Most of my immediate family now lives in Vermont where, not surprisingly, my mom is the President of the local Friends of the Library group. They are all fine and safe with no damage, but their small downtown district was badly damaged. Thankfully, the library itself sustained only minor flooding.
But there are a few libraries in Vermont that have been badly damaged and even a few that physically cannot be reached yet due to flooding and damaged roads.
This morning I contacted representatives at the Vermont Department of Libraries and the ALA and have hooked the two of them up to work on creating a disaster relief fund for Vermont's libraries.
It is difficult for libraries because during a disaster they have to worry about their own buildings and collections while also serving as the point of disaster relief information for the community. By the time the libraries help their communities and get down to their own clean-up many funds for disaster relief have already been doled out. By being proactive and collecting the money now, my hope is that the foundation arm of the Vermont Department of Libraries can get a fund together to be there when the libraries need it.
I have been told that information about how to help all libraries with Hurricane Irene disaster relief will be coming out in the next ALA Direct email (Wednesday). But for those of you who are not ALA members, I will pass on the information here.
So if you want to give to any library hurricane relief, I ask that you wait. Someone at ALA is coordinating the various efforts and the information should be available Wednesday.
Thank you in advance.
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