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Access To Information In The Czech Republic


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Presentation given Fall 2007 in Tucson, AZ: Change & Opportunities: Libraries in the New Millennium.

Presentation given Fall 2007 in Tucson, AZ: Change & Opportunities: Libraries in the New Millennium.

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  • 1. Access to Information in the Czech Republic: Before and After the Velvet Revolution Rebecca Blakiston University of Arizona November 10, 2007
  • 2. UNC International Seminars
  • 3. Seminar Activities
  • 4. Libraries and Access
      • From ALA Bill of Rights :
        • I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
        • II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
        • III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
        • IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
  • 5. Nazis, Communists, and Revolution, Oh My
  • 6. Communism & the Transition of Library Operations
  • 7. The Role of Communist Government in Book Publishing and Distribution
    • Libri Prohibiti
    • Main Board for Publishing Control (HSTD) & Office for Publishing and Information
  • 8. Other Methods of Information Control
    • Speaking about the alternative sphere was forbidden
    All libraries were closed stack & user feedback was not permitted
  • 9. Restrictions on Library Collections
    • Libraries as instruments of the state?
    Libraries as facilitators of oppression? Libraries representing the government they serve?
  • 10. The Alternative Sphere
    • Self-print texts, “samizdat”
    • Exile texts snuck over the border
    Libri Prohibiti public library, Prague Books available at Libri Prohibiti
  • 11. Brief History of Czech Libraries
    • President Tomas Garrigue Masaryk & the law of 1919
    Strahov Monastery – manuscript catalog of library Nostic Family Library
  • 12. Libraries Since the Velvet Revolution
    • Union of Czech Librarians and Information Officers, SKIP
    • CASLIN, the Czech and Slovak Library Information Network (1993)
    • National conference “Libraries of the Present Time” (1993)
    Book display at Municipal Library, downtown Prague
  • 13. Challenges to Libraries
    • Transfer of authority
    • Effect of privatization
    • Financial constraints, relocation
    • Ineffectiveness of Central Library Council
  • 14. Victories for Libraries
    • 1999: Law on Free Access to Information
    • 2001: Library Act, titled the Law on Libraries and Terms of Operating Public Library and Information Services
    • Public Information Services of Libraries Programme, 2000-2003
    • The State Information and Communication Policy, 2004-2006
    • Library Development Policy, 2004-2010
    • No longer closed stacks; support user feedback and maintain user privacy
  • 15. New National Library Building
  • 16. Current Library Environment
    • Networking and scholarship
    • Automation
    • Online services
    • Internet connectivity
    • E-Inclusion initiatives
    • Funding and support
    Library of Peace and Reconciliation, Liberec
  • 17. Conclusion
    • Historical legacy
    • Role of libraries
    • Libraries and access
    • Challenges of change
    • Moving forward
    Lennon Wall (tribute to John Lennon), Prague
  • 18. Questions & Discussion
    • Feel free to contact me:
    • Rebecca Blakiston
    • [email_address]
    • http://