Library Wants, But Can Not Subscribe to Independent Newspaper

2007 2007-02-20T10:00:00+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

 The regional library can not subscribe to the “Vitebsk Kurjer M” regional independent newspaper with the best will in the world for this, – informs the official letter of the Vitebsk City Council Culture Department head Mikalai Pashynski, sent to the Belarusian Helsinki Committee member Pavel Levinau.

 Levinau told BAJ Press Service, Vitebsk BHC received a number of complaints that it is impossible to read “the Vitebsk Kurjer M” newspaper in city libraries.
Vitebsk residents claimed, it violated their civil rights on receiving information.

“I visited the regional library and made sure that there is no newspaper indeed in the reading room. The library staff answered my question, why the library does not have “Vitebsk Kurjer M” newspaper: “Most distressingly, it does not depend upon us, and readers very often ask for the newspaper”, – said Pavel Levinau. – I made a comment in the book of complaints, where I asked to consider readers’ rights and include the “Vitebsk Kurjer” newspaper file in the catalog”.

Vitebsk regional library administration answered in a written way that this question is not in their competence and proposed the human rights defender address the City Council Culture Department.

“Unfortunately, the library does not have a possibility to subscribe to all periodicals, which are being printed in the country and the near abroad”, – responded the head of Vitebsk City Culture Department. He claimed that “in spite of the limited budget resources”, the regional library had subscribed to 713 periodicals.

“I will try to find financial resources to subscribe the regional library to “Vitebsk Kurjer”, – says Pavel Levinau. He intends to address to the Culture Department with the proposal to accept that as a private donation from him.

The letter of the head of Culture Department mentions that subscription priorities for the library are periodicals with high circulation. According to his opinion, it means that such periodicals are popular among readers.

“The “Vitebsk Kuryer M” circulation is 1500, and any interested person has a possibility to subscribe to this edition privately or get acquainted with the newspaper issues in the editorial office”, – says Mikalai Pashynski.

However, it should be pointed out that it is impossible to subscribe to the “Vitebsk Kurjer” from the beginning of 2006. The state-owned post company refused to distribute the newspaper and excluded the newspaper, along with a number of other non-governmental editions, from the subscription catalogue. At the same time “Belsaiuzdruk” kiosk network refused to sell the newspaper in its news-stands.

The newspaper lost its ways of distribution, and the circulation decreased. Unlike official state-owned editions, the “VK” does not receive financial support from the government