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No war or economic retaliation justifies discriminations against people or their cultural expressions

Italian version

Libraries and other cultural heritage institutions are welcoming and peaceful places where the free exchange of ideas happens, and Librarians have the professional duty to promote knowledge and intercultural dialogue, especially during wars. Unfortunately, some recent facts force us to reiterate such principles, which at least to our professional community should appear obvious.

We express our total dissent about some appeals circulated recently, such as that of the National Libraries of the Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) and of the Ukrainian Library Association and Polish Librarians Association asking to expel the Russian Library Association from IFLA, or that of the Ukrainian Book Institute to boycott Russian-language books.

We reiterate our full solidarity with the Ukrainian people under the bombings and we join the exhortations to give hospitality and assistance to refugees, including in our institutions. But solidarity with the Ukrainian people certainly does not go through the discrimination of Russian people, and even less for the censorship of Russian linguistic and cultural expressions, as somewhere one would like to do.

Excluding Russian librarians and authors just because they are Russians would be a foolish act, grossly discriminatory, an absurd form of censorship that would make the European and International culture infinitely more miserable, distancing rather than bringing the prospect of peace, in Ukraine and elsewhere.

A strength in the history of Library Associations and Institutions, our strength as Librarians have always been the universal values that unite us throughout the world (freedom of expression, universal access to information, the role of libraries for peace and civil growth), allowing us to work together for almost a century independently on national regimes, state of origin, dominant ideologies, and wars.

We want to continue working like this, together, for our enduring values.

AIB National President
Rosa Maiello

Rome, March 4th 2022

URL: Copyright AIB 2022-03-05. Creata da Agnese Cargini, ultima modifica 2022-03-05 di Agnese Cargini