The Great Library of Alexandria had a mission to collect every book in the world. In attempting to do so it created the foundations for the systems and structures of public libraries that we know today. We discuss the development of libraries, our emotional attachment to them and their pupose in the digital age.

Islam Issa’s new book traces the development of Alexandria. He joins Andrew Pettegree, author of The Library: A Fragile History, Fflur Dafydd whose murder mystery story The Library Suicides is set in the National Library of Wales and academic Jess Cotton who is researching the history of loneliness and the role played by public libraries as hubs for communities. Laurence Scott hosts.

Andrew Pettegree is a Professor at St Andrews University and the author of The Library: A Fragile History
Fflur Dafydd is a novelist and screenwriter who writes in Welsh and English. She is the author of BAFTA Cymru nominated thrillers 35 awr and 35 Diwrnod and her novel The Library Suicides has also been made as a film Y Llyfrgell.
Dr Jess Cotton from the University of Cambridge has been researching Lonely Subjects: Loneliness in Postwar Literature and Psychoanalysis, 1945-1975
Islam Issa is a Professor at Birmingham City University, author of Alexandria: The City that Changed the World. He is a New Generation Thinker on the scheme run by the BBC and Arts and Humanities Research Council to share academic research on radio. You can hear him discussing the Shakespeare collection at the Birmingham Library in an Arts and Ideas podcast episode called Everything to Everybody – Shakespeare for the people