On behalf of the Music Library Association, I write to express our organization’s strong disagreement with the decision to lay off all of YIVO’s librarians. Librarians are trained professionals who collect, maintain, and facilitate access to both physical and virtual resources. Experienced in the research process and deeply knowledgeable about their collections, librarians are the vital link between the public and the information that they seek. We believe that access to YIVO’s collections, and YIVO’s mission “to advance scholarship, research, and preserve the culture of Eastern European Jewry around the world,” will be greatly eroded without the participation and professional skills of librarians. In the absence of professional library staff, visitors to YIVO’s library will no longer be assured of informed access to their unparalleled resources. Therefore, the Music Library Association urges the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research to reconsider their decision to dismiss their entire librarian staff.
President, Music Library Association