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Librarians and Archivists to Palestine

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About This Project

Librarians and Archivists to Palestine
A delegation of librarians, archivists, and other information workers to Palestine in 2013.

On the Lokashakti Network since:
Saturday, 16 March 2013

Librarians and Archivists to Palestine on:

Type of network resource:
  • Activist Organization
  • Library / Bookstore / Infoshop

Issues addressed:
  • Peace / Nonviolence
  • Education


Librarians and Archivists to Palestine
A delegation of librarians, archivists, and other library workers will travel to Palestine from June 22-July 5, 2013. We will connect with our colleagues in library- and archive-related projects and institutions there, applying our experience in the form of skillshares and other types of joint work. We will travel as truth-seekers and information-skeptics, eager to dispense with the superficial and inaccurate portrayals of life in Palestine/Israel that we see in the west and to learn about the realities of life under occupation and settler colonialism. As library workers, we support access to information, and we recognize that this goes in more than one direction. Our trip will shed light on how Palestinian voices and information about Palestine reach us (or do not) and how Palestinians access (or cannot access) information. We will bear witness to the destruction and appropriation of information, and support efforts to preserve cultural heritage and archival materials (of all kinds) in Palestine. Upon return to our communities, we will share what we have seen, apply what we have learned, publicize projects we have visited, and otherwise break down barriers to access in any way we can.

During the delegation, we will spend time in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Israel. In the future we hope to send a small delegation to visit Palestinian libraries and archival projects in Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. In all our travels, we will respect the Palestinian civil society call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel and will not partner with any organization that violates this call.

The dates of the delegation were chosen based on the organizers’ schedules and the timing of Ramadan. We apologize that it conflicts with the ALA conference.

Overall structure

June 22: Travel day

June 23-30: Travel and meetings
The purpose of these days is to give a broad overview of daily life under occupation and of the human rights and civil rights struggles of the Palestinian people, and to connect with our colleagues on the ground who are engaged in library- and archives-related projects. We will travel through West Bank cities, villages, and refugee camps, as well as Palestinian communities inside Israel. We will meet with a variety of Palestinian people and a few Jewish Israeli activists.

July 1-3: More in-depth meetings/work
In addition to brief meetings with our counterparts in Palestine, we hope to establish more substantial relationships with a few organizations and individuals. This could involve splitting into pairs and helping an organization with an archiving project; offering a workshop on the ins and outs of getting Palestinian informational publications into U.S. libraries; documenting the already-existing work of one or more individuals and finding mechanisms to publicize it; and much more! We will continue to develop possibilities as we hear your interests and those of our friends and colleagues in Palestine.

July 4: Closing activities and next steps

July 5: Travel day

If you are interested in staying beyond the trip and would like to talk more about this, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have and give advice as desired.

We expect the costs to be approximately as follow:
-$300 deposit to be paid in advance to hold your spot. This deposit will go towards funding for the trip organizers and materials.
-$1,200 for on-the-ground expenses (lodging, transportation, food, and tours) for the travel portion of the trip (June 23-30).
-$300-ish recommended for expenses during days we are not all together (July 1-3), as well as for gifts and other individual purchases
-$1,000-$1,500 plane ticket

As you can see, the total will come to around $3,000 per person. We are currently trying to fundraise to defray costs. Specifically, we are trying to eliminate the $1,200 on-the-ground cost. We plan to do so through donations, including donations from those of you who are able to pay or fundraise more.

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