Monthly Archives: May 2022

ARL members and associates show their support for Ukraine

Author: Bertil F Dorch. Library Director, University Library of Southern Denmark; Associate Professor, Department Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, many librarians, libraries, and library associations around the world have taken action to support colleagues in the war-struck country. This was highlighted in an IFLA news post earlier this month.

In this special blog post, IFLA’s Academic and Research Libraries (ARL) Section Committee is proud to highlight examples of actions being taken by our members around the world, along with local, regional and national organizations, to support our Ukrainian colleagues, and to impose sanctions on Russia to stop their aggressive warfare against their neighboring country.

Examples include stories of libraries helping to safeguard Ukrainian books and culture, and saving Ukrainian cultural heritage.

At the end of this blog you will find links to various initiatives, statements and other actions being taken by academic and research libraries around the world.

Australia and New Zealand

The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) have both released statements in support of their professional colleagues and the people of Ukraine.

The Australian National University (ANU) has made a statement on Ukraine, announcing that “the University is therefore suspending all ties and activities with Russian institutions, indefinitely and with immediate effect”. The library is completely in agreement and compliance with the University’s position.

The ANU Library does not have any MOUs or agreements with Russian institutions, but is fully committed to supporting the university’s position i.e. that scholar-to-scholar collaboration is a matter of academic freedom, while one should avoid publishing in Russian-owned and operated journals.

Similarly, the University of Sydney and the University of Melbourne have published messages of support for Ukraine.



Aalto University in Finland supports both Ukrainian researchers and students who are fleeing the war, by following the recommendation of the Ministry of Education and Culture to refrain from all cooperation with Russian partner organizations. Finnish universities will not initiate new projects and existing cooperation will be suspended for the time being.

In Denmark, like Finland, research institutions have been ordered by the Danish government to shut down any joined research programs, exchanges of students and staff, etc. with institutions in Russia and Belarus, and to heighten information security related to research and innovation to prevent the possibility of dual use of research results. The Danish Research Library Association has published a Statement on Ukraine, as well as an appeal to suspend relations with Russian libraries.

In Estonia, like some other northern countries, universities will not admit Russian and Belorussian students this year and all contracts have been suspended or cancelled. University of Tartu has established a scholarship fund to collect and channel donations to support Ukrainian students’ studies at the university. Additionally, the university library mediates reliable information in Estonian, Russian and English, and has arranged a room in the library with a collection of books in Ukrainian. There are more than 30,000 refugees in Estonia so far.

In France, the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) has taken various initiatives, e.g. on policy statements and actions to exclude Russian national libraries from CENL (Conference of European National Libraries) and to suspend loan agreements (e.g. for exhibitions) with Russian institutions.

Solidarity and technical initiatives include joining the Ukrainian heritage collections identification effort of UNESCO, offering storage for digital Ukrainian collections with the SUCHO initiative, and sending preservation and conservation materials in partnership with ICOM (International Council of Museums).

Other French cultural and scientific activities include partnering with the Cultural Forum for Ukraine in association with Inha (National institute for Art history) and a regional museum (Rouen, Normandy), providing sponsorship to researchers and organizing various events.

Also, European library associations have taken various concrete actions e.g. the 51st LIBER annual conference which is held in Denmark this year has invited the president of the Ukrainian Library Association as a keynote speaker on July 6th.

A comprehensive overview of actions, statements, and possible ways to help from mostly European libraries has been published by the European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA).

United States

Examples from the US include an updated research guide on the Russian war in Ukraine by the University of Michigan library, and the Cornell University Library support for partner institutions in Ukraine. This includes free scanning for Interlibrary Loan requests from the Cornell University collection, and a library partnership that is providing free memberships to Ukrainian libraries including a range of services.

The partnership includes access to Ivy Plus Libraries’ web collections, which have curated contents that may never be published in traditional forms. Subject librarians and other colleagues were also asked to assemble online resources that are broad or focused on a particular subject area.

The University of Texas Libraries has published a subject guide with links to resources relevant to the Ukraine invasion, including media sources, electronic resources and relevant databases from the Library’s collection. It also has a significant collection of online Ukraine maps.


Global efforts

Australia and New Zealand


United States

Welcome – The Russian Invasion of Ukraine – LibGuides at University of Texas at Austin (

Ukraine Maps – Perry-Castañeda Map Collection – UT Library Online (

DEIA data toolkit: helping diversity researchers share their sensitive data

Authored by: Rachel Woodbrook and Karen Downing

Practices and policies around scholarship development are changing to better address society’s critical social issues. Among these changes is the expectation that data collected during a research project will be made accessible to the appropriate audience, and to the public where possible, with sufficient context to enable it to be discovered, understood, and reused by other scholars and communities. Because limited funding and data support resources have been made available to the scholarly community to support data sharing, practical execution can still be a challenging proposition, and solutions may differ across disciplines and regional areas.

While there is some movement in the scholarly community on the topic of open/public data, there is still limited understanding and a scarcity of resources for scholars conducting diversity scholarship – i.e., scholarship that furthers our understandings of historical and contemporary social issues related to identity, difference, culture, representation, power, oppression and inequality–as they occur and affect individuals, groups and communities. Diversity scholars are particularly critical to consider in this conversation because their work interrogates sensitive social issues, often regarding marginalized or vulnerable communities. Furthermore, these communities themselves are not often considered as an audience for research data, even when they are the population from whom data are gathered.

For many researchers, sharing data outside of their research team is still relatively new. Outside of a broad “ethical conduct of research” workshop, many researchers, particularly in the social sciences and humanities, have not received training on how to share their data. Nor, have they  considered the contexts and needs of the communities they are studying, which may extend beyond just making raw or de-identified data openly accessible.

For academic and research librarians, there is great opportunity to help improve policy and practice surrounding the treatment and disposition of research data. There is a need to articulate how Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) values and principles can be applied to the collection, management, use, sharing, and preservation of research data, building on the work of scholars who are already addressing these concerns in their practices.

At the University of Michigan, from 2020-2021, a group of librarians and students interviewed and surveyed diversity scholars from across the United States to learn about their current data practices, and to learn more about their data needs relative to their diversity-related research. One outcome of this research is a new online toolkit to assist diversity scholars with their data planning, collection, management, preservation and sharing. The DEIA Data Toolkit 1.0 draft is available for all who wish to access it, and is arranged by stages in the data lifecycle. The toolkit authors welcome your feedback, and are especially interested in any suggestions for additional resources to include.

Discussion of the toolkit (among other related research ethics topics) will be included in the IFLA-ARL’s May Webinar on Research Ethics in an Open Research Environment on 25 May 2022.


Rachel Woodbrook, Data Curation Librarian, University of Michigan

Karen E. Downing, Education Librarian, University of Michigan