Hundreds of libraries across the Caribbean were damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017, with many suffering the loss of computers and other equipment. In the aftermath of disasters libraries can play a critical role in the recovery of communities by providing access to information and resources. Libraries, however, need to have computers and related equipment to provide access to the Internet.
The American Library Association initiated a response and recovery effort for libraries damaged by Hurricane Maria and Irma in the Caribbean, specifically in the Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands. Thanks to the $20,000 grant from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), ALA was able to provide support to five libraries; two public libraries in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and in Puerto Rico to two community libraries and one academic library.
ALA worked with the Division of Libraries, Archives, and Museums (DLAM) in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and in Puerto Rico worked primarily with the chapter of REFORMA, an affiliate of ALA which is the national association to promote library and information services to Latinos and Spanish Speaking.
US Virgin Islands
The Florence A. Williams Public Library on St. Croix and the Charles Wesley Turnbull Regional Public Library on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands received two computers as well as needed switches and power protectors.
The campus of the University of Puerto Rico, Humacao has received five new computers for their students to help them continue their studies. And two municipal/community libraries will be able to provide much needed Internet access. The Biblioteca Electrónica Municipal "Marcos A. Ramirez" in Lajas receives six computers to replace those that were destroyed. And the main library in the municipality of Juncos on the heavily damaged east side of the island gets three new computers.
Hurricane Maria: The Aftermath (American Libraries, January 2018)
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About the National Network of Libraries of Medicine
The mission of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) is to advance the progress of medicine and improve the public health by providing all U.S. health professionals with equal access to biomedical information and improving the public's access to information to enable them to make informed decisions about their health. The Program is coordinated by the National Library of Medicine and carried out through a nationwide network of health science libraries and information centers.
Developed resources reported in this internet site are supported by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH) under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012340 with the University of Maryland, Health Sciences and Human Services Library. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.