Libraries for Peace

"Books Instead of Guns: Libraries as Sites for Peace in Colombia"

SALALM 2019, Austin, Texas, Friday, June 28, 10:30 am -- 12:00 pm.
A panel presenting this Colombian initiative:

There is no doubt that the role of librarianship and information science is an active force for change and social transformation in Colombia. In exercising their profession, many Colombian librarians become, in turn, cultural activists who are helping to reverse a social and political reality that continues to weigh on the Colombian social fabric.

Every day, Colombian librarians organize countless local projects, initiatives and even simple meetings in which they seek the shared strength to find solutions to problems that impact the entire country. Jesús Alonso Regalado (SUNY-Albany) and I were fortunate to witness these great efforts in situ when we participated in the last librarian workshop organized by the FILBO in Bogotá, where more than 100 Colombian librarians met and shared their work.

Some of these projects resonate beyond Colombia as they inspire other Latin American and European countries to launch their own initiatives. Projects like the #BibliotecariosAlSenado movement--which, since February 2017, promotes democratic access to information in Colombia--and the Historical Memory Center of the city of Medellín, which is helping to turn what was considered the world capital of violence into an authentic beacon of Colombian culture, have had a had a global impact throughout Latin America.

At SALALM 2019 in Austin, we want to present precisely one of these internationally-relevant projects. The Libraries for Peace program, which crystallized in early 2017 with support from the National Library of Colombia, has become a global point of reference for how libraries can intervene in effective ways to mitigate the effects of violence in societies affected by conflict. The model has emerged thanks to a purely humanistic proposal.

With this web page, we intend to introduce the Libraries for Peace initiative, not only to illustrate this experience, but also to motivate your participation in the panel that we have organized for June 28 at 10:30 a.m.

Come and take part! You are all invited ...
Miguel Angel Valladares Llata

More information about the Round Table