On behalf of the Ex Libris Association: 

Statement of solidarity with our professional colleagues in the Ukraine. 

(With thanks to CILIP: the library and information association of the UK for the borrowed words) 

Members of the Ex Libris Association, representing retired librarians, archivists and information professionals in Canada, wish to extend our solidarity and support for our professional colleagues in Ukraine during the current military action by Russia.

We are gravely concerned at the threat posed by this action to the safety of the Ukrainian people, their heritage and identity, as well as to the security of our professional colleagues.

Ukraine is a nation with a rich literary heritage and tradition. Its libraries and archives 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.

The integrity of the public record as well as the safety and intellectual freedom of the civilian population are pre-requisites of any nation state that aspires to legitimacy or credibility within the international community.

Librarians, archivists and information professionals play a vital role in promoting reading, literacy and access to information for the citizens and communities they serve. It is essential that they are permitted to continue this work in safety and free from coercion or threat.

We encourage our political leaders in the Canadian government and international community to work together in order to restore peace and security for Ukraine as a member of the international community in good standing and subject to the international agreements and accords already set in place to guarantee this security, including compliance with the international obligations under the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property, and its protocols.

The Ex Libris Association vows to work with our colleagues around the world to offer whatever support and solidarity we can to our professional colleagues in Ukraine.

CC: The Honourable Pedro Rodriguez, Minister of Heritage
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister
Lorisia MacLeod, Chair, CFLA-FCAB

Deb Thomas, President, Ex Libris Association