Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Staff Picks: The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu - Adult Non-Fiction

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts by Joshua Hammer

This amazing book tells how a handful of librarians in Timbuktu risked their lives and saved priceless manuscripts from being destroyed by jihadists.  These manuscripts illustrated Timbuktu’s rich cultural and literary legacy, some dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries. With the establishment of numerous libraries and repositories for collected works, Timbuktu was gaining recognition once again as a cultural hub.

The book chronicles the increasing jihadist activities in Northern Mali and eventual takeover of Timbuktu in 2013, along with the story of the man charged with finding, preserving, and protecting the manuscripts. His dedication helped him find international support and a network of librarians and others in the area to help save them from being pillaged by multiple terrorist factions.

Imagine packing fragile manuscripts in the middle of the night by flashlight with terrorists canvassing the streets outside. A true library adventure worthy of Indiana Jones cred!

Joan Dudzinski
Collection Support Supervisor