February 27, 2015
A Complete Guide to Separatist Movements and Aspirant Nations, from Abkhazia to Zanzibar
Author: Christopher F. Roth
Published: March 1st, 2015
Printed on acid-free paper
Publisher: Litwin Books
This full color reference book is an entertaining and informative look at contemporary struggles for independence around the world. The separatist, nationalist, and independence movements described range from serious and violent to cheeky and imaginative, collectively revealing the passion that people feel about their identity and roots in a globalized world. This book will be a pleasure to anyone who is fascinated by geography and the world’s cultures. The author’s depth of knowledge and sense of humor are a unique combination. Includes maps and illustrations.
Chris Roth 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.
February 16, 2015
Roots and Flowers: The Life and Work of the Afro-Cuban Librarian Marta Terry González
Authors: Abdul Alkalimat and Kate Williams
Published: February 2015
Printed on acid-free paper
This book introduces North Americans and other general readers to 1) the role of Afro-Cubans in Cuban history and culture, particularly in the 20th century, and 2) librarianship in the context of the Cuban revolution. Considering these two related subjects through the life and work of Marta Terry, Cuba will serve as an example for other Africans in the Americas and for all library workers in times of social change.
Marta Terry directed three centrally important Cuban libraries. Beginning in 1961 she was Che Guevara’s librarian when he organized the National Planning Board (JUCEPLAN) that set the post-1958 course for Cuba’s development. From 1967-1987, she was library director at the Casa de Las Americas, the organization built and led by Haydee Santamaria that published and connected writers and their readers from across Latin America and set a model for combining liberation politics and innovative cultural production. From 1987-1997, she was director of the José Martí National Library, at which time the library was assigned responsibility for all public library development on the Island and then managed through the collapse of the Soviet Union, then Cuba’s #1 trading partner and source of hard currency. A participant in international library gatherings since the 1950s, Marta Terry was also the point person in establishing Cuba’s international library reputation and connections through IFLA, bringing their annual meeting to Latin America for the first time in Havana in 1994. She was then also point person in defending Cuba from the US-government sponsored attack that followed, under the guise of the so-called “independent libraries.”
Abdul Alkalimat is professor emeritus of African American studies and library and information science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Kate Williams is associate professor of library and information science at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.
January 12, 2015
Nicolas Beudon reports that last night there were cyberattacks against numerous French library websites, evidently by Islamist groups. They hacked into these sites using vulnerabilities in Drupal, WordPress, and ISS, as well as by cracking simple passwords. The messages they left on homepages objected to the identification of Islam with the terrorists, referring to it as brainwashing. Beudon refers to a more general article by Damien Bancal, on his site Zataz, which reports on attacks to a broad range of French government institutions’ websites. He writes, “Despite the hashtag #Contre_Charlie, the hackers are not supportive of the attacks that took place in Paris. However, their cyber warfare operation is in competition with Anonymous, who posted their intention to tackle the jihadists on the internet.”
January 8, 2015
From the website:
During the closing meeting of the International Assembly of Independent Publishers (Cape Town, South Africa, 18-21 September 2014), 400 independent publishers from 45 countries signed the International Declaration of Independent Publishers 2014.
Collectively drafted in three languages, on 20 September 2014, the Declaration 2014 is available in several languages (French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Farsi, Italian, etc.).
Read the declaration (PDF)
January 7, 2015
Statement from the ABF (Association des Bibliothécaires de France) and the ACIM (Association pour la coopération des professionnels de l’information musicale) on the attack at the Charlie Hebdo offices…
The ABF and the ACIM always take a position against censorship.
Today, January 7, 2015, a new low was reached: the assassination of those who bring a different voice, in the name of an unjustifiable and extreme ideology, and in a country that prides itself on having freedom of expression for all.
The ABF and ACIM gives their full support to the Charlie Hebdo team.
They reaffirm the importance of a free press, but also of libraries where it is possible to access all forms of expression, which counters intolerance and censorship while encouraging respect of others and coexistence.
Original statement in French…
November 25, 2014
IFLA approved its first Internet Manifesto in 2002. This provided an early recognition of the vital role that the Internet plays in the work of library and information services, and ensuring that individuals and groups have free access to information and can freely express themselves.
The world has changed significantly since 2002 both physically and digitally, and we now have a greater experience and understanding of the role of the Internet and digital resources in our services, and in developing connected societies where individuals have the skills that they need to exploit the opportunities that technologies can bring. We also have a greater understanding of the threats that can be posed through the Internet including the impact on human rights of inappropriate monitoring and surveillance, and from criminal activity.
See: Internet Manifesto 2014
This update to the Internet Manifesto reflects this experience and reinforces the vital role of library and information services in ensuring equitable access to the Internet and its services in support of freedom of access to information and freedom of expression.
The Internet Manifesto 2014 was endorsed by the IFLA Governing Board in August 2014.
The FAIFE Committee will review the IFLA/UNESCO Internet Manifesto Guidelines in the coming months, in light of the Internet Manifesto 2014.
October 26, 2014
IRIE Call for Papers on Global Citizenship
Guest Editor: Jared Bielby, Univ. of Alberta, Canada: email@example.com
Globalization via the digital age is upon us, demanding a new ethics and an intercultural awareness while the dialectics of globalism and cyberspace mandate a committed reflection on what the synthesis between the digital realm and global citizenship entails. In many ways, the borders that previously separated us as citizens physically and culturally have begun to dissipate, replaced by a call for an intercultural accountability and a form of global citizenship that, on one hand, surpasses borders, patriotism, and nationalism alike, but while on the other, demands an understanding and respect for the cultural idiosyncrasies among us, acknowledging the unique existential paradox of universal citizenship that posits each of us as both stranger and citizen on a commonly shared globe.
What is cosmopolitan in the digital age? Is a global digital citizen the same as merely a digital citizen? While talk of digital citizenship has increased in recent years, usually centered on a capitalist drive, encouraging a full electronic participation in society and a responsibility to digital commerce, many questions remain unanswered. Is the netizen the citizen of a democratic state, and of digital democracy? As a citizen of the world interacting online, how will one’s “rights” and “duties” be determined? And are these “rights” universal, and in such a case, what does “universal” mean? What are the legal parameters of netizenship, and what will they be as globalization further takes hold? Is democracy critical to citizenship, or is it not? What are the political landscapes of global citizenship in the digital age? And last of all, is the concept of digital citizenship even tangible? Is it real?
This issue of IRIE will explore the cultural and ethical dimensions of global citizenship in a digital age, looking at the implications, challenges and future of a digitally constructed globalization. We welcome the exploration of, while not restricting to, the following subject areas:
– Defining “rights” and “duties” in terms of digital citizenship
– Universal rights in the digital age
– Intercultural perspectives on citizenship
– Exploration of the digital divide in terms of citizenship
– Borders and nationalism
– Digital citizenship as defined by responsible use of technology
– Governance, law and/or civil rights in terms of globalization
– Ontology, identity and themes of belonging & alienation
– Social justice in terms of cyberspace vs. “real” space
– Global information flow and developing power structures
Deadline for extended abstracts: December 31, 2014.
Please, forward this mail to whom it may concern.
October 22, 2014
Readers may know Naomi House as the founder and manager of INALJ.com (I Need a Library Job). I follow what Naomi is doing, and recently noticed that she is behind a new venture called T160K, which appears to be focused on preserving the famous library of historical treasures in Timbuktu. Naomi agreed to be interviewed here to tell people about this group and how they can get involved.
Naomi, thanks for being interviewed. I went to the website for your organization, t160k.org, and find that it gives tantalizing bits of information, but doesn’t answer the questions that one usually goes to an NGO website to find. It has the feel of an internet startup. Could you tell us what, and who, T160K is?
To start T160k isn’t an NGO. It’s a social impact startup–one of the latest breed of Internet startups who are applying technology to solving social problems. Crowdfunding has been a boon to socially-conscious project all around the world. That’s why we’re launching a crowdfunding platform specifically to focus on cultural preservation and development in Africa.
T160K, which was focused on preserving the famous library of historical treasures in Timbuktu previously, is now going beyond Timbuktu and creating a crowdforming platform helping to further the work of cultural preservation and artistic creativity in Africa. Many librarians and archivists are familiar with the Indiegogo campaign Libraries in Exile, that my co-founders Stephanie Diakité and Tony Dowler worked on in partnership to raise funds for the preservation of the rescued manuscripts in Timbuktu. I met Stephanie in Cape Town, South Africa when we spoke on the same Breakout session panel at a conference. She was also the keynote speaker. We discussed the need to have the manuscripts cataloged, which will be one of the first of the new T160K campaigns. I was drawn to the aspect that we would be helping fund raise in support of people as well as projects. I have spent the past four years volunteering my time at INALJ helping others find jobs. A few months later we began discussions about forming a social purpose corporation and creating a crowdforming platform helping to further the work of cultural preservation and artistic creativity in Africa, which will launch on October 27th.
Wow, that sounds very exciting, and it sounds like important work. I recall reading about the situation with the library in Timbuktu, but I don’t remember the details. I had not had any idea that you were involved with that effort. But I wonder if you could clarify a little bit what is going on with cultural preservation work in this context. I understand that your group raises money, but are you working with other organizations who work on the ground there, or are you doing that part as well? How does it work, and how do the funds get used?
I am a relative newcomer to T106K.org. We were formed as a social purpose corporation / crowdfunding platform this past summer so I wasn’t around for the fundraising efforts last year for the preservation of the rescued Timbuktu manuscripts. In its previous life T160K was formed to help raise funds to preserve rescued manuscripts. T160K wasn’t doing the actual preservation work; archivists and librarians on the ground in Mali were, but we were running the Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for materials and partnered with the actual preservationists in Mali to do so. Shortly after the manuscripts were rescued the rainy season started. T160K raised funds on Indiegogo which were used to purchase moisture traps, archival boxes, and the additional footlockers required to safely store these manuscripts, as well as to cover the significant labor effort required to un-box and re-pack the manuscripts for preservation.
Now looking forward we will be running a new campaign with those on the ground who rescued the manuscripts and preserved them to catalog them. Our role is as a fundraising platform. One thing we do that is special to T160K is that we partner with organizations that have oversight on the projects on the ground. We select projects that have made incredible contributions to preserving various African cultural traditions and who will work with us to get the message out.
T160K.org is expanding its scope beyond its original Timbuktu manuscript project to include a wide variety of partnerships and projects with a focus on African patrimony (culture/ heritage/ arts). We have already lined up the Timbuktu manuscript cataloging project, Circus Debre Berhan in Ethiopia, i4africa.org West African musical tradition teachers and more as partners for our crowdfunding platform launch on October 27th!
That sounds good. Thanks for clarifying. So when you launch the new crowdfunding platform, will there be more detail about what the funds will be used for? I know that I would be more interested in donating if I had a clear picture of what would be happening as a result, who the preservationists and catalogers are. I think their stories would be inspiring. Or are the plans for the money that specific at this point?
Definitely! We will provide clear descriptions of what the funds will be used for. I’d consider that a best practice for any crowdfunding campaign, ours included. Every project is submitting a budget as part of the concept note. We may not provide a line-item breakdown on the page, but in most cases we have that level of detail from the beginning. One of the reasons I believe strongly in what we are doing is that we help raise funds for the people on the ground who are doing the work as well as the materials, etc.
We have already begun sharing images on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest with the permission of our partners and we will be blogging about the projects as well so you can get a better sense of the mission of each one. I am making individual boards on Pinterest for each project, for example, and many of our partners have a web presence already. In addition to the Timbuktu manuscript cataloging project we are also partnering with Circus Debre Berhan, in Ethiopia, a troupe and training program that focuses on marginalized individuals, and instruments4africa, which was formed to teach traditional music and the arts in West Africa, specifically Mali. This is just the beginning, but each project/partnership is vetted by T160K.org staff.
Also the crowdfunding projects that we will be sharing are often in established organizations with a specific desired fundraising project. I know my co-founder, Stephanie Diakité, has met with many of these partners in Mali, Ethiopia and beyond. Stephanie has a wealth of gender and transformational development capacity building experience in Sub-Saharan Africa. And now we are launching T160K.org as a global crowdsourcing mechanism in support of African cultural patrimony and heritage preservation, promotion and development. Our partners are doing amazing work and we hope through T160K to further the work of cultural preservation and artistic creativity in Africa.
I am sold! That is sounding really great. It’s not tax-deductible though, is it? Have you thought about organizing as a non-profit?
We did – but the social purpose corporation is a better fit what we are trying to do as a business. 🙂
Do you plan to be listed on Charity Navigator?
Unfortunately, Charity Navigator only evaluates US-based 501.c(3) charities. As a Social Purpose Corporation, T160k doesn’t meet their criteria for evaluation. I think as Social Purpose Corporations grow in popularity, we’ll see more public interest in sharing their missions. B Lab is a great resource for learning about socially-conscious businesses and what they are doing.
One of the big plusses of Charity Navigator is information about a charity’s transparency and ratio of revenues that go into administrative costs. Do you think you’ll share that kind of info?
We are dedicated to being transparent. Currently we are collecting a 15% crowdfunding fee on the funds collected. Everything else goes to the organizations we’re supporting. We’ll always make sure that the fees we collect are clearly shown on our web site.
Excellent. I think that will give people confidence in donating. Is there anything else you’d like people to know about T160K before we close?
One of the reasons we decided we wanted to create a new crowdfunding platform as opposed to running campaigns on existing platforms is we wanted the flexibility for both short term projects as well as long term patronage fund raising efforts. We wanted the flexibility to create the campaigns our partners need, and not be limited by but inspired by that. Each partnership will be unique and we will be involved at every stage. We know our partners and believe in the work they are doing, something larger platforms simply cannot be.
That makes sense. Thanks for telling us about T160K. It sounds like it’s very well-thought out and something that will be very helpful to African cultural patrimony.
Thanks 🙂 I am thankful to be a part of it, truly.
October 17, 2014
Here’s the press release for the latest project from Librarians and Archivists with Palestine, and we are looking for librarians and their friends to get involved!
This winter, Librarians and Archivists with Palestine (LAP) is coordinating an exciting international reading campaign: “One Book, Many Communities: Mornings in Jenin.” The project draws inspiration from the “one book, one town” idea–wherein people in local communities come together to read and discuss a common book. LAP invites readers, librarians, and others to organize gatherings in January 2015 to discuss Mornings in Jenin, the acclaimed novel by Palestinian-American author and activist Susan Abulhawa.
Mornings in Jenin is a sweeping, heart-wrenching historical saga about four generations of the Abulheja family. From Jenin to Jerusalem to Beirut to Philadelphia, the novel follows the family from its displacement from Ein Hod village in 1948 through love and loss over decades of life in Palestine and the diaspora. LAP’s “One Book, Many Communities” campaign will introduce readers to the richness of Palestinian literature, and create a broader awareness and understanding of Palestinian history and the struggle for self-determination.
All are welcome to organize a reading group in their community in January 2015. Book groups can be held at a library, university or school, at a local non-profit organization or community center, in a living room, or at a bookstore. Event organizers can get in touch with LAP at firstname.lastname@example.org. There will also be a campaign launch featuring author Susan Abulhawa at Bluestockings bookstore in New York City on Saturday, November 8.
Librarians and Archivists with Palestine is a network of self-defined librarians, archivists, and information workers in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for self-determination.
October 10, 2014
In Solidarity: Academic Librarian Labour Activism and Union Participation in Canada
Editors: Jennifer Dekker and Mary Kandiuk
Published: October 2014
With a focus on Canada, this collection provides a historical and current perspective regarding the unionization of academic librarians, an exploration of some of the major labour issues affecting academic librarians in a certified and non-certified union context, as well as case studies relating to the unionization of academic librarians at selected institutions. Topics addressed include the history of academic librarian labour organizing in Canada, academic status, academic freedom, leadership in academic staff associations, collective bargaining, and recent attacks on the rights and occupational interests of academic librarians at Canadian universities. The volume includes a broad representation of academic librarian labour activists from across Canada. Little in the way of documentation exists on academic librarian union activism and participation in Canada and this work will contribute to original research in this area. Serving as both history and handbook it will be of interest to librarians and labour historians alike.
June 5, 2014
Last summer I went with a delegation of information workers to Israel/Palestine. As our post-trip solidarity statement said: We bore witness to the destruction and appropriation of information, and the myriad ways access is denied. We were inspired by the many organizations and individuals we visited who resist settler-colonialism in their daily lives. We connected with colleagues in libraries, archives, and related projects and institutions, in the hopes of gaining mutual benefit through information exchange and skill-sharing. We learned about the common and unique challenges we face—both in different parts of Palestine and in our home contexts.
Below is the press release that Librarians and Archivists with Palestine (LAP) is issuing today. Please read on and join the network if you are moved to.
Librarians and Archivists with Palestine Launches New Website and Solidarity Network
contact: librarians2palestine AT gmail com
June 5, 2014
On the 47th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and after 66 years of dispossession of the Palestinian people, a group of librarians and archivists is launching a network of information workers in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for self-determination. In summer 2013, information workers from the U.S., Canada, Sweden, Trinidad & Tobago, and Palestine went to Palestine to connect with colleagues in libraries, archives, and related projects and institutions, in the hopes of gaining mutual benefit through information exchange and skill-sharing. In the months since our journey, members of the Librarians and Archivists to Palestine delegation have publicly discussed what we witnessed during, and learned from, our trip—in local activist spaces, at scholarly conferences, and in publications.
Today, we’re thrilled to announce the launch of a new name, a new website, and a new network. We have updated our name from Librarians and Archivists to Palestine to Librarians and Archivists with Palestine (LAP). This change reflects the fact that we are more than a visiting delegation; we are committed to ongoing work on projects of solidarity in support of Palestinian libraries and archives.
Our new website, librarianswithpalestine.org, includes information and observations about places we visited—research and cultural organizations including Birzeit University, the Issaf Nashashibi Center for Culture and Literature, the Tamer Institute for Community Education, and the Saffourieh Museum for Heritage and Return—photos, and a compilation of LAP publications such as zines and articles.
Most importantly, we are excited to launch a broad-based network in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for self-determination. Any self-defined information worker who agrees with our principles is invited to become a LAP member. Members can also join solidarity project working groups and contribute their skills to support access to information in and about Palestine.
For more information and to join the network, please visit librarianswithpalestine.org. The public is also invited to LAP’s open house on Tuesday, June 17, at Interference Archive in Brooklyn, NY, where we will be displaying prints, zines, and photos from our new portfolio created with Booklyn Artists Alliance.
September 25, 2013
August 6, 2013
Librarians and Archivists to Palestine has just published a post-delegation statement (reproduced in full below). The statement has also been posted on the widely-read Middle East website Mondoweiss, where there is some additional discussion and context in the comments (one commenter even wrote, “Once again, it is librarians who step up where others fear to tread,” which may not be totally accurate but is still nice to hear). If you want to join LAP’s (low-traffic!) email announcement list, send a blank message to email@example.com. You can also follow @Librarians2Pal and like our Facebook page, and stay tuned for a full report and events, possibly in a town near you!
Update, 8/6/13: There is one edit and one addition to the statement. See asterisks below.
We are an independent group of librarians and archivists who traveled to Palestine from June 23 – July 4, 2013. We come from the US, Canada, Sweden, Trinidad & Tobago, and Palestine. We bore witness to the destruction and appropriation of information, and the myriad ways access is denied. We were inspired by the many organizations and individuals we visited who resist settler-colonialism in their daily lives. We connected with colleagues in libraries, archives, and related projects and institutions, in the hopes of gaining mutual benefit through information exchange and skill-sharing. We learned about the common and unique challenges we face—both in different parts of Palestine and in our home contexts. 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.
Our group was small, our scope limited. We traveled only to Palestine, and only to parts of Palestine. We were not able to visit Palestinian communities in Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, or elsewhere, and our trip was only the first step in creating a network of information workers. We were privileged to visit cities, villages, and refugee camps, and to meet with grassroots activists and institutional representatives. In the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and 1948 Palestine (Israel), we engaged with librarians and archivists about their projects and their struggles.
As we travelled we saw barriers to movement everywhere: walls, checkpoints, turnstiles, metal detectors, segregated roads, surveillance watchtowers, military patrols, security cameras, and settler militias. We saw communities devastated by criminalization and incarceration. We visited the rubble of villages that were destroyed in 1948, and we witnessed the ongoing Judaization of Palestinian communities through new housing developments, unequal provision of municipal services, and the Hebraization of place names. We saw new Israeli settlements hovering on hilltops above Palestinian villages, evidence of the forcible land grabs and displacement that Palestinians have been facing for decades. We met families that have struggled and suffered through egregious violence and yet work every day to secure education, opportunities, safety and a more just world for their children.
The erasure of Palestinian culture and history is a tactic of war and occupation, a means to further limit the self-determination of the Palestinian people. Yet the richness, beauty, and complexity of Palestinian existence was everywhere evident, in the historical and contemporary cultural material produced by writers, poets, journalists, artists, archivists and librarians, and in the histories passed down through stories and from person to person. We bore witness to a culture of resistance, which in all its myriad forms resoundingly refutes the notion that Palestine does not exist.
Our experiences in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and 1948 Palestine (Israel) were complex, challenging, beautiful and deeply meaningful. We met creative, committed, and courageous activists, visionaries, cultural workers, artists, librarians and archivists. Everywhere we went we witnessed the daily lived realities of occupation and colonialism, as well as ongoing resistance and the persistent quest for justice:*
At Aida Refugee Camp located in Bethlehem, we saw how the Apartheid Wall prevented the community from accessing nearby olive groves which had been used for relaxation, studying, animal grazing and agriculture. We also heard about the Lajee Center’s project to map the people’s histories of the camp.
In Nabi Saleh weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the confiscation of the community’s land and water are met with extreme violence from the Israeli military. The villagers are using video to document the violence they experience, as well as collecting the empty tear gas canisters and shell casings which are used against them. This documentation is used by the community to honor their resistance, to communicate their struggle with the wider world, and to dispute false accusations in the courts.
School librarians described the difficulty in obtaining Arabic language children’s literature, especially in 1948 Palestine (Israel). Many of the available books are low-quality translations from Hebrew, and Palestinian children have little access to their own literary heritage.
We visited the destroyed town of Saffourieh and heard from former resident Abu Arab about his experiences fleeing the town as a child during the Nakba. Abu Arab has a museum of Palestinian material culture, which he developed out of his work as an antiques collector. The museum challenges the process of ethnic cleansing and the erasure of cultural memory. Abu Arab is the brother of poet Taha Muhammed Ali.
Throughout Palestine we encountered cultural production by youth to preserve traditions, by the Yaffa Youth Movement in Jaffa, the Yafa Cultural Center in Balata Refugee Camp, and the Lajee Center in Aida Refugee Camp.
We witnessed the documentation of prisoners’ lives, a central experience in the Palestinian struggle against occupation. At the Nablus Public Library we saw the marginalia and creative book repairs in a former prison library collection, and at the Abu Jihad Museum for the Prisoners Movement Affairs we learned about a project to collect and digitize prisoners’ notebooks from across the West Bank.
We learned from the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association that the Israeli military is currently detaining 4,900 Palestinians, including 236 children and 8 members of Palestinian legislature.
In East Jerusalem we visited the Nashashibi Center for Culture and Literature, a rebuilt family library from which all the books were stolen during the Nakba in 1948. We also visited the Orient House, which was closed by the Israeli government in 2001 and had significant portions of its archival collections confiscated.
Librarians at Birzeit University told us of their success in petitioning the Library of Congress to adopt a call number for the First Intifada, recognizing it as a unique historical period even as it was still happening: DS128.4.**
During a meeting with the organization alQaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society, we learned about the process of organizing across the West Bank / 1948 Palestine border, the articulation of Palestinian-specific understandings of sexual identity, and the Singing Sexuality project, which discusses sexuality through music.
In Lyd, not far from Tel Aviv, we saw where the library of the local school was removed and replaced with a police station.
We visited the Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan, where residents of the neighborhood create grassroots media about the settler violence they experience on a daily basis.
At the El Bireh Municipal Library we learned about the Tamer Institute, which produces and publishes Arabic language children’s books that are distributed to libraries and community centers throughout Palestine.
Recognizing the barriers to movement and access that often keep the aforementioned organizations and projects from connecting with each other, and appreciating the importance of accountability to the communities that hosted us in Palestine, our delegation organized a public forum in Ramallah on our last evening together. We shared our initial ideas and asked for feedback about our observations.
While the delegation has ended, our work will continue: we will seek out and convene events in our home communities where we can share our knowledge about the effects of occupation and colonialism on libraries, archives, and Palestinian society; we will publish reports, articles, and zines that document the challenges faced—and the amazing work being done—by Palestinian information workers; we will develop an international network of information workers to facilitate skill-sharing, solidarity work, and community among librarians and archivists in Palestine and abroad; we will lobby national and international library and archival organizations to take tangible steps against the occupation and in support of Palestinian perspectives in information work; we will join Palestinians, Israelis, and international activists in campaigns for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israeli apartheid and colonialism. We will continue to learn and adapt our strategies to changing realities and will engage in critical examinations of our own positions of privilege. Through these activities we will work to support access to information in and about Palestine and Palestinian self-determination.
Librarians and Archivists to Palestine 2013 Delegation:
Bronwen Densmore – New York City College of Technology
Molly Fair – Interference Archive; Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative; CUNY TV
Che Gossett – Independent Archivist, Philadelphia
Amy Greer – Doctoral Candidate, Simmons College
Blair Kuntz – Near and Middle East Studies Librarian, University of Toronto
Grace Lile – WITNESS
Josh MacPhee – Interference Archive; Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative
Rachel Mattson – University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana; Jews for Racial and Economic Justice
Hannah Mermelstein – Saint Ann’s School Library; Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel
Andrea Miller-Nesbitt – Liaison Librarian, McGill University
Bekezela Mguni – Independent Librarian; New Voices Pittsburgh: Women of Color for Reproductive Justice
Melissa Morrone – Public Librarian
Vani Natarajan – Barnard College Library
Elisabet Risberg- Librarian, The International Library in Stockholm
Maggie Schreiner – Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive; Rude Mechanical Orchestra
All organizational affiliations are listed for identification purposes only and in no way indicate a position taken by such organizations on the issues raised in this statement.
*For a more complete list of projects and organizations we visited, please see this handout we distributed at our public forum in Ramallah at the end of our delegation.
**An earlier version of this statement listed the call number as DS119.75. Birzeit University librarians have clarified that DS128.4 was the number assigned during the First Intifada, whereas it appears that the Library of Congress assigned a new number (DS119.75) after the Intifada ended. Birzeit University continues to use DS128.4. We apologize for the error.
June 26, 2013
Librarians and Archivists to Palestine is underway! The first of its kind, this delegation is 16 information workers from the West who are spending time in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories to meet with archivists and librarians at a wide range of organizations and institutions. We’re discussing issues (some of which we all face, even in our different contexts), exchanging ideas, considering skillshares, and building relationships.
Want to follow LAP’s activities? There’s an email announcement list that you can join by sending a blank message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Most of our delegation’s regular updates during our travels will actually not be on the email list, but through three main venues:
Once we are back, we will also send updates about possible work moving forward based on our conversations on the ground. So far, four days in, there’s a lot of food for thought.
May 28, 2013
Import of the Archive: U.S. Colonial Rule of the Philippines and the Making of American Archival History
Author: Cheryl Beredo
Published: June 2013
Printed on acid-free paper
Published by Litwin Books
This book a part of the Series on Archives, Archivists, and Society, Richard J. Cox, editor.
Import of the Archive examines the role of archives in the United States’ colonization of the Philippines between 1898 and 1916. During this period the archives played a critical part in the United States’ entrenchment of a colonial state, exhibiting the flexibility and authority to enable arguments of the former colonial power’s incompetence and the native population’s incapacity.
Based on extensive research of and in archives in the Philippines and the United States, this book urges readers to consider archival history within the context of America’s imperial history. This book defines the archives broadly, as the accumulation material about a time proclaimed as “historic,” as well as the records of the Bureau of Insular Affairs and the United States’ Philippine Government, and the archives ceded by Spain per the treaty that ended the Spanish-American War.
Taking an historical approach to understanding the political function that archives played in this particular context, this book is intended for classroom use in archival studies curricula. A slim volume, it could be assigned with complementary books or articles on archives in other colonial contexts, critical analyses of libraries and archives, or any number of topics. It will also be of general interest to scholars of archival history and United States-Philippine relations.