For immediate release | November 17, 2017

ALA and REFORMA create Adopt a Library program to assist libraries in the Caribbean

CHICAGO — Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated much of the Caribbean and libraries were not spared. In addition to its fundraising efforts, the American Library Association (ALA) is partnering with REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and Spanish Speakers on an Adopt a Library Program to match damaged or destroyed libraries in the region with libraries in the United States and elsewhere that would like to assist in their recovery.

Just as hundreds of libraries helped colleagues in the gulf region after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, we are encouraging libraries, friends of libraries and other organizations to adopt a library in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and other locations in the Caribbean.

“The Adopt a Library Program, a partnership between ALA and Reforma, is essential to the recovery, restoration and advancement of libraries of all sizes and all types in Puerto Rico, the U.S Virgin Islands and across the Caribbean. We must support our colleagues who are striving to sustain access to information for the people in their communities," said Jim Neal, ALA president.

Many public, community, academic and school libraries need help. Adopting libraries and organizations can assist through fundraising; donating books and other resources such as supplies and equipment; and providing advice, volunteers, etc.

“Our colleagues need our help and support in rebuilding their libraries,” said Tess Tobin, REFORMA president. “Many small school libraries were totally devastated by the hurricanes, and the larger libraries have infrastructure damage, mold issues along with loss of IT and collections. REFORMA is delighted to partner with ALA in its disaster relief efforts by launching the Adopt-a-Library Program. Our colleagues need encouragement and know that we care. “

Questions and inquiries, please contact Nick Sweig,


Michael Dowling


International Relations Office