ALA to present $100,000 to Louisiana Library Association March 29

Contact: Larra Clark

ALA Media Relations

For Immediate Release

March 28, 2006

ALA to present $100,000 to Louisiana

Library Association March 29

CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) will present the first donation from its ALA Hurricane Katrina Library Relief Fund to the Louisiana Library Association (LLA) during its state conference (March 28-30). The check presentation of $100,000 will take place at 4 p.m. March 29 at the Lafayette Cajundome Convention Center.

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita damaged or destroyed hundreds of public, school and academic libraries in Louisiana and surrounding states. Thirty-five public libraries in Louisiana remain closed, and the cost to rebuild public libraries and their collections in Louisiana is estimated to be $63 million. Final estimates are still being gathered for school and higher-education libraries in the state.

“Healthy libraries are essential to rebuilding our Gulf Coast communities,” said ALA Executive Board Member Pat Smith, who will present the check to LLA. “There is much work ahead to make sure that our library doors are re-opened and we have the library staff and collections needed to best serve our communities in this incredibly difficult time. Our hearts and hands are with you.”

About 2,000 ALA members, corporations, institutions, foundations, Friends groups, and individuals have contributed to the relief fund—which has raised more than $300,000 since September. The funds will be used to rebuild affected public, school and academic libraries in the Gulf Coast. More than 500 people already have volunteered to work on service projects while attending the ALA Annual Conference (June 22–28) in New Orleans.

LLA President Jackie Choate speaks candidly about the work needing to be done and ALA’s assistance: “Repairing and rebuilding damaged libraries and restoring library service are monumental tasks. ALA’s generous donation will provide welcomed relief to storm-affected libraries in Louisiana.”

The association also has helped to match over 300 libraries nationwide with libraries in the Gulf region through its “Adopt a Library” program—which has brought direct funding and technical assistance to affected Gulf Coast libraries. Adopted libraries in Louisiana include the North Kenner Library and Lakeshore Library in Jefferson Parish, the Cameron Parish Library Southern University at New Orleans library and the Children’s Resource Center branch of New Orleans Public Library.

For more information on the ALA relief efforts and to donate, please visit