This is Our Library: The Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Outside the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. Photo courtesy of Dina Youssef

I was interested in the report of a presentation by author Dina Youssef on the IFLA Express site, describing the effects of the recent uprisings in Egypt on libraries, and particularly the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.  A security guard was quoted: “This is our library.  It belongs to our children”.  Youssef’s report showed some of the remarkable efforts of citizens in protecting the library and how it was preserved from violence and damage, including these inspiring concluding thoughts:

“Because this valuable resource was spared a violent end, it can now be a cornerstone for rebuilding the new Egypt.  The library will lead the movement to collect, organize, and make public the artifacts and evidences of this revolution.  Those standing arm in arm around this building have come to represent the new Egypt, where the diverse population appreciates that libraries are not just buildings with books.  Libraries are the gateways to knowledge and knowledge is the foundation of empowerment.”

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor

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