International

Alexandria Library Opens Despite Controversy

From CNN...

\"About 3,000 dignitaries from around the world are expected to attend Wednesday\'s opening of the \"Bibliotheca Alexandrina,\" whose ancient roots go back more than 2,000 years. Critics say the project amounts to an expensive gimmick which does little to improve education in a developing country of 68 million. Alexandrians think the library, the result of a $200 million, 20-year old project backed by the UNESCO and many countries, could do a lot to revive the fortunes of the city that houses one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.\" Read More.

Bare shelves mar return of Egypt\'s glory

Charles Davis contributes this Guardian story:

\"A scholarly row has blighted the reopening of
Alexandria\'s great library.
It has taken 1,700 years to replace. But now the great library of Alexandria, whose precious manuscripts were torched in AD271, is about to reopen - to a reception blighted by controversy.\"

Read the full story.

Flooded Municipal Library in Prague

Klaus Graf writes \"The most serious damage the library incurred was the flooding of the 20,000 rare and historical books and documents. \"We are therefore asking the public in the Czech Republic and abroad, libraries and other institutions, companies and firms worldwide for help. It can be material help or financial help. We need special technologies, above all equipment for the restoration workshop. Financial help is needed for such equipment\". Read more at:
mlp.cz/eng/flood.htm
\"

Delegation to donate 16,000 books to Iraq

Charles Davis writes \"From story at
Jordantimes.com. A total of 16,477 books are expected to arrive in Iraq
today as a show of solidarity in an initiative that has received
global support.

A 25-member Jordanian delegation from a number of
organisations will deliver the books to the ministry of higher
education in Baghdad, where they will be distributed to facilities for
higher education. \"

Information and links about the floods

Klaus Graf writes \"Information and links about the floods damages concerning archives,
libraries, museums, monuments etc. is available at,

unesco.org and
historicum.net (German) and
netbib.de (Lib-Weblog, mostly German) and
h-net.msu.edu (mostly German).

Thank you for all support!
Dr. Klaus Graf \"

BBC Program on Cuban Libraries

The Friends of Cuban Libraries write: \"The Friends of Cuban Libraries are making available information on a recently
transcribed BBC broadcast focusing on Cuba\'s independent librarians, which
was aired on May 1, 2002.

Since the BBC broadcast was aired, two of the volunteer librarians
interviewed on the program have received international awards for their
pioneering work in defense of intellectual freedom. Gisela Delgado was
awarded the Swedish Liberal Party\'s Democracy Prize, and Human Rights Watch
named Victor Rolando Arroyo as a winner of the Hellman-Hammett Prize, an
annual award given to persecuted writers and other defenders of intellectual
freedom.

Here is the text of the broadcast: -- Read More

Busy library reflects China\'s new attitude

SomeOne writes \"SunSpot
has this one on China\'s largest library. The story says it stands as a monument to a young generation\'s hunger for opportunity and advancement. They say of young people using the facilities on any given day. \"

Scathing Report on British Libraries

A recent article from The Guardian titled How To Fix Our Libraries presents a grim picture of libraries in England.

As a country we pay £900m a year for our public libraries: a Millennium Dome each year. Is the money wasted? One thing is clear. Unless the management make significant changes to the way they work, in 20 years\' time, nobody will be using libraries at all.

This article was written because an audit of public libraries was recently released. Written by the governmental Audit Commission, it was titled Building Better Library Services [1.86 MB PDF]. See the easily digestible summary.

Finnish Proud of their Libraries

An article from the Finnish paper Helsinki Sanomat titled Helsinki spring - they are marching again details the daily demonstrations in Finland\'s capital city. One of the issues which was being addressed was the closing of some Helsinki branch libraries. Allegedly, funds that could have gone to libraries were going to be used to build a roof over their Olympic Stadium. The article is quite inspirational. It details the coming together of politicians, professors, students and children to save a library. When questioned about the demonstrations he attends, one Finn said,

\"For peace, for animal rights, and against nuclear power. And of course for the libraries, since the public library system and our health care net are two things of which this country can be proud.\"

Mexico passes freedom of information law

Courtesy of the National Security Archive:

On April 30, after weeks of debate, negotiations, and some last minute grandstanding, the Mexican Senate unanimously approved the country’s first freedom of information law. The 86-0 vote followed six days after a unanimous vote in the House, and ushers in a landmark piece of legislation aimed at guaranteeing the public’s right to request and receive information from all three branches of government . . .

More.

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