Fundraising Initiative for Ukrainian Libraries

iStudent Blog

Published: July 20, 2022 by Eori Tokunaga

In mid-June of 2022, the SJSU iSchool hosted the symposium “Ukrainian Libraries during the Ongoing Russian-Ukrainian War.”

Ukrainian Library Association (ULA) representative, Oksana Boiarynova, opened the symposium with a keynote presentation on how libraries in Ukraine have suffered as a result of the Russian-Ukrainian War. Following the keynote speech, several library professionals from the Kharkiv, Cherkasy, and Chernigiv regions presented their own presentations on how the war has impacted their respective libraries.

In an effort to continue supporting the efforts of librarians in Ukraine, Dr. Ulia Gosart, Dr. Anthony Chow, and Dr. Sue Alman have organized a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for a scanner that can be used toward building the first National Digital Library of Ukraine. Dr. Gosart and Liudmyla Diadyk have been brainstorming ideas on a potential project that would collect drawings from internally displaced children depicting the war in order to document Ukrainian youth experiences.

Here is the link to the GoFundMe fundraiser:

“If we had a scanner to run such a project, we would scan drawings to help preserve the memories of children and document their experiences for Ukrainian people, as well as for the world at large. We would like to create a sister collection containing digital copies of these images. The original documents would be part of the Cherkasy digital collection and made available to share with our students, as well as with Ukrainian immigrants living in California and the United States. Given that over 120,000 people are internally displaced in the Cherkasy region alone, such a project could have the potential to be incorporated into larger state library collections and shared with Ukrainian immigrants here in California. With approximately 18,000 Ukrainian immigrants in Sacramento, the state capital has the highest proportion of immigrants from Ukraine in the United States.” - Dr. Ulia Gosart

“During the George Floyd demonstrations and the pandemic, my previous chancellor challenged us all to ‘do something’ to try and make the world a better place. This fundraiser is [a small part of] how I am trying to help the Ukrainian people and culture. Learning about their experiences helps reaffirm how similar and vulnerable we all are, and why supporting one another and the critical role libraries play in international settings is critical. Most importantly, it is important for Ukrainian libraries to see that they do not stand alone. We can all help them in their time of need.” - Dr. Anthony Chow

“The webinar reinforced the role of libraries in building resilience within their communities in the months since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We cannot standby when it is in our power to mobilize support for our Ukrainian colleagues. Sadly, this is a teachable moment that we must use to compel others to participate in this global crisis…The global LIS community is charged with preserving materials and providing access to them, and as information stewards we must be aware of the needs and practices of our colleagues around the world.”  – Dr. Sue Alman


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