It was with a heavy heart that IFLA heard the news of the fire that has damaged the Jagger Library at the University of Cape Town, along with other areas of the University and city, this past Sunday.

Our thoughts and best wishes are with the library’s staff and patrons, as well as the entire UCT community and the whole of the South African library and information profession, during what is surely an incredibly distressing time.

Although the loss of the library’s Reading Room and damage to collections is devastating, it was a relief to hear that more widespread damage to the library’s facilities and collections was prevented. We commend the University of Cape Town Libraries’ disaster preparedness measures and the safety features that were in place which halted the fire’s spread.

The international library field is a global network, and as such, we support one another through challenging times. IFLA stands by the University of Cape Town Libraries as they begin to look towards healing and recovery.

Gerald Leitner
Secretary General
The Hague, Netherlands
20 April 2021