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A look at the incarcerated Cuban librarians and the reactions of the ALA

Katie Hill
School of Library and Information Management Emporia State University

• I have developed an interest in libraries in other countries • I had read some of the editorials about the Cuban situation in U.S. newspapers • I think this research is important to the library and information profession because of it’s apparent violation of the idea of free access to information


• In April of 2003, a group of Cuban individuals, including journalists and librarians, were arrested.

Dr. José Luis García Paneque is one of the many Cuban librarians that have been held in a Cuban prison since 2003.

• The librarians arrested were incarcerated because they were allowing Cuban citizens to have access to their personal collections (independent library).

Overview continued
• The Cuban nation is a Communistic society and has strict restrictions in place to monitor the type of information their citizens can have access to. • Since their arrest many organizations around the world have demanded their release. • Through my research I plan to show how the library community has responded to the incident. • I will look specifically at the American Library Association (ALA) as well as the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA).

Terms and Definitions
• ALA—American Library Association • IFLA—International Federation of Library Associations • Jewish World Review—A newspaper publication that columnist Nat Hentoff writes for frequently • Independent Libraries—the term given to the personal collection of the jailed Cuban librarians

Literature Review

Literature Review continued

Research Questions
• How has the American Library Association responded to the recent imprisonment of Cuban librarians? • What impact has the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) had on recent imprisonment of Cuban librarians?

Population and Setting
• My research will focus on the independent librarians that were arrested throughout the country of Cuba in April 2003.


• Travel to Cuba for first-hand accounts would be important and vital to my research. However, because of financial and time constraints this might not be possible.

• My study is a document analysis. • I will be focusing my research on several different written reports and articles. • I will analyze each document in an attempt to discover the answers to my research questions.

• October 2007: Research Topic • Mid-November 2007: Formulate outline and thesis • Late November: Submit research proposal • December 2007: Possible travel to conduct interviews • January 2008: Begin writing research paper • February 15, 2008: Submit final research paper

Other Relevant Details
• As mentioned in the timeline, I would like to travel to Cuba to do interviews in an attempt to get first-hand accounts from the jailed librarians. • I also plan to submit my research paper for publication upon its completion.

• Lloyd, M. (2006). Speaker Castigates Library Group for Its Stance on Cuba. Chronicle of Higher Education, 52(23), 41.