Founding Librarian of the new Library of Alexandria Ismail Serageldin makes a powerful case for why libraries must always be open spaces of equal access. He explains why both digital platforms and physical structures are essential for vibrant communities.

Ismail Serageldin

Emeritus Librarian of Alexandria and Founding Director
Library of Alexandria, Egypt
Culture in Vibrant Communities

Professor Ismail Serageldin is the Emeritus Librarian of Alexandria and the Founding Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the new Library of Alexandria, which he led from 2001-2017. Previously he held many international positions including Vice President of the World Bank (1993–2000).

Serageldin serves on many academic, research, scientific, cultural and international committees. He has published over 100 books and monographs and over 500 papers on many topics. A graduate of Cairo University, he holds a PhD from Harvard University, and has been a professor at the College de France. He has received 40 honorary doctorates and many other national awards including Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun; Chevalier de Legion d’Honneur and Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et Letters of France; and The Public Welfare Medal, from the US National Academy of Sciences.