Monday, November 15, 2010

Friends of Cuban Libraries

A collection of late breaking news as well as general information from The Friends of Cuban Libraries

some of the headlines...

Librarians convicted of being "dangerous"NEW YORK, May 6, 2005 (Friends of Cuban Libraries) - Sensitive to growing international concern over reports of human rights violations, in late April the government of President Castro conducted a secret trial of two Cuban librarians and sentenced them to prison on a charge of "dangerousness."
Che Guevara's grandson endorses uncensored libraries STOCKHOLM, April 26, 2005 ( - "You enjoy a privileged position...," writes Canek Sánchez Guevara in an article addressed to another child of high government officials, "and you must have noticed the obsession [in Cuba] with surveillance, control, repression, etc. And freedom is something entirely different."
New library defies censorshipHAVANA, March 2, 2005 (Roberto Santana Rodríguez / - The Ibrahim Carrillo Fernández Library was inaugurated last week. The day before the opening, an agent of the State Security police appeared and asked why the library possesses children's books. Ramona Rivas, the library director, answered that the books would not be withdrawn because they are much needed by the children in the community. The agent said he would come back again....
Benjamin Franklin Library raidedHAVANA, Feb. 28, 2005 (Lux Info Press/ - Two officials of the Department of State Security appeared at the home of María Elena Mir, where the Helen Martinez Library is located; they seized several boxes of books, copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and 25 portable radios. Afterwards, they went to the home of Reinaldo Cosano Alén, where the Benjamin Franklin Library is located, and they confiscated books and a photocopier....
New York Times: A Cuban revolution, in readingNEW YORK, Feb. 22, 2005 (New York Times/David Gonzalez) - At the beginning of this year, members of the Cuban Cultural Center... adopted an independent library in Cuba.... "It's not just about sending whatever books we can, but we want the people in Cuba to know they are not alone and that someone here recognizes what they are going through," said Rafael Pi Roman....
Freedom To Read! - A new movement to send a caravan of uncensored books to the people of CubaNEW YORK, Feb. 14, 2005 (Village Voice/Nat Hentoff) - [O]ne U.S. public library, in Vermillion, South Dakota, has sponsored and begun to send books to a sister independent library in Havana. That decision has been hailed by library associations in other countries. This reverberating act of simple decency was started by one person, Mark Wetmore, vice president of the Vermillion library's board of trustees....
More Spanish support for Cuban librariesMADRID, Jan. 26, 2005 ( - At the end of an intense working session in Madrid, Colás said that his interviews with a variety of Spanish political, social and governmental organizations had resulted in the launching of programs to send information to Cuba, especially books for the independent libraries....
Czechs join protest against library repression NEW YORK, Jan. 19, 2005 (Friends of Cuban Libraries) - Following upon similar recent actions taken by organizations in Poland and Latvia, the national association of Czech librarians has condemned the persecution of librarians in Cuba....
LIBRARIAN RELEASED: "We're not going to retreat a single millimeter..."MATANZAS, Jan. 13, 2005 ( - "We're not going to retreat a single millimeter, and they know it." These are the words of Miguel Sigler Amaya on Jan. 12, one day after being freed from prison upon completion of a sentence for "disrespect" and "resistance...."

Academics fight to break 'stranglehold' on journals

Hopes of opening up research findings to a wider readership and breaking the stranglehold of publishers over academic journals will be aired at a conference at Southampton University today.

Southampton, the first UK university to make all of its academic and scientific output freely available, announced that its repository will in future be an integral part of its research infrastructure

Information Free-for-All?

If open access —a movement gaining momentum in academic publishing that proposes journal articles be made universally available online to all readers for free—becomes reality, the results could dramatically reshape the activities of all scholarly publishers, including the IEEE.

Smelly readers banned from library

A new county law aims to keep readers from reeking. Libraries in San Luis Obispo County have had their own rules banning offensive body odor since 1994, but the policy became law after the Board of Supervisors last month adopted an ordinance that lets authorities kick out malodorous guests.

America's First Look into the Camera: Daguerreotype Portraits and Views, 1839-1862

America's First Look into the Camera: Daguerreotype Portraits and Views, 1839-1862: "The Library's daguerreotype collection consists of more than 725 photographs dating from 1839 to 1864. Portrait daguerreotypes produced by the Mathew Brady studio make up the major portion of the collection. The collection also includes early architectural views by John Plumbe, several Philadelphia street scenes, early portraits by pioneering daguerreotypist Robert Cornelius, studio portraits by black photographers James P. Ball and Francis Grice, and copies of painted portraits. "

Afghanistan wants its 'Dead Sea Scrolls of Buddhism' back from British Library

Asia News, KABUL: The Afghan government is to request the return of the "Dead Sea Scrolls of Buddhism" from the British Library, amid concerns the priceless manuscripts were looted during civil war in the early nineties. Afghanistan's Minister of Culture will formally ask for the 2000-year-old scrolls to be sent from London to the newly restored Kabul Museum in the next few weeks as part of a campaign to bring home stolen treasures from foreign collections.

Arizona School Librarian 'Deals With It,' Yanks Book from Shelf

Some Arizona high schools have removed a sexually explicit book from library bookshelves. The move comes after parents complained the book was filled with pornography.

Even though it is billed as a "hip, no-nonsense resource book for girls," Deal With It! A Whole New Approach to Your Body, Brain and Life as a Gurl (Pocket, 1999) is no longer in Gilbert high school libraries. The book, also billed as a "sumptuously colorful and solid puberty guide for girls," reportedly legitimizes lesbianism and bisexuality. In a chapter titled "Sexual Preference," for example, topics include "Sexual preference is a continuum," "Why do girls like girls?," and "Homophobia."