Library Relief Efforts

Library Relief Efforts

(last updated November 6, 2007)

Our thanks goes out to the many libraries and library organizations that provided assistance to those in need in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  We would like to recognize some of their efforts by sharing the stories below:


Illinois Library Association:
ILA established a Disaster Relief Fund for the hurricane damaged libraries.

Louisiana Library Association:
LLA established the Louisiana Library Disaster Relief Fund in conjunction with the Louisiana Library Foundation.

Maryland Library Association:
MLA adopted the Pearlington Library in Pearlington, MS.  Their efforts included fundraising and the donation of a bookmobile.

Mississippi Library Association:
MLA worked with the Friends of Mississippi Libraries and the Mississippi Library Commission to establish the Rebuild Mississippi Libraries Fund to rebuild those MS libraries severely damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. The Mississippi Library Commission also collected donated computers for libraries.

Texas Library Association:
TLA "stepped up" with a Texas Two-Step for Disaster Relief, by establishing a Disaster Relief Fund and organizing a book drive for the hurricane victims and affected libraries.

Vermont Library Association:
VLA has "adopted" the New Orleans Public Library through the ALA Adopt a Library program.

In addition, the following ALA Chapters have made donations to the ALA Hurricane Katrina Library Relief Fund:

Colorado Association of Libraries, Indiana Library Federation, Kentucky Library Association, Michigan Library Association, Nevada Library Association, New Hampshire Library Association, New Jersey Library Association, North Dakota Library Association, Tennessee Library Association, and the ALA Student Chapter at Clarion University

Friends Groups

Many Friends of the Libraries groups have signed up for the ALA Adopt a Library program and have participated in fundraising efforts for their adopted libraries.

  • Friends of the Englewood Public Library in NJ donated $2000 to the Cameron Parish Library which the library will use to purchase reference books to help restock the shelves in their temporary building.
  • Friends of the West Haven Library System in CT held an event entitled "Books Battle Hurricane Katrina" and donated the proceeds of auctions and raffles to Hurricane Relief Funds.
  • Friends of the York Library in SC donated half the proceeds from their annual Fall Booksale.

Adopt A Library efforts

Approximately 400 libraries and library groups have signed up to participate in the ALA Adopt a Library Program.  Although we are grateful for everyone's efforts, we wish to highlight some examples of work that has been done so far.

Allen County Public Library, IN:  Staff paid $2.00 every Wednesday to wear blue jeans to work. We raised $8,500, donating half to the ALA Hurricane Katrina Library Relief Fund and half to Habitat for Humanity.

Beitel Elementary, WY: We put on an annual fundraiser to help teach students the gift of giving and the importance of taking action in their community.  This year the students decided they would like to continue to donate to Hurricane Katrina relief funds.  We raised $800 to donate to the ALA Hurricane Katrina Library Relief Fund.

Bethlehem PL, NH: We shipped 12 cases of new or like new books to the Terrebonne Parish Library in Houma, LA.  Our patrons donated postage to cover the shipping charges.

Corsicana PL, TX: We decided to do something specifically for the library staff of Hancock County Library System in MS.  We sent several packages of items our community is well known for such as Wolf Band Chili, Collin Street Bakery's deluxe fruitcake, Russell Stover Chocolate, and several pounds of pecans from local pecan processors. Each staff member also included their email addresses welcoming any of the Hancock Library staff to contact them for anything whether it was for help or just a friendly shoulder.

Denver Public Library, CO: We recently sent a check to the New Orleans Public Library in the amount of $15,000. The money was raised from our annual book sale where 25% of the proceeds were set aside for NOPL. We also received cash donations from customers during the sale.

Harford County PL, MD: To date we have sent Harrison County Library in MS approximately $6,000 in money and Wal Mart gift cards for their staff by raffling off handmade silk flower holiday arrangements, trimming a tree with Wal Mart gift cards, Friends group booksales and other staff donations.

Jefferson Madison Regional Library, VA: We collected donations at each of our 8 branches throughout October and November, and held a bake sale as well.  We sent the St. Bernard Parish Government a donation from our Friends group of the $2211.60 that we collected from our community during this time.

Mizzou Libraries and SISLT, MO: We created a search engine which SUNO can use to search the catalog and use ILL to request print materials and give them immediate access to documents, maps, sound records, and more. In January we sent the first shipment of 116 replacement titles to Southern University. MU Libraries' Staff Association (MULSA) sold tickets to the Festival of Giving, a local fundraising event at the Columbia Mall, and staffed a giftwrapping station at the event that raised about $280, which is being used to ship replacement books from our Book Sale Area to SUNO. The School of Information Science and Learning Technology (SISLT) students processed books for inclusion the donation list.

Nashville PL, Nashville, TN: We held a "Mini Mardi" benefit with proceeds that totalled over $4000 going to the New Orleans Public Library.  The all-day event featured music, Cajun dancing and storytelling, a used book sale, silent auction, a sale of Mardi Gras trinkets, and children's games and activities. The Friends group is also donating $1 for every adult who completes the library's summer reading program.

North Kansas City PL, MO: Our Friends of the Library Group donated $100.00 to Jefferson Parish Friends and voted unanimously to forward all money brought in by their ongoing booksale to Jefferson Parish. In December, a local chef made a gorgeous gingerbread house, which was raffled off and brought in $196.00. We are in the process of planning a spring festival, which will include a Tom Sawyer fence painting contest, local musicians, and hopefully, local eateries.  Since our library sits less than a mile from the Missouri River, we thought a Tom Sawyer theme was appropriate, from one river town to another.

Prairie Hills Elementary School, CO: Our Student Council organized 3 "Wear a Hat/Pay a Dollar Days" which raised $552.  We held a Fall Book Drive and collected 300+ new and like new books in hard cover and paperback.  Our Spring Book Drive collected $307 for new hardcover books selected from the book fair. Two other school libraries are joining with us from Adams 12 School District to collect monies and books;  Mountain View Elementary and Woodglen Elementary will be contributing, and we have contacted the other 2 schools who were assigned to Gulfview Elementary in Bay St. Louis, MS.  All of the books collected will be boxed in sets of easy fiction/picture books, fiction and nonfiction.  A database and print inventory will be provided, and our librarian will be personally driving the books down to the school in late June.

Rocky River PL, OH: The Friends of Rocky River Public Library brought Ernie Krivda and his Fat Tuesday Big Band to the Rocky River Community Center. We raised nearly $2,500 for the Library Foundation for Hancock County that night.  The Rocky River Public Library Women's Committee had a sale of library discards and raised another $1,000 for the Mississippi library.  On April 22, we are having a book festival at the community center with about 50 area authors, illustrators, book appraisers, etc. Borders is our partner in this event. They will give the library 10 percent of all sales, which we will contribute to Hancock County Library System.

SE Polk Senior High, IA:  Student members of a book club at SE Polk raised $2110 to donate to their adopted school, Salmen Senior High in Slidell, LA.  They also made a trip to the region to personally deliver the funds and see the devastation and recovery efforts firsthand.

Univ. of Rochester, NY: We planned a series of events around Mardi Gras which we called JambaLibrary.  Other groups on the campus (our Interfaith Chapel, the Black Student Union, the Frederick Douglass Institute, and the College Writing Center) donated money or cosponsored events with us.  To date we have raised over $5000.00 which we plan to send to SUNO's book vendor, Midwest Books.  The highlights of our week were a book sale and a jazz event.  We collected over $2300 in the book sale.  All books sold for $1.00.  Faculty, library staff, and many others donated books for our sale.  The campus jazz ensemble and four jazz faculty from the Eastman School of Music performed to a capacity crowd.  Undergrads, grads, library staff, faculty, and faculty/staff children enjoyed music, food, and a raffle of donated items including a wonderful bicycle that many folks coveted.  Traditional New Orleans treats were served and we had lots of beads and masks.

Yalesville Elementary, CT: We have raised over $6000 for our adopted school, St. Martin's Upper Elementary in Ocean Springs, MS.  We first held a dog show when Pat Schories, the illustrator of the Biscuit books came to visit our school. We charged a dollar to enter stuffed animal dogs into a dog show.  We had 300 dogs benched on the library book shelves.  Students completed information on breeds, weight, height, color, etc. on the entry form. Everyone received a blue ribbon and we made $300 dollars!  The staff donated another $400 with a Friday dress down day.  A Hat Day raised another $300.  We also invited St. Martin's to do a "One Book, Two Schools" program with us.  We chose The Chronicles of Narnia.  One hundred families bought a paperback version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and sent another copy to a family in MS.  A committee of parents and teachers created a program called "We're Going on a Book Hunt" in which students read each day at home and collected Katrina Kash at school.  Each classroom was assigned a collection day.  They could celebrate their day with any theme they chose.  We had Pajama Day, Beach Day, Olympics Day, Mustache Mania, Crazy Hair Day, 60's Day, Blue Day, etc as 26 classes collected $4700 in coins over 26 days.  I sold digital bookmarks to help keep track of the students' reading minutes.  We made another $500 on that project.  There is still some money coming in from other sources.  One fourth grade girl donated her birthday and Christmas money totaling $500.  He picture is attached.  We made Tiffany her own bookshelf with 33 books @ $15 each, the average cost of a library book.  We have our Scholastic book fair points and a retiring teacher's points to give to St. Martin's also.

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library, katrina, hurricane, damage, bookmobile, relief, donations
Stories and news about what libraries and Chapters have done to aid libraries damaged by hurricanes.