Helping libraries damaged by Hurricane Irene


Image, which I hope is self-explanatory, by Darien Library.

One of the first places I went after the storm was over was the local library. I was supposed to work the day earlier because our librarian literally couldn’t get to work, but then wound up not working because there was no power at the library. My local library suffered no storm damage. Other libraries weren’t as lucky. The Department of Libraries in Vermont has been terrific both in trying to contact every library as well as informing the other librarians statewide about what needs to be done, who is in trouble and how to apply for FEMA grants now that libraries are an essential service (again thanks thanks thanks to all the people who lobbied to have that done). Here are some links to people doing things that may be instructive or useful for you either in figuring out who to help or in managing crises like this in the future.

I’ve spent a lot of the past few days checking out the pages on Facebook where a lot of the communication about the recovery efforts are taking place. In case you’re curious, here are some of the pages where a lot of the local recovery work and information dispersal is actually happening

I’ll probably talk more about the upsides and downsides to using social media for this sort of thing, but the upside is it worked. People got information and they got help because they had access to things like Facebook and Twitter through their phones when they didn’t have any electricity, telephones or computers. Worth learning about.

Louisville Public Library needs help and good thoughts

I was following the Louisville Free Public Library disaster/flooding yesterday via Greg Schwartz’s tweeting and twitpics but I was travelling home. Today, there’s been time for more recapping and reflection from the online community including this very good and succinct post from Rachel Walden: How You Can Help the Louisville Free Public Library Recover from Disaster. Upshot: don’t send books, consider contributing to the LSW fundraising drive. Send Greg and the other employees your best wishes

2 TLA past presidents in this new tattooed librarian calendar

The Tattooed Ladies of TLA (the Texas Library Association) An 18 Month Calendar beginning with January 2010, a fundraiser for the TLA Library Disaster Relief Fund. So neat!

So forget those predictable calendars with cute puppies and nature photographs. Your purchase helps secure the future of Texas libraries and allows you to spend 18 months getting better acquainted with these fascinating and dedicated women of Texas libraries.

[thanks meg]

serving patrons with autism

The Joint Library of Fanwood and Scotch Plains received a grant from INFOLINK to make a video and website/resource center for information about serving patrons with autism. The twenty minute video is viewable online on their website and also as a two parter on YouTube (1, 2). If you have a hundred people within your library building, there is a high statistical liklihood that one of them will have Autistic Spectrum Disorder.