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When disaster strikes…

A story on the BBC website on Friday caught my eye – National Library hit by flooding. For the second time in two years, the National Library of Scotland has been flooded after a pipe burst. Thankfully there appears to be only minor damage and I'm sure this is in no small part due to the efforts of the fire crews and library staff.

I got to thinking about other libraries affected by disasters.

Reading February's edition of the Society of Archivists' journal ARC magazine, I learnt about the efforts to rebuild the Iraq National Library and Archives (INLA) after it was ransacked and looted in 2003. Dr Saad Eskander, Director of the INLA explained that 95% of the rare book collection had been lost. Since then the building has been restored, morale has been raised amongst staff and over 900 people per month now use the reading rooms. Dr Eskander is described in the article as inspiring and has reminded us of "the importance of archives and libraries in underpinning a free and fair society" and he was recently awarded Fellowship of CILIP.

Has your library been hampered by disasters, natural or man-made?

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