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Public Libraries and their National Policies by John Helling

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11

Turkmenistan

Abstract: The recent history of public libraries in Turkmenistan provides a worst-case example of thoroughly misguided or malevolent public library policy (and public policy in general). After years of withering neglect from the government of strongman Saparmurat Niyazov, public libraries were banned outright in 2005 as part of a generalized assault on educational institutions. Although Niyazov died the next year, public libraries were not reintroduced to Turkmenistan until 2010, again as part of larger education reforms (this time in the opposite direction). Reform remains slow and patchy under Niyazov’s successor and public libraries have yet to fully recover.

Key words

libraries under authoritarianism

library censorship ...

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