Yesterday Bibliotheca Alexandrina director Ismail Serageldin wrote a short letter explaining that Egyptian youth were protecting the libraries as demonstrations swept through Cairo.

Here’s an excerpt: “The young people organized themselves into groups that directed traffic, protected neighborhoods and guarded public buildings of value such as the Egyptian Museum and the Library of Alexandria.  They are collaborating with the army.  This makeshift arrangement is in place until full public order returns. The library is safe thanks to Egypt’s youth, whether they be the staff of the Library or the representatives of the demonstrators, who are joining us in guarding the building from potential vandals and looters.”

The complete letter follows below. Libraries have suffered during historical conflicts, from the Iraq War to the infamous burning of Egypt’s Library of Alexandria.

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