Resolution on the Connection Between the Recent Gaza Conflict and Libraries

WHEREAS, Policy 53.8 states “The American Library Association deplores the destruction of libraries, library collections, and property, and the disruption of educational process by that act, whether it be done by individuals or groups of individuals, and whether it be done in the name of honest dissent, the desire to control or limit thought or ideas, or for any other purpose.”

WHEREAS, Libraries, archives, schools and universities have been damaged or destroyed during the recent Gaza conflict, and

WHEREAS, ALA Council passed CD#18.8 of 2001-2002, Resolution on the Destruction of Palestinian Libraries, Archives, and other Cultural Institutions, in which the American Library Association called upon “the government of the United States, as well as other governments, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations to prevent further destruction of libraries and cultural resources and to provide material assistance for the reconstruction and restoration of these resources,” and

WHEREAS, ALA is a member of the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield, which is affiliated with the International Committee of the Blue Shield, the cultural equivalent of the Red Cross, which provides emergency response to cultural property at risk from armed conflict, and

WHEREAS, The U.S. Senate ratified the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict on September 25, 2008, and

WHEREAS, The resources invested in this conflict could have been used to greatly enhance the libraries and educational and cultural institutions of Palestine and Israel, and

RESOLVED, That the American Library Association

Calls for the protection of libraries and archives in Gaza and Israel, and urges the US Government to support the United States Committee of the Blue Shield in upholding the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, and

Calls on the U.S. government to work for a permanent peace in the region, and

Transmits this resolution to the U.S. President, U.S. Secretary of State, all members of the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield, and other appropriate individuals and organizations.

Adopted by the ALA Council

of the American Library Association

on Wednesday, January 28, 2009

in Denver, CO

Keith Michael Fiels

ALA Executive Director and ALA Council Secretary