Resolution on Access to Information by Cuba's Libraries

WHEREAS the U.S. Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control, Cuba Sanctions Program-Guidelines and Information and the Code of Federal Regulation (PART 515—CUBAN ASSETS CONTROL REGULATIONS) allows an exemption for informational materials (defined as publications, films, posters, phonograph records, photographs, microfilms, tapes, compact disks, CD-ROMs, artworks, news wire feeds, and other information and informational articles), and

WHEREAS the U.S. Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control, Cuba Sanctions Program is designed to limit Cuba’s access to hard currency – currency that Cuba’s libraries need to acquire materials published outside of Cuba, and

WHEREAS U.S Public Law 104-114, Section 109 states that “the President is authorized to furnish assistance and provide other support for individuals and independent nongovernmental organizations to support democracy-building efforts for Cuba, including the following: (1) Published and informational matter, such as books, videos, and cassettes, on transitions to democracy, human rights, and market economies, to be made available to independent democratic groups in Cuba”

WHEREAS Cuban librarians support open selection and access policies for their library materials, therefore be it

RESOLVED THAT

The American Library Association urge the U.S. government to share information materials widely in Cuba, especially with Cuba’s libraries, and not just with individuals and independent nongovernmental organizations; and be it further resolved that

The American Library Association urge the U.S. government to put policies in place, including more equitable postal fees for service to Cuba, that will make sending books and other materials on all subjects to Cuba’s libraries easier for U.S. libraries and citizens who wish to improve access to information in Cuba through strengthening library collections; and be it further resolved that

The American Library Association oppose all efforts, including those of the U.S. government, to limit access to informational materials by Cuba’s libraries and Cuba’s library users; and be it further resolved that

The American Library Association urge the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) to take action to improve the Cuban people’s access to books and other information materials on all topics through Cuba’s libraries.

ADOPTED BY
COUNCIL OF THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION


William Gordon
Secretary of the ALA Council
July 20, 2001

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