Canadian Library Community Expresses Support for Ukraine
March 2, 2022
The Canadian library community adds its voice to the global outpouring of support for the people of Ukraine. Over 1.3 million Canadians have Ukrainian roots, and many within the Canadian library community have friends and family members still living in the region. We are deeply concerned.
As library groups across the world have stated, we believe the current unprovoked and brutal military assault by Russia threatens the safety and fundamental rights and freedoms of the Ukrainian people, and places its institutions, heritage and culture at grave risk of destruction. Recognizing the rich cultural heritage and tradition of Ukraine, we join with others in reminding the Russian Federation that they are signatories to the 1954 Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.
We are concerned for the security and well-being of our professional colleagues. We know from the Ukrainian Library Association’s message to the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) that “…Where it is possible, libraries continue to provide their services to users, including online services. Libraries are working in cyberspace against disinformation. Libraries are holding classes in emergency medical assistance. Hostels, care units for displaced persons are accommodated in libraries.” Librarians, archivists, and information professionals must be able to continue to provide their wide-ranging services in safety and free from coercion or threat.
We draw attention to other statements of solidarity that have been issued across the global library community, including those from IFLA, EBLIDA/NOBLE/Public Libraries2030, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Norway, and Latvia.
We applaud our Ukrainian colleagues’ dedication to the vital roles that libraries, archives, and digital media play in ensuring information access, countering misinformation, providing social supports, and protecting intellectual freedom.
We stand by to assist in any way we can.