February 23, 2018

Vermillion PL, SD Sponsors Cuban Library

By LJ Staff

In what seems to be a first such action of support, the board of the Vermillion PL , SD has voted to sponsor an independent Cuban library, the Dulce Maria Loynaz Library in Havana. A news release from the library board noted that the Dulce Maria Loynaz Library was one of the several libraries raided by State Security police during a 2003 crackdown. More than a dozen librarians were been jailed, and Amnesty International calls them "prisoners of conscience." The director of Dulce Maria Loynaz,, Gisela Delgado, was not detained, but her husband, Hector Palacios, was arrested and sentenced to 25 years in prison. At the Midwinter Meeting in January 2004, the American Library Association council expressed "deep concern" over the arrest and sentencing of political dissidents, but defeated a resolution to demand their release. Jon Flanagin, president of the Vermillion library trustees, said the board would ship books to Cuba–initially a Mark Twain collection and the first of the Harry Potter series, both in Spanish–funded solely by private donations. In 1989, the library adopted the library in its sister city, Ratingen, Germany.