Librarians refused visas for conference in Quebec

Some of you may know that I am at a conference in Quebec- IFLA ,to present a paper with Melisssa Morrone from BPL. I had heard tell of this but was forwarded this article tonight, I’ll post it in full. Needless to say this is outrageous and sad and frankly, embarassing.

“Twenty-seven librarians ran into difficulty trying to get visas for an international conference in Quebec City and 13 of them were refused, the president of the International Federation of Library Associations said yesterday.

“We had very few refused when we had our conference in Boston in 2001,” said president Claudia Lux. “This is really very strange and I can’t understand it at all. This is a very high number.”

Those refused included Dr. Fariborz Khosrav, the deputy director of the National Library of Iran, five Colombians, two each from Egypt and Nepal and one each from Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa. The 13th person’s name was unknown, she said.

The status of another was still undermined. They included six Iranians, two Nigerians and one each from Kenya, Mauritius and Turkey.

Victoria Okojie, president of the Nigerian Library Association, received an email from Citizenship and Immigration Canada yesterday inviting her to reapply, with no guarantees. The conference ends next Thursday but Okojie said she would give it another shot.

She was refused, said CIC spokesperson Danielle Norris, because she failed to supply banking statements, proof of income or evidence of strong family and financial ties to Nigeria.The decision, said Norris, is entirely based on providing exactly what the website asks for.

With 3,500 participants at the conference, 13 outright rejections means “they did very well,” she said.”

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