fire damage

Fire alarm

How safe are libraries?
We all rely on libraries being there when we want them and believe they are a safe depository of books, journals, papers etc. In the main they are, as precautions are taken to avoid losses due to damage such as fire. But…
In the past the great library in Alexandria was burnt down http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Alexandria
and, incidentally, a library in commemoration was  recently been opened there in 2002.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandria_Library
and several years ago, if I remember correctly  the library in the Goethe Institute in Germany suffered a lot of damage due to a fire. Anything lost in such circumstances can be irreplaceable especially if it is old and possibly the only known copy.
On the grapevine I have heard that there was a fire due to an electrical fault in the National Library of Conductive Education at NICE in Birmingham this week. This has happened before but the fire was quickly put out so there was  no losses of stock (or harm to individuals). At the time it was suggested that the library contents be scanned in case of any further fire, but this would have been an enormous and expensive task, so nothing came of it.
Rumour says that the fire was worse this time and it was necessary to throw a bookcase (or just its contents) out a window! Whether this is the complete story or just the story growing as it was passed on, I don’t know, but it is extremely worrying as most of the collection is unique and not available anywhere else.
The  material on the Internet listed in the virtual catalogue at http://www.virtualcelibrary.blogspot.com/
cannot be destroyed in the same way but is still vulnerable to the whims of the Internet machine and could be taken down or moved. At least it is there.
Perhaps we should all look to the safety of our personal collections of valuable materials in Conductive Education (and other areas) and consider their future.