The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer

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Reviewed by Shaun Bennett, University Library Technician, NCSU Libraries

This remarkable true story details the heroic acts of Abdel Kader Haidara, a librarian in Timbuktu. After exploring the deserts of Mali for over a decade, seeking out and collecting rare manuscripts for the Timbuktu libraries, he and his colleagues were faced with the growing threat of radical groups backed by al-Qaeda. Haidara and his colleagues smuggled thousands of manuscripts out of the danger zone, risking their lives to preserve the region's rich history of Islamic philosophy and art.