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Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden’s Statement on Ukraine

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We at the Library of Congress, in our role as the national library of the United States, are inspired and deeply moved by the role libraries and librarians are playing in Ukraine. We wholeheartedly support and admire their work.

Librarians across Ukraine are still working, when possible, to carry out their daily tasks of providing information, supporting community events, and providing children with books and programs. But they are also using their valued public spaces for life-saving bomb shelters. For first-aid training classes. For refugee meeting points. For protection of cultural treasures.

By their courage and commitment, Ukrainian librarians are proving their role as part of the national backbone. No nation exists without its culture, and no culture can long survive without keepers of that heritage. Those cultural attendants are often in libraries, they are the librarians.

With outposts around the world, the Library of Congress is proud to also work with more than 10 established partners in Ukraine as well as with our partners in the Ukrainian government. The Library has assisted national libraries in other nations after manmade and natural disasters, most recently in Afghanistan and Haiti.

Today, the Library will continue our ongoing work in and with our steadfast friends and partners as they strive to provide service in the most challenging circumstances. In the words of the great Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko, in this time of trouble and grief, our hearts hurry to the twilit gardens of Ukraine.

Comments (6)

  1. May God bless all the “keepers of heritage,” “cultural attendants,” –librarians.

  2. I write to encourage the Library to assist in the preservation of cultural patrimony of Ukraine. There is a role for everyone.

  3. Library as bastion of shelter,love and understanding- Taras himself would think that poetic.
    I have an idea- I do not know how to do it, but it may be worth a consideration. It is this: send newspapers from all over the world reporting on the war to every library large and small in Russia to help send some truth to the people. And, hello to the NSA.

  4. Can someone please report on the USA’s interference with the Ukraine? A Coupe. Biden’s son in the Ukraine, Biden bringing NATO into the Ukraine area in violation to previous agreements,and finally, when Russia can no longer tolerate it, we see the horrible Victoria Newland marching in the Ukraine. Now, you tell me who is responsible.

  5. I am Ukrainian who got a Master’s in LIS from Urbana Champaign, and PhD in LIS from Western University in Canada. My remaining family in Ukraine is directly affected by the war.

    I should tell you that it is not enough to be amazed now. Ukrainians need a much bigger support. How many social media posts about the situation in Ukraine we’ve seen from the Library of Congress since the beginning of the war? I noticed one and it was about embroideries… Yes, Ukrainians have embroideries and pysankys, but there is much more to their culture. There is a handful of librarians in the US who are actually Ukrainians, the majority of other Slavic librarian positions were often given mostly to Russian-born librarians. Moreover, funding for Slavic librarianship was substantially cut after the Cold War was over. But this comment is not about this…

    Library of Congress has a large number of followers in social media. Do you know what other people with large numbers of followers do for Ukraine now? They post more Ukrainian stuff. David Beckham, for example, has handed control of his Instagram account to a Ukrainian doctor working in the city of Kharkiv. The former footballer, who has 71.4 million followers on the social media site, said he wanted to highlight the “amazing work” of medical staff operating amid the Russian invasion.

    There are many other important topics now to cover about Ukraine. And there are many other ways how libraries can help Ukrainians. Social media should be used for this as a rupor. If we do not support Ukraine and Ukrainians now, tomorrow might be too late. Today our history, and culture are being destroyed. We are fighting the information war with Russian propaganda, which started in 2014. Russian propaganda penetrates not only Ukrainian social media, we have Russian propaganda in North America too in a form of Soviet memorabilia, souvenirs, posters, publications, videos, movies about World War II, etc. Russia has been mass producing such souvenirs and information to start this war. Russia was getting ready for the war for years.

    • Hi,

      Thanks for writing. You raise a number of very valid points, namely: How should the national library of the U.S. respond to ongoing world events? It’s something we think about often. In this case, we went with a comprehensive post on this blog, “The Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Resources at the Library of Congress,” as a guide to the Library’s resources of Ukrainian history over hundreds of years in a number of languages. It covers a great deal of what the Library has, from long-ago history to the latest updates on breaking events from the Congressional Research Service. It’s here:

      There are others from other divisions, of course.

      All best,

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