The American Library Association is giving a six month extention of ALA dues to any member in zip codes starting with356, 366, 369, 393, 394, 395, 396, 700, 701, 702, 704, 705, 706, 707, or 708, those that are declared “closed” by the US Postal Service. More ALA updates on their Libraries and Hurricane Katrina page
The Geaux Library Project [see blog here] has been making great strides providing relief assistance to Katrina victims and the displaced all over the South. They are looking for volunteers, mostly onsite but some remotely. Got some library geek skills that you’d like to use to do some good? Here is the call for volunteers that went out to listservs. Rochelle has been ably follwing this project and others since the diaster, keep tabs on her that bitch Katrina category for more updates.
Marylaine Block has a more personal look at how librarians in areas affected by Katrina are helping people get their lives back.
Sandra Fernandez, Public Relations Manager for [Houston Public Library], says that they’ve been operating an impromptu “branch” library on site at the convention center since Saturday, September 3. She says, “We have Library staff there, as well as volunteers. We don’t have a circulating library at that location. The materials are all either donated recently for that library or provided by the Friends of the Houston Public Library — which means that when something is “checked out” at that library, they can keep the materials. We have (as of yesterday) approximately 16 computers there, with internet access, games and reading materials for all ages. We are holding storytimes throughout the day as well. The GRB [convention center] is just a mile or two from the Central Library, and we are offering temporary library cards to all evacuees which then can then be used at all library locations.”
The State Library of Lousiana has increased its hours so that people can use its computers. They could use even more computers and printers. If you can donate, please help. You may remember that Rebecca Hamilton the Louisiana State Librarian has been at her job only a month or two, though she was Associate State Librarian for a few years previously.
“To all-we are in desperate need of computers/printers. We are being inundated with evacuees needing to file FEMA applications, unemployment, search for loved ones, etc. and are coming into our public libraries to use the computers. Our libraries have greatly extended their hours to accommodate the people but they need additional computers and printers. If you can please put the word out that if anyone wants to help immediately, this is our greatest need.”
The LibraryLaw blog has some summaries of libraries’ efforts to get organized, find colleagues and get connected in the aftermath of Katrina. She points to the NOPL list [mentioned here already] as well as AALL’s LawLibAssist blog set up for law librarians to help friends and colleagues. The LA State Library now has a big list of links to help evacuees and refugees and librarians with all the aspects of their post-Katrina lives.