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Blue Shield Statement on Libya (from IFLA listserv) Also found at http://www.ifla.org/en/news/blue-shield-statement-on-libya

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14 March 2011

Following the recent events in Libya, the Blue Shield expresses its great concern about the safeguarding of the country’s invaluable cultural heritage amid the existing turmoil. The Blue Shield deplores the suffering and loss of life this conflict has imposed on the Libyan population.

Between 1982 and 1986, five sites in this vast country, bearing witness to the rise and fall of sophisticated cultures stretching from prehistory to Islamic civilization, were chosen to become part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. Three of these sites, Cyrene, Leptis Magna and Sabratha, are evidence of the civilization that flourished in Libya during the Punic, Greek and Roman eras. The prehistoric site of Tadrart Acacus and the ancient city of Ghadames are proof of the importance of heritage sites in this territory.

The ongoing armed conflict in Libya gives reason for concern, not only amongst academics but for everybody concerned with the preservation of cultural heritage, about the vulnerability of cultural institutions, sites and monuments. Especially aerial bombardments and artillery pose a grave danger to fragile cultural sites. Any loss of Libyan cultural property would seriously impoverish the collective memory of mankind.

Libya is a party to the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict since 1957, and became a party to the Second Protocol of this convention in 2001. The Hague Convention deals with responsibilities regarding cultural heritage in times of armed conflict and the danger of its misuse. The Blue Shield is appealing to all parties involved to respect the stipulations of the Convention and to protect our world cultural heritage. The Blue Shield mission is “to work to protect the world’s cultural heritage threatened by armed conflict, natural and man‐made disasters”. For this reason it places the expertise and network of its member organizations at the disposal of their colleagues working in Libya to support their work in protecting the country’s heritage, and if necessary, for subsequent recovery, restoration and repair measures.

The member organizations of the Blue Shield are currently liaising with colleagues in Libya to obtain further information on both the situation and on the possible needs and types of help required so as to mobilize their networks accordingly.

The Blue Shield

The Blue Shield is the protective emblem of the 1954 Hague Convention which is the basic international treaty formulating rules to protect cultural heritage during armed conflicts. The Blue Shield network consists of organisations dealing with museums, archives, audiovisual supports, libraries, monuments and sites. The International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS), founded in 1996, comprises representatives of the five non‐governmental organisations (NGOs) working in this field:

The International Council on Archives

The International Council of Museums

The International Council on Monuments and Sites

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions

The Co‐ordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations

National Blue Shield Committees have been founded in a number of countries (19 established and 19 under construction). The Association of National Committees of the Blue Shield (ANCBS), founded in December 2008, will coordinate and strengthen international efforts to protect cultural property at risk of destruction in armed conflicts or natural disasters. The ANCBS has its headquarters in The Hague.

Contact Information: secretariat.paris@blueshield‐international.org

The actions of the Blue Shield can also be followed on:

 Our Website: www.blueshield-international.org

 Twitter: blueshieldcoop

 

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A new partnership between researchers and librarian will provide opportunity for library and information science professionals to develop and refine their skills, knowledge and confidence in conducting research. The Partnership is sponsored by the Library Theory and Research Section of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).

Research skill and knowledge are the essential tool kit for ensuring that libraries and librarians continue to effectively and efficiently meet the evolving needs of the clients and communities they serve.

Up to six recipients will be selected to take part in the Partnership in 2010. The successful recipients will be matched with a mentor who has experience in conducting research.

Link to the announcement.

Nominations will be considered by a Selection Committee and recommendations made to the Library Theory and Research Standing Committee. Nominations close on 3 May 2010. Download the application form here.

Applications should be submitted via email to the LTR Selection Committee Chair, Helen Partridge at h.partridge@qut.edu.au

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Chile TerremotoNews of the Earthquake damage in Chile from the IFLA listserv:

Through our Chilean listserver have been circulate information. Let me let you know: Museo de Talca “is in so bad situation”, Museo de la Araucanía “should move to another place”, Biblioteca del Maule and Biblioteca Severin in Valparaíso are “with so damage”, Biblioteca de Tirúa at the south “desapaired with the waves impact” and, about Biblioteca Nacional and Archivo Nacional, like Nivia Palma said, are “probably with structural damage”
Well, please could you please circulate this information. Warm regards from Chile, Claudia

The Biblioteca Nacional Chile and 2010 Blue Shield Solidarity facebook page can be accessed here: http://bit.ly/ctQyqH More news of Chilean system libraries online: http://twitter.com/SistemasBN/dibam

The  Public Library of the Universidad Nacional de La Plata (@BibPublicaUNLP) has published some images of the earthquakes destruction at their library: Terremoto en Chile. Imagenes de una biblioteca”. http://bit.ly/ak41py

Ongoing list of public libraries offering free internet (Bibliotecas Públicas en zonas afectadas por el terremoto con servicio de acceso Gratuito a internet de BiblioRedes) via @cadaunante: http://bit.ly/b0ynNI

Also, a podcast from LIS News on post-earthquake Chile advises librarians to hold off on donating materials: “Donations of books for rebuilding collections is not a good idea at the moment.”

Download audio file 5:17 minutes (7.25 MB) by Michael J. Kellat

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Haiti Earthquake

Primary and secondary school in Port-au-Prince, taken by Jennifer Graves of Moonlight Productions (thx!)

5 Ways Librarians Can Help Librarians in Haiti

(more will be added)

1.) Give Books. IFLA’s Center for Arabic Speaking Libraries is requesting new and used English and French books. To donate books to Haiti, please send your donation with parcel labeled with “Haiti Libraries Relief” to the following address:
Haiti Libraries Relief
IFLA Center for Arabic Speaking Libraries
Bibliotheca Alexandrina
P.O.Box 138, Chatby
21526 Alexandria
Egypt
Contact: For more information please contact Mrs. Dina Youssef, Deputy Director of IFLA-CASL, e-mail : dina.youssef@bibalex.org – tel.: +2 03 4839999 extension 1997

2.) Volunteer virtually or in Haiti. Association of National Committees of the Blue Shield (ANCBS) is looking for volunteer archivists, restorers, curators, librarians, architects and other experts to aid in the recovery and damage assessment. Find the application online: http://haiti2010.blueshield-international.org/.

3.) Lend your tech skills. Find a CrisisCamp Haiti near you and join up. They are looking for programmers, librarians, researchers, geospatial development, and translators in more than 12 cities worldwide. Ongoing tech projects include a Relief “craigslist”, Haiti Hospital Capacity Finder, Disaster Accountability Project, Haitian Voices digital archive, and NGO maps in action. Also, see their “simple tasks anyone can do” wiki.

4.) Donate to ALA’s Library Relief Fund to help rebuild libraries and archives in Haiti. Donations can be made by credit card or check through www.ala.org/haiti.

5.) Educate. The Digital Library of the Caribbean has been posting ongoing detailed information about the recovery effort. Also, check ALA’s up-to-date list of reported damages to libraries in Haiti.

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There still has been no word on how the devastating earthquake has affected the National Library and National Archives in Haiti, however the International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS) has said that they are keeping abreast of the situation in event that they will need to send in volunteers to preserve Haiti’s cultural materials. The ICBS is considered the “cultural” equivalent to the Red Cross — lending support to museums, archives, libraries, and monuments and world sites to protect the world’s cultural heritage threatened by wars and natural disasters.

An excerpt of an email I received from Corine Wegener, President of the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield, says this:

“We are working on a Blue Shield website, Facebook and Twitter accounts dedicated to Haiti in the next day or two to keep people informed….We do hope to put together a team to travel to Haiti for an assessment as soon as it is feasible – the U.S. Blue Shield will probably send conservators as part of an ANCBS team.”

The International Committee of the Blue Shield is made up of  five Non-Governmental Organisations: the International Council on Archives , the International Council of Museums ,the International Council on Monuments and Sites, and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions and the Co-ordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations.

While they don’t have any information about volunteers for Haiti posted YET, find out more about the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield on their website: http://www.uscbs.org/

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Want to attend IFLA? There are grants available for librarians from Asia/Oceania, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean to attend the 2010 IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Gothenburg, Sweden. Check out grants here.

There is also the IFLA LIS Student Paper Award 2010 ;)

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It’s no secret that IFLA has had some trouble appealing to library science students, perhaps because of the high cost of membership or the travel costs involved in attending conferences.  Good news! — the IFLA section of Education and Training (SET) has started an initiative to make IFLA membership more affordable for library science students and encouraging them to become global information members in the process. The Adopt-a-Student program is offering library students a free one year membership — but now they need sponsors to help with the student membership fees. The student membership fee for one year is 57 Euro (85 USD, 90 CAD, 92 AUD).

Students will receive:

  • IFLA membership and one free section membership
  • one-year free subscription to the IFLA Journal
  • networking! (and the ability to contact library professionals directly to broaden their horizons)

Students can apply by filling out this  Adopt-a-Student brochure. (English only)

If you would like to become a sponsor, please find further information, including the full list of already registered sponsors, visit http://www.ifla.org/en/node/1785

To become a sponsor, download the Adopt-a-Student brochure here.

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