ALA hurricane relief fund reaches $350,000


Larra Clark

ALA Media Relations


For Immediate Release

May 24, 2006

ALA hurricane relief fund reaches $350,000

Fundraising efforts to continue at Annual Conference, June 22-28

CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA) Hurricane Katrina Library Relief Fund has raised $350,000 to help hundreds of libraries that were damaged or destroyed by hurricanes in the Gulf Coast region.

Recent donations from Elsevier ($10,000), the Friends of the Library USA (FOLUSA) of $4,000 from their Reading for Relief Program, and the Friends of Cedar Falls (Iowa) Public Library ($5,000) pushed fundraising to a new high.

"Having visited libraries in Louisiana and Mississippi, I can say how critical these funds are for recovery in the area," said ALA President-Elect Leslie Burger. "At the same time, the need is still in the tens of millions. I hope ALA members who have not yet contributed will consider sending $10 or more to the relief fund. With more than 66,000 members, our impact can be even mightier."

Hurricane Katrina damaged or destroyed hundreds of public, school and academic libraries in the Gulf Coast. It is estimated that it will take $40 million to rebuild the public libraries in Mississippi, and another $40 million to replace school library collections in the state. 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.

Over 2,000 ALA members, corporations, institutions, foundations, Friends groups, and individuals have contributed to the fund.

Tax-deductible donations to the ALA Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund can be made at ALA also will be collecting donations for the Hurricane Katrina Library Relief Fund during the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, June 22-28.

ALA President Michael Gorman kicked off the relief fund on September 21 with initial support from Bowker, CSA, ProQuest, and RefWorks.