ALA continues to raise funds for Gulf Coast libraries

Contact: Michael Dowling
ALA Chapter Relations
312-280-3200
For Immediate Release
October 31, 2006

ALA continues to raise funds for Gulf Coast libraries

$430,000 in donations help to rebuild, but more needed

(CHICAGO) The American Library Association's (ALA)
Hurricane Katrina Library
Relief Fund continues to raise funds to help rebuild libraries in the ravaged Gulf Coast region. To date, $430,000 has been raised, but more is needed.

Recent donations have come from the Mattapoisett (Mass.) Free Public Library Summer Reading Program ($1,644), the Asian American Association of the Library of Congress ($600), and the "Fabulous Fighting Fifth Circuit" Satellite Librarians in San Antonio, who contributed $250 in honor of their "headquarters heroes" in New Orleans. These donations and others, combined with $30,250 raised by the Scholarship Bash at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, helped push the total raised to $430,000.

Funds raised to date have been distributed to libraries through the state library associations in the region. In Louisiana, the Sabine Parish Library received $1,100 to re-roof its Pleasant Hill branch. Jefferson Parish Public Library, which lost eight of its 15 libraries, is using $20,000 to rebuild the destroyed easy reader and children's non-fiction collections at the Lafitte branch.
And Erath Middle School, which lost 20 percent of its collection in the tidal surge from Hurricane Rita, has received $3,228 to replace its popular biographies collection.

In Mississippi, 60 public, school, and academic libraries have received funds for new collections, furniture and computers.

In Texas, the Jasper Public Library experienced a tripling of their workload as they helped Katrina evacuees.
They received $2,251 for collections and staff.

Though a year has passed since the hurricanes, libraries in the region are still in great need of help.
In Louisiana alone, 22 public libraries remain closed, and several parish library systems are using temporary buildings or bookmobiles as branches until buildings can be rebuilt.

To make a donation to the ALA Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund, or learn more about relief efforts, visit
http://www.ala.org/katrina.