ALA establishes Library Relief Fund to help rebuild libraries and archives in Haiti

Contact: Michael Dowling
ALA International Relations Office

For Immediate Release
January 27, 2010

CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA), acting on a resolution adopted by its Council on Jan. 19 during the ALA’s Midwinter Meeting, has created the “Haiti Library Relief Fund”  to collect monetary donations to help rebuild libraries and archives that were destroyed or damaged during the devastating earthquake on Jan. 12.  Donations can be made by credit card or check through

“ALA has always been receptive to helping after a natural disaster.  This fund provides the avenue for our members to do that.  It is one way that we can help the Haitian people rebuild their libraries,” said ALA President Camila Alire.

Libraries and archives are especially vital to all societies in helping citizens recover in time of crisis.  ALA members and other library supporters have a long history of helping those in need, whether at home or abroad.  ALA collected $500,000 in donations to distribute to libraries in the Gulf region after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and worked with other U.S. library associations to raise $25,000 to rebuild libraries in Indonesia and Sri Lanka after the 2004 tsunami.

ALA will be providing updates through its Web site on the condition of libraries in Haiti and will be coordinating relief and rebuilding efforts with the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield (USCBS) ,the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO)

ALA is also urging the U.S. government, foundations and others to also provide funding for rebuilding libraries and other cultural institutions in Haiti.