IFLA ARL Webinar Series 2021

The IFLA Academic and Research Libraries Section (ARL) Standing Committee continues its ongoing webinar series with Tales of rising from the ashes: rebuilding libraries/museums after a disaster.

Held on 11 October 2021, this online webinar focuses on the recovery, restoration and rebuilding of libraries/museums after destruction by fire and other natural disasters. The IFLA ARL Section seeks to use this opportunity to raise awareness about the problem and to contribute to the knowledge about the rebuilding of libraries, archives, and museums.

Slides from the webinar are also now available.


On Sunday, 18 April 2021, a runaway wildfire engulfed the University of Cape Town’s Jagger Reading Room and destroyed much of its special collections including rare books, films, photographs and records. Sadly, such destruction of libraries/archives/museums by fires or other natural disasters are not rare. Each part of the world has had its fair share of intensive damage to iconic library buildings and resources caused by fire or other natural disasters.

The webinar featured panelists from all over the world who were intimately involved in experiencing and dealing with a disaster.  Panelists shared their experiences and perspectives on how they managed to recover, rebound and rebuilt their institutions from the devastating effects of disasters.


  • Ujala Satgoor
    Executive Director, University of Cape Town Libraries, South Africa
  • Gelnar Atoui Saad
    Executive Director, Lebanese National Library, Lebanon
  • Okanlawon O. Adediji
    University Librarian, Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ikwo, Nigeria
  • Marília Bonas
    Technical Director, Museum of the Portuguese Language, Brazil
  • Engelbert Schödder
    Professional Fire Brigade (Cologne/ Germany)
    Non-Medical Practitioner (Psychotherapy) and Certified Consultant for Psychotraumatology