Dear Ukrainian librarians!
The Library Association of Latvia and all Latvian librarians express our strongest support to you in your work and to each of you personally. In such conditions of war, our profession imposes a double responsibility on us – because we live both in a time of direct war, and information warfare and manipulation of data and human minds. It is our duty as librarians not only to stand up for freedom of expression and free access to information and knowledge, but also to ensure that people have access to reliable and verified information. Our task is not only to verify the truthfulness of the news and information by ourselves, but also to teach it to our citizens so that they do not rely on misinformation and manipulation. Your soldiers – fathers, brothers, husbands and sons – are defending your country physically. Librarians are the ones who defend the country informationally – not allowing false news to prevail. Certainly, we do not live in the world where there is only one truth anymore, but who else, if not librarians with both information and knowledge, can help the people not to be confused in this ocean of true and false news? Active action by librarians to combat misinformation and educate the citizens is now more important than ever. In this matter you have to be on the forefront. If we – Latvian librarians – can help you in the fight against disinformation, contact us, we will give you advice or other support.
Libraries, as democratic places open to all, can be an important support not only informatively but also physically. The experience of many countries shows that libraries can also be a place for physical refuge. Open your doors to anyone who needs it, providing shelter and resort! Libraries can be places where help and support points for citizens and refugees can be located. Furthermore, you have all the resources to provide people with informational and professional support to overcome the crisis and decide next steps. Librarians are one of the central support persons for the population in peacetime. In times of war, your support takes double value and power. Provide support and assistance to anyone who needs it! And do not hesitate to ask others for help if you feel confused and scared. The whole world is now joining the hands of Ukraine. We are sure that colleagues from other countries will provide you with the support and assistance you need.
Dear Ukrainian citizens!
Be strong! No violence against the state and its people is justified. Russia’s physical invasion demonstrates their weakness and your strength. Everyone deserves to live in an independent and democratic country. Not only the present, but also the future is in your hands – what country do you prefer for your children and grandchildren to live in. Don’t give up! Do not allow provocations and manipulations! Maintain common sense and self-esteem! The citizens of Latvia are with you! Freedom for Ukraine!
Lithuanian and Estonian Librarians Associations and Lithuanian and Estonian librarians have also joined the Statement of the Library Association of Latvia.