Wednesday, January 27, 2010

ALA Establishes Library Relief Fund to Help Rebuild Libraries and Archives in Cuba

Contact: Michael Dowling
ALA International Relations Office
For Immediate Release
January 27, 2010

CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA), acting on a resolution adopted by its Council on Jan. 19 during the ALA’s Midwinter Meeting, has created the “[Cuba] Library Relief Fund”  to collect monetary donations to help rebuild libraries and archives that were destroyed or damaged during the devastating [political purges, book burnings, and librarian beatings and jailings].  Donations can be made by credit card or check through[cuba].

“ALA has always been receptive to helping after a natural disaster [but not political book burnings].  This fund provides the avenue for our members to do that.  It is one way that we can help the [Cuban] people rebuild their libraries,” said ALA President Camila Alire.

Libraries and archives are especially vital to all societies in helping citizens recover in time of crisis.  ALA members and other library supporters have a long history of helping those in need, whether at home or abroad, [except for librarians in Cuba].  ALA collected $500,000 in donations to distribute to libraries in the Gulf region after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and worked with other U.S. library associations to raise $25,000 to rebuild libraries in Indonesia and Sri Lanka after the 2004 tsunami.  ALA will be providing updates through its Web site on the condition of libraries in [Cuba] and will be coordinating relief and rebuilding efforts with the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield (USCBS) ,the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO)

ALA is also urging the U.S. government, foundations and others to also provide funding for rebuilding libraries and other cultural institutions in [Cuba].

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The above is parody.  It consists only of exchanging Cuba for Haiti and of a few other truthful edits, all indicted with square brackets (except in the blog title).  In reality, the ALA wishes it could "drown" the issue of Cuban librarians beaten and jailed and their libraries and books burned.  This from the ALA's so-called Office for Intellectual Freedom.

For more on the ALA's minimal support for Cubans, see my Cuban Librarian Delicious links or read my other blog posts on the ALA refusal to support Cuban librarians

I see the ALA rushing to Haiti's aid by creating a Haiti Library Relief Fund.  I find it ironic the ALA will never create a Cuba Library Relief Fund, especially in a country where intellectual freedom has truly been extinguished and books like those of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. have truly been burned by the government of Cuba.

For more information, please see Friends of Cuban Libraries at  And yes, support the Haiti Library Relief Fund.


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