Natural Disasters

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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.

Disaster Preparedness

Planning for disaster any type or size of a disaster helps mitigate damage of your collections. The information presented here is meant as a general guide to planning, recovery and seeking federal funding to aid in disaster response and recovery. The steps outlined here are based on current Federal policies, some of which are under review. The ALA has tried to ensure the accuracy of the information provided, however, it assumes no liability for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions in this publications.

ALA Disaster Relief Fund

From AL Direct (December 4, 2018) Anchorage libraries affected by earthquake 

From American Libraries (September 14, 2018), " ALA, Library community work to support Hurricane Florence recovery efforts"

ALA Urges Library Supporters to Help Libraries Rebuild after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.


ALA Resources

Helping United States Libraries After Disasters

Library Disaster Preparedness & Response: Disaster Preparedness Libguide from ALA Library

Disaster Recovery Toolkit from the American Association of School Librarians

Disaster Recovery and Preparedness from Preservation Week (An Initiative of Association for Library Collections and Technical Services)

Librarians Build Community

After Hurrican Katrina ravaged New Orleans, some dedicated librarians volunteered their time to help rebuild another community. The philosophy behind Librarians Build Community is to connect librarians with libraries and community organizations in need of skilled volunteers in order to form meaningful volunteer opportunties and to improve awareness of the expertise librarians possess. The resources developed here are meant to help libraries organize volunteer events to maintain access to collections and develop community partnerships in libraries. 

Librarians Build Communities Facebook Page

Tools to help organize volunteer events:

International Libraries

To help international libraries, please contact the American Library Association International Relations Office at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 3201. 

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

Resolution on Library Service to the Community in a Natural Disaster (ALA CD#41 2013)