Thursday, September 01, 2005

Update on Libraries from Louisiana Library Association Executive Director ....

FYI...Beverly gave me permission to repost this in its entirety this morning...
ZP



Subject: evacuees & libraries




Reports continue to come in, including now comments on how the libraries
are
working to help the evacuees:

Linda Fox reports:
West Feliciana library is A-OK and welcoming lots and lots of folks who
have
lost EVERYTHING in the NO area. We are giving away books, temp-loaning
children's books, printing out FEMA and LA Works packets, offering crayons
and coloring books,and running a quiet children's video for the little guys
whose parents are on the Internet. We've set up one Library card to check
out some materials temporarily...to lose a few books won't be much of a
loss
after what we've heard. We just try to keep thinking of things to do to
help.

Loretta Gharst reports:
Here in Calcasieu Parish we have had many hurricane evacuees coming to our
libraries throughout the parish to use our internet computers. Yesterday
we
collected and dropped off donated books and magazines at the civic center
Red Cross shelter and opened up a computer lab in our downtown meeting room
for the exclusive use of evacuees (it is within walking distance of the
civic center). Every branch is reporting waiting lines for using the
public
computers. Staff have created a webpage with links for the evacuees and
are
constantly updating it http://www.calcasieu.lib.la.us/Hurricane.htm
Reference staff at the various libraries are gathering and distributing
information to evacuees in their communities. Children's Librarians are
setting up story programs with the Red Cross.

Beth Vandersteen reports:
Central Louisiana is bursting with evacuees in every possible location with
more streaming in even as I type. People are pouring into the libraries to
use the computers; we've waived print fees for FEMA forms, etc, and
stretched the time limits whenever possible. We contacted the Red Cross
about doing storytimes in the shelters on Monday, but they've not responded
as yet - I'm sure that's not first on their lists! Rapides Parish Library
began delivering reading material to shelters yesterday, along with
coloring
sheets, crayons, library information flyers, etc. We've put out library
information on flyers as well as through the local media, set up collection
boxes for toiletries and items needed in the shelters, broadcast news and
movies on our TVs, and issued temporary library cards for those who want to
check out materials.
The Coast Guard and other entities involved in the rescue efforts have set
up coordination centers in this area. ABC News was in our Main Library
this
morning needing some of our resources, and we were pleased that we met
their
needs.

All of us are doing what we can to provide information services, a book or
two to help pass the time until things get better, and a bit of compassion
-
as are all of you! Many of our staff are hosting displaced families in
their homes. Times like these make me proud to be in this profession!
--------------------------------------------------------------
Beverly E. Laughlin, Executive Director
Louisiana Library Association
421 South 4th St
Eunice, LA 70535
337-550-7890 (phone)
337-550-7846 (fax)
www.llaonline.org

1 comment:

G said...

Dude, that is awesome, and affirming. Libraries are rising to a challenge, and handling it beautifully.

Librarians rule, baby!

My extreme gratitude and eternal commendation goes out to all those libraries, and librarians, who are doing what they can to provide shelter and communications access for those in dire need. Hopefully other groups will follow their lead.

Thanks for that,
- G