Helping United States Libraries After Disasters

If you think the American Library Association can help libraries affected by natural disasters in any way toward recovery, please contact the Chapter Relations Office: Michael Dowling at 312-280-3200 or Don Wood at 312-280-2429.

(Updated July 12, 2017)

Responding to Disasters


American Library Association Disaster Response: A Selected Annotated Bibliography and other fact sheets from the ALA Library.

ALA Office for Library Advocacy Disaster Preparedness and Recovery

Library of Congress Emergency Preparedness: Flood Response and Recovery

Library of Congress Response to Floods and Water Damage For Libraries, Archives, Museums, and Other Repositories

Library of Congress Emergency Management

Library of Congress What To Do If Collections Get Wet

Archives and Preservation Resources Technical Information A Primer on Disaster Preparedness, Management and Response: Paper-Based Materials (PDF)

DISASTR-OUTREACH-LIB Listserv is a discussion forum for librarians, information specialists, and other professionals interested in disaster health information outreach to their communities. As a participant in this listserv, you can stay informed about current disaster-related resources, connect to colleagues in the field, engage in information exchange and learn about new ideas, trends, training opportunities, and conferences in the area of disaster health information.

For a list of the news sources scanned for weekly news updates sent on this listserv, visit Disaster Information News Sources.

Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative (see its Heritage Emergency National Task Force (HENTF) and Response and Recovery Resources)


Library as Safe Haven: Disaster Planning, Response, and Recovery; A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians by Deborah D. Halsted, Shari C. Clifton, and Daniel T. Wilson. Item Number: 978-1-55570-913-6

To Help International Libraries

To help international libraries, please contact the American Library Association International Relations Office at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 3201. Current (June 2015) efforts include Nepal Library Relief Fund.

IRRT Free Links: A Project Providing Access to Free Professional Development Opportunities for ALA Members around the World

For Legislative and Other Supportive Actions

For legislative and other supportive actions, see Save Libraries in Your State.

Past Disaster Relief

2016 Gatlinburg Wildfire Relief: How You Can Help

Gatlinburg wildfire relief: How you can help

Sevier County’s local newspaper, The Mountain Press has opened its site to provide information about how to donate locally to help fire victims

Of particular interest are: 

The Tennessee 4-H Foundation has stepped up to facilitate collection of funds to provide gift cards for the fire victims who have lost homes. Sevier Extension 4-H reports that the original 30 will increase to closer to 100 or more.    

The inimitable Dolly Parton announced a new effort by The Dollywood Company and The Dollywood Foundation to establish a fund to assist the victims of the Great Smoky Mountain wildfires in Tennessee. The My People Fund will provide $1,000 each month to Sevier County families who lost their homes for up to six months.

West Virginia Flood June 2016

Bookmark for further updates for providing assistance.

from American Libraries

The Clendenin branch of the Kanawha County (W.Va.) Public Library was severely damaged after Elk River flood waters rose to record levels on June 23–24. Library Director Alan Engelbert said his staff thinks the Clendenin branch is a total loss. Windows burst from the force of water that rose above the ceiling, and books and DVDs are now lodged up there. “Most of the ceiling is gone,” Engelbert said. “The floor is a really nasty mixture of books and ceiling tile and 3, 4, 5 inches of mud, so it’s hard to imagine that there’s anything useful that’s left in there.” The public library in Rainelle also suffered damage.

Follow #WVFlood and #wvflooding

To Donate Funds for West Virginia Flood Relief/Assistance

People who need cleanup assistance, are available to volunteer or want to donate should visit or connect with an agency in their local community. Individuals and businesses in counties that have been declared federal disaster areas should visit or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). From the Office of the Governor of West Virgina (For photos, visit
From American Libraries (July 22, 2016):

There are ways you can help Rainelle (W.Va.) Public Library and The Clendenin branch of the Kanawha County (W.Va.) Public Library (KCPL) system: