As a result of these nearby attacks, the library has suffered some material damage—ceilings, windows, and doors were smashed. “Luckily, no one on my staff was harmed,” said Eskander. “From time to time, I receive intelligence reports that ask us to be vigilant, as the library might be attacked by car bombs.”
Unfortunately, said Eskander, since 2009 the National Library’s operating budget, with the exception of the line items for salaries, has been cut by 40%, even though the national budget has been going up annually. Yet amid the terror and turmoil, the library boasts a 35% increase in the size of the collection between early 2004 and mid-2012, with the archival collections growing by 25%; in 2012 alone it has acquired 100,000 books.