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Information for Social Change

Information for Social Change

"an activist organisation that examines issues of censorship, freedom and ethics amongst library and information workers..."

ISC 10. Editorial

The theme of this issue is social class and its relevance for library workers. The Library and Information Commission funded research project into Public Library Policy and Social Exclusion commissioned a series of working papers on aspects of social exclusion. One of these papers - available from Rebecca Linley at Leeds Metropolitan University - covers the issue of social class. Our first article gives a synopsis of the working paper and an introduction to the topic.

To provide a historical perspective on Social Class and libraries, we include an article on Libraries in the Soviet Union. This indicates the class based nature of Soviet libraries, developed along the lines of Marxist thinking. These libraries were developed by Lenin, grew under Stalin and survived the Cold War, but have suffered badly since the collapse of Communism.

Communism is still alive and well in Cuba, which has a highly developed library infrastructure. Literacy and education are two fruits of the Cuban Revolution, which has faced an illegal 40 year blockade from the US. In recent years the US government has tried to weaken the Revolution from within by funding various "dissident" organisations such as the self-styled "Friends of Cuban Libraries". The activities and backers of this group are revealed in this issue and ISC supporters are urged to become true friends of Cuba by joining the Cuban Libraries Support Group.

A new regular feature will be book and journal reviews by John Vincent. If you would like to suggest a title for him to review, send your information via the ISC address. Also, if you would like to make any contributions to, or comments on, ISC send them to the same address. We are pleased to receive letters, articles and reviews.

The next issue of ISC will be published in June 2000 on the theme of Race and Libraries - get your ideas to us by 1st June.

Venceremos !

John Pateman


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