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He faces attacks with open doors

He faces attacks with open doors

February 22, 2024 • 2 for me

The only way to counter the anti-democratic attacks that have hit libraries in Berlin is to do just the opposite: open the doors to conversations about democracy. This is what Boriano Recum, director of the library at Tempelhof-Schöneberg, says, one of the libraries that suffered attacks by right-wing extremists where books were destroyed.

“What I thought about most after the events that occurred were two things: What can a public library do to protect or even promote democracy and how can we better prepare and protect staff, when it comes to the risk of similar anti-democratic attacks and incidents?

Since Biblioteksbladet talked about how many libraries, both public and university, are being sabotaged, now the director of the library in Tempelhof-Schöneberg, Boreanu Rekum, is talking about how he sees how they can protect democracy and at the same time prepare and protect employees.

He responds in a careful email, with long answers to Biblioteksbladet's questions. Boryano Rickum stated that they decided not to install any type of security technology such as cameras. However, they hire guards when they organize events that somehow touch on political topics.

Boriano Recom believes that the perpetrator of his “library”, a man in his 30s, who destroyed a number of books, wanted to prevent citizens from thinking critically about topics related to far-right groups and Nazis. The library director believes that the only possible way for libraries in this situation is to deal with anti-democratic attacks by doing the exact opposite, and opening the doors wide to talk about democracy.

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“We have invited all the authors involved to the main library in the area, where all these events took place. We have given authors and citizens a chance to meet, discuss books and vent their thoughts. It is a way for us as a library to give people the opportunity to form their own opinions when it comes to matters of politics and democracy.” .

Public libraries in Germany are increasingly becoming the focus of anti-democratic movements, and Boriano Reckum believes that the democratic public sphere is in danger. He believes libraries and other public institutions should take action.

“I am convinced that we can do a lot to strengthen democracy and a liberal society by inviting people into our buildings and places, and by providing information and news from sound, verifiable sources. We have to do that,” says Boriano Recum, director of the library at Tempelhof-Schöneberg in Berlin. There is no alternative.”