The Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania together with the National Libraries of Estonia and Latvia made an appeal to the world’s library community on Sunday, in which they strongly condemn the war in Ukraine and demand to cancel the membership of libraries of the Russian Federation in international organisations.
‘We support the desire for freedom of Ukrainian citizens and invite all libraries in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Europe and around the world to stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and to contribute to Ukraine‘s victory in every possible way, i.e. providing financial donations and moral support. We all must and can contribute to strengthen democracy. All responsible people must understand that if we do not stop Russia’s impertinent aggression in Ukraine, everyone would find themselves in the face of calamity.
To quote the Appeal’s initiator the Director General of the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania Prof. Dr. Renaldas Gudauskas, ‘The slogan ‘For Your Freedom and Ours!’ is urgent as never before.’
The open appeal to the world’s library community ‘On Solidarity Initiatives for the People of Ukraine’ has been sent to institutions representing more than 60,000 libraries: CENL (Association of European National Libraries), EBLIDA (European Bureau of Library, Information, and Documentation Associations), IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions), LIBER (Association of European Research Libraries), NAPLE (National Authorities for Public Libraries in Europe), Public Libraries 2030, SPARC Europe (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), and ALA (American Library Association).
The document declares that ‘Though the tragedy in Ukraine challenges us in many ways that are hard to imagine, we continue to believe in our potential to strengthen democratic processes and win information wars by using all available instruments. Libraries mean freedom. Libraries are the gateway to the future.’