Check It Out By Anne Marshall In March of 2003, many of the independent libraries of the country of Cuba were raided by the State Security police, resulting in lengthy prison terms for more than a dozen librarians. All of those jailed have been recognized as "prisoners of conscience" by Amnesty International, which is calling for their immediate release.
The Dulce Maria Loynaz Library was one of the institutions singled out during the 2003 crackdown. The director, Gisela Delgado, was not detained during the raid on her library, but her husband, Hector Palacios, was arrested and sentenced to 25 years in prison.
During the raid, most of the Loynaz Library's books were confiscated by the police. The Cuban courts have ordered the burning of many of the books seized from the independent libraries.
In November of this past year, during the library's monthly board meeting, the Vermillion Public Library Board of Trustees took a stand for intellectual freedom when it voted to sponsor this library in Havana, Cuba. This library, an unofficial institution free of government control, is one of approximately 250 independent libraries founded since 1998 to challenge restrictions on freedom of information. The goal of Cuba's independent library movement is to offer public access to uncensored books reflecting all points of view.
The Vermillion library joins with Paris and Strasbourg which have also adopted a number of Cuba's independent libraries. The Dulce Maria Loynaz Library is the second library with which Vermillion has established a special relationship. In 1989, it adopted the library in its sister city of Ratingen, Germany.
The Online Book Club Chapter-a-Day offers many selections to Internet patrons. Online Book Club patrons can now find the club through the new link of www.supportlibrary.com/su/su.cfm?x=470596. The following selections are for the week of Jan. 10:
Audio Book: No selection for this week.
Business: Ageless Marketing, by David B. Wolfe.
Fiction: Now is the Time to Open Your Heart, by Alice Walker.
Good News: Black, by Ted Dekker.
Horror: No selection for this week.
Mystery: The Sunday Philosophy Club, by Alexander Smith.
Non-Fiction: Blue Blood, by Edward Conlon.
Pre-Pub: No selection.
Romance: The Pirate's Jewel, by Cheryl Howe.
Science Fiction: No selection for this week.
Teen Book: Pictures in the Dark, by Patricia McCord.
Discover New Trails @ Your Library
The new session of Story Time begins the week of Jan. 18. Preschool Story Time is open to all children ages 3 to 5 years. Toddler Story Time is open to all children ages 1 to 3 years. Registration is required and space is limited. For more information, please call the library at 677-7060.
The Vermillion Book Club will hold the next meeting on Thursday, Jan. 27, from 6 to 8 at the library. January's book selection is The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd. This novel, set in the American South during the 1960s, is a powerful story of coming-of-age, of the ability of love to transform our lives, and the often unacknowledged longing for the universal feminine divine.