ramallah area, Jerusalem, and Akka, and who work in public, government, university, and school libraries, as well as publishing houses and community organizations. This was a great closing for our visit, and it helped solidify long-term relationships with our colleagues in Palestine.

Following our visit, we have a much better (though not complete) understanding of the specific issues we focused on during our trip. We are committed to working directly with our partners in Palestine on projects that are both concretely useful and politically meaningful. We hope to support professional development among library staff at universities by looking into the translation of new library science materials into Arabic; helping to raise scholarships for Palestinian librarians to attend conferences and university programs; and participating in regular discussions and workshops. We will investigate ways for people around the world to support the collections of Palestinian school libraries while discussing the political context that has created these needs. We plan to look into facilitating the translation of Palestinian children’s books from Arabic into other languages, and to distribute this literature in our communities. We hope to connect with colleagues in Gaza and raise awareness about the unique issues they face. We will continue to develop curricula to accompany the archival box set of materials that we created after our 2013 delegation. We reiterate our commitment to join BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns, to engage in critical examination of our positions of privilege, and to support Palestinian self-determination and access to information in and about Palestine.

Librarians and Archivists with Palestine 2015 delegation:

Eva Devos, Children’s Literature Specialist, Antwerp, Belgium
Jessamy Klapper, Caseworker, Brooklyn, NY, US
Jessa Lingel, Researcher, Boston, MA, US
Hannah Mermelstein, School Librarian, Brooklyn, NY, US
Melissa Morrone, Public Librarian, Brooklyn, NY, US
Vani Natarajan, Research and Instruction Librarian, Brooklyn, NY, US
Elisabet Risberg, Public Librarian, Stockholm, Sweden
Kevin Sanders, E-Resources Librarian, Bath, UK
Tom Twiss, Liaison Librarian, Pittsburgh, PA, US

March 23, 2015

In Defense of Libraries and Culture in the Middle East

In Defense of Libraries and Culture in the Middle East

Statement from the Progressive Librarians Guild:

Media coverage of the destruction of libraries and antiquities in northern Iraq during March 2015 has aroused the indignation of people around the world. The Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, has initiated this destruction and used it in a propaganda campaign to promote its interests throughout the region. This destruction is based on its crude fundamentalist version of Islam, but that is not the whole story. There are also reports that ISIS is selling invaluable artifacts for profit.

Libraries with unique collections, with some items going back to 5000 BC, have reportedly been ransacked in Mosul, including the Mosul Central Library, the Mosul Museum Library, the Sunni Muslim Library, and the library of the Latin Church and Monastery of the Dominican Fathers. There are reports that many of the books were burned.

Archeological sites at the ancient cities of Hatra, Nimrud, and Dur-Sharrukin have reportedly been devastated. The Mosul Museum was looted during the U.S. led military invasion in 2003, but nearby residents saved many of the artifacts at that time by hiding them in their homes. According to Bagdad Museum Director Fawzye al-Mahdi, it appears that most of the recently destroyed artifacts in the Mosul Museum were actually plaster cast replicas of originals, which were moved to Bagdad in 2003. However, according to exiled Mosul Governor Atheel Nuafi, at least two were priceless originals, including the Winged Bull, which used to stand at the gates of Nineveh in the 7th century.

Progressive librarians unconditionally condemn the destruction of libraries and culture in the Middle East.

In order to understand the current situation, we need to examine recent history. In a candid March 17th interview with Shane Smith of Vice News, President Obama stated that “ISIL is a direct outgrowth of Al-Qaeda in Iraq,” and that it is an “example of unintended consequences” (https://news.vice.com/topic/isil).

Before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq after the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, Iraq was a brutal dictatorship that tortured its opponents. But it was also a stable and secular middle-income country fueled by an oil-based economy. Although women were certainly not treated as equal to men, they had considerable freedom and rights not available in many other countries in the region. But of course Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq, opposition to the government was not tolerated, and freedom of speech was very limited. One consequence of the authoritarian state was that radical Islamist groups had no presence in the country.

Although the U.S. generally supported Saddam Hussein from 1979 to 1990, the situation reversed after the 1990 Gulf War when Iraq attacked and annexed Kuwait. Strict U.N. economic and other sanctions led to the death of perhaps 500,000 Iraqi children by 1996, when Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said that “we think the price was worth it” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbIX1CP9qr4).

Al-Qaeda established a presence in the country only after the chaos caused by the U.S.-led invasion. The destruction and systematic dismantling of Iraq’s government and army along with the bombing of crucial infrastructure led to the recruitment of competing ethnic militias, and massive “ethnic cleansing” of both Shiite and Sunni neighborhoods and regions.

Whether boots on the ground or through drone attacks, the U.S. military is continuously making the situation worse. New extremists are created when the U.S. military kills or maims civilians or destroys their homes and livelihoods. The example of Iraq is instructive. A stable secular country without any Islamist extremists has been turned into a haven for ISIS. The destruction of libraries and culture is a direct result.

We condemn the ISIS attacks on libraries and culture, and we equally condemn U.S. wars in the Middle East and elsewhere. It is the people of the Middle East who can solve the problems of the Middle East. In the current situation, the most productive things the U.S. can do are to end all military operations in the region and to provide non-military aid and development assistance, including assistance in the rebuilding of libraries and other cultural resources.

Al Kagan for the PLG Coordinating Committee