Cuba Headlines

Cuba News, Breaking News, Articles and Daily Information

Cuba emphasized the value of public libraries
The national network, made out by 415 institutions, reaches every end of the country, with over 15 million documents, consisting in books, manuscripts, serial publications, scores, records and other materials.

The TV and Radio program Mesa Redonda Informativa, discussed it in a panel which remembered recently celebrated Day of the Cuban Librarian, considered a vital professional in the goal of having a people with a comprehensive general culture.

Reading, knowledge, book and information are basic elements to create our future said Eduardo Torres Cuevas PhD in Historical Sciences, National Literature Price winner and director of the José Martí National Library.

He indicated that the libraries keep Cuban cultural and philosophical patrimony and considered the importance of these institutions as centres to radiate the required knowledge and thinking for the country to keep its development goals.

Remembering the figure of Antonio Bachiller y Morales, who was born the 7 of June 1812 and is the father of the Cuban librarianship, Torres Cuevas indicated that book has always been linked to the national identity and was an ally in the independence war.

However he considered the national system of public libraries a fruit of the revolution, because of all the material and spiritual efforts to put the books and knowledge as rights of the people.

In 1963, there were only 27 libraries in Cuba, but in the 80´s the number was already above 200, to reach 415, the current number of public libraries.

That network consists also of the national libraries, with over six thousand, the university libraries, science and technology and the centres of information and documentation, among many others.

The public libraries are multiplying, through community and extension actions, such as mini libraries, reading halls, lending bureaus, neighbourhood libraries, travelling boxes, TV and video halls and even computing rooms and toy libraries.

According to Margarita Abellas, president of the Cuban Librarian Association, the country has over three thousand 568 professionals and technicians, dedicated to this work, 75% of them are studying and a good part are dedicated to research.

As an example of the work made by these institution can be said that in 2007 alone were attended over 9 million people and the network offered 16 millions 200 services.

Important programs, such as the university education in municipalities, the penitentiary re-education, the improvement in the service in hospitals and health centres and the attention to disabled people has as the librarians as an indispensable driving force. It is also worth mentioning the role they are playing in the mountains zones of Plan Turquino, in the rescue of traditions in municipalities and neighbourhood councils, as was showed in the program the experiences of Camagüey, Villa Clara, Granma and the municipality of Guanabacoa in Havana city.

The impact of the economic crisis, called Special Period, was very strong in this sector, however nowadays there is a process of intense recovery of the work and of introduction of information technologies.

Abel Ponce, deputy director of the National Library, indicated that with the delivery of 920 computers for the network and its connection to internet and intranet, the modernization process moves on with great expectations.

At the same time were introduced several types of scanners as well as other technology that has made possible to digitalise different types of documents and collections. This process has been systematised, after the creation of the Digital Laboratory of the National Library.

Ponce indicated that one of the challenges is to generate new content for the information network, as well as work in the treatment and conservation of the documents based on the new computing Technologies.

The last part of the program was dedicated to denounce the activities of a group of mercenaries, financed, organized and encouraged from the USA under the costume of a librarian that carry out a political activity against the country.

Reinaldo Taladrid repeated the information about the delivery of money to a group of these people, so called independent librarians, from a Miami based organization, directed by the terrorist Santiago Álvarez Fernández-Magriñá.

The request was made by Martha Beatriz Roque to the assistant of the known counter revolutionary, convicted in the USA for arms trade and other crimes. The money was delivered to the participants in the meeting held in the house of a US diplomat.

They are not librarians and are not independent, they are mercenaries who receive blood money, said Taladrid, who remembered the links between Fernández-Magriñá and one of the greatest terrorist in the continent, Luis Posada Carriles.

In the program was read a document of the Cuban Librarian Association and the Cuban Society of Information Sciences, which qualifies the activities of these “independent libraries” as another way of cultural aggression, starting from a campaign organized in Miami.

We denounce the totally political character of this manoeuvre that has used the name of the Library and the prestige it implies to represent internationally an image of our country that favour an aggression, any kind of aggression, expresses the statement.

The fact that a group of unscrupulous people manipulate these concepts to actions different from the nobility and beauty of our work is an offence to the profession of a librarian, says the document.

The so called Independent Libraries receive the limited number of books they have through the mechanisms we have referred previously, made living rooms in agitation and propaganda centres against the Cuban nation, following they self named condition of library.

Those are not libraries in the most elemental sense of the Word and they are not librarians, because they do not perform the work of the profession, expresses.

The statement ends with a call to all the colleagues in the world to be informed and support Cuban librarians, who are object of a cultural aggression, whose purpose can lead to actions carried out by terrorist and indolent that will have a repercussion against that part of the patrimony of Humanity that is the bibliographic and documental patrimony of the country.


Related News