Ukrainian Library Association Releases Statement

March 4, 2014


On March 4, the Ukrainian Library Association released this statement on the IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations) website regarding the unrest in the region. The statement, excerpted here, was signed by Ukrainian Library Association Vice President Valentyna Pashkova.

During the months of January and February 2014, the National Parliamentary Library of Ukraine found itself at the center of the anti-government clashes in Kiev….Barricades outside the National Parliamentary Library of Ukraine. (Photos via IFLA website)

Severe clashes between the protesters and government forces took place in front of the National Parliamentary Library [pictured]. The square and streets around it were filled with smoke and fire from burning automobile tires placed by activists to protect themselves….Inside the National Parliamentary Library where the International Red Cross set up emergency care stations. (Photo via IFLA website)

Librarians remained neutral and did not take direct part in the anti-government protests, but carried out their professional duties, saving people, protecting library collections and the library building. Beyond this, the International Red Cross opened a field hospital on the ground floor of the National Parliamentary Library [pictured at bottom] and managed to save many lives….

Maidan [the central square in the capital city of Kiev] activists together with librarians defended the National Parliamentary Library and stayed in the library building day and night. As a result of their efforts, the National Parliamentary Library of Ukraine is safe, as are the library collections and librarians….