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Cuban Libraries
International Responsibilities Task Force
of the American Library Association's
Social Responsibilities Round Table

Letter to The New York Times:
Response to "A Cuban Revolution, in Reading"
Ann Sitkin

Opinions expressed in this letter do not necessarily reflect the views of IRTF, SRRT, or ALA

As organizer of a seminar on Cuban libraries for American librarians last spring, we were impressed with the quality of service and resources Cuban municipal libraries are able to provide despite the enormous lack of resources they endure because of the US embargo.

Cuban librarians are an energetic, resourceful and outstanding group of professionals, providing many services beyond just books on a shelf for their constituencies. Just as you would find in any American library, we found speaker series, children's and outreach programs. One woman rode a bicycle to deliver books to readers who could not get to her library on their own.

We also learned of a study done in Cuba that found that almost all books in these so-called independent libraries are found in the official libraries of Cuba. Our efforts would be better spent in ending the embargo and allowing real interaction between US and Cuban libraries.

Ann Sitkin
Cambridge, MA

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Page last modified March 18, 2005.