Knowledge, Access, and Resistance: A Conversation on Librarians and Archivists to Palestine

Natarajan, Vani M.; Mermelstein, Hannah

In June 2013, 16 librarians and archivists traveled to Palestine to connect with Palestinian librarians, archivists, activists, and organizers, to learn more about their struggles and their work. We came from the U.S., Canada, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, and U.K./Palestine. We were public, academic, and school librarians; movement archivists; artists; and activists. We spent eight days traveling throughout the West Bank and ’48. In the few days that followed, participants went off on their own to participate in follow-up meetings and to connect with people we hadn’t had time to meet during the first week. We reconvened at the end for a public event in Ramallah. Most of us did not know each other beforehand.
Hannah has led many delegations in Palestine over the past decade, but this was the first specifically with librarians and archivists. Vani traveled to Palestine with an LGBTQ delegation in January 2012. Both live in New York and work with Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel. For this article, we sat down in August 2013 to reflect on the Librarians and Archivists to Palestine delegation. We recorded and transcribed our conversation, and edited and rearranged it slightly for the sake of clarity. It should be noted that we often refer to the U.S. in our conversation, because this is the context within which the two of us work. Not everyone from the delegation lives in the U.S.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Libraries and Information Services
Published Here
October 3, 2014