Today in Moscow, Vladimir Putin is pretending he can annex four chunks of his western neighbor, but nothing can deflate the spirit of All-Ukrainian Library Day. The national holiday on Sept. 30 started in 1998 as a way to celebrate librarians and the crucial role libraries play in expanding access to cultural and intellectual resources.

The indomitable Ukrainian Library Association is determined to keep this annual tradition alive, even while bombs are falling. “In 2022, All-Ukrainian Library Day has a bitter aftertaste because we celebrate it in conditions of a large-scale, brutal and genocidal war,” ULA executive director Yaroslava Soshynska tells me via email. “But these terrible losses have only strengthened our nation, the desire to be free and to choose our own path independently and democratically.” …

(from Ron Charles’ weekly Washington Post Book Club newsletter)