Libraries APPG Statement on Ukraine

I serve as the Vice-Chair for the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Libraries, Information and Knowledge. On Thursday 10 March 2022, the APPG released the following statement on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Libraries, Information and Knowledge (APPG LInK) wishes to express our deep concern over the impact of the current invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces on the safety and security of the Ukrainian people as well as the threat which this action poses to libraries, archives and the public record in Ukraine.

We note the Statement of Solidarity with librarians and archivists in Ukraine, produced by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) with signatures from more than 800 leading national institutions including the British Library, the National Library, Wales and the National Library Scotland.

Ukraine is a nation with a rich literary heritage and tradition. Its libraries and archives – many of which are at imminent risk from rockets and bombs – are home to great collections of works of literature, history and research, documenting the development of Ukrainian culture, identity and language. It is of vital importance to ensure that this body of knowledge, research and creativity is protected for future generations.

As we also know, this conflict is one of the first large-scale examples of ‘information war’ in our times. We note that librarians, archivists and information professionals in the UK and Ukraine are mobilising to combat the overwhelming volume of misinformation surrounding this conflict.

The integrity and continuity of public records, the protection of a nation’s literary works and the preservation of its knowledge and language are the essential building blocks for the long and arduous process of national recovery post-conflict, and they must be protected.

We express our solidarity with librarians and information professionals in Ukraine who are working to protect their heritage and identity and the integrity of the public record under incredibly difficult circumstances.”