ALA Condemns Destruction of Libraries, Schools, and Cultural Institutions in Ukraine
For Immediate Release
Michael P. Dowling
International Relations Office (IRO) and Chapter Relations Office (CRO)
American Library Association
CHICAGO -- On June 25, 2022, the American Library Association (ALA) Council passed a resolution condemning the enormous damage and destruction of Ukrainian cultural resources resulting from the continued occupation of Ukraine by the Russian Federation government.
The resolution (CD#57) states that:
- The ALA deplores the continuing massive damage and destruction of Ukrainian libraries, schools, and other cultural institutions.
- The ALA urges the government of the United States, as well as other governments, intergovernmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations to provide material assistance for the reconstruction and restoration of Ukrainian libraries, schools, and cultural institutions as soon as that is practicable.
- The ALA encourages libraries and librarians everywhere to provide assistance to Ukrainian libraries, including by contributing to the ALA Ukrainian Library Relief Fund.
According to UNESCO, as of May 29, 2022, 1,888 education institutions have suffered bombing and shelling and 180 had been destroyed completely; and as of July 4, 2022, 7 libraries, 71 religious sites, 12 museums, 30 historic buildings, 21 buildings dedicated to cultural activities, and 16 monuments had been damaged. This is, of course, in addition to the unconscionable loss of human life.
In addition to the destruction and damage of libraries in the war zones, there are significant challenges in serving internally displaced people from the regions where the fighting is taking place. The libraries do not have enough computers to meet the needs of displaced people in communication with relatives, job seeking, online learning, and more.
Librarians have kept libraries open for as long as possible and are improvising to bring services to people. The ALA urges its members, communities, the U.S. government, and non-governmental organizations alike to work to support these librarians and their institutions through funds and material assistance where possible.
ALA in partnership with the Ukrainian Library Association (ULA) has set up the ALA Ukraine Library Relief Fund to take in tax deductible donations with all funds raised sent to ULA each month. Started in May, ALA members and other library supporters have donated $12,000 dollars to the Ukrainian library community.