For immediate release | June 7, 2011

ALA volunteers return to support New Orleans rebuilding efforts

CHICAGO – After five years, more than 220 America Library Association (ALA) volunteers from across the U.S. will once again gather at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center for “Libraries Build Communities,” a daylong community service effort from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Friday, June 24, taking place during the ALA Annual Conference (June 23 – 28).

Volunteers will convene at 8 a.m. at the Convention Center and depart for 15 work sites including local public and school libraries, Kingsley House and other rebuilding organizations. Library volunteer duties will consist of shelving books, reorganizing and updating collections, and record entering and cataloging. Additional volunteers will assist with landscaping, painting and various construction projects.

“Libraries Build Communities” began in 2006, as the library community came to the aid of local libraries and community groups after Hurricane Katrina devastated the region in 2005. Coordinated by the ALA’s Chapter Relations Office, the volunteer effort has become an Annual Conference tradition, as conference attendees continue to volunteer to assist libraries and community groups in conference cities.

The ALA was the first national organization to hold a conference in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and conference volunteers will continue to support rebuilding efforts.

“When the ALA first came to New Orleans in 2006, there was an unimaginable amount of work that needed to be done throughout the city,” said ALA Chapter Relations Office director Michael Dowling. “In a few short days, the ALA was able to make a difference and illustrate that libraries do in fact build communities. Even now, five years later, we continue to demonstrate the importance of libraries in each city we visit whether it be through community services projects like “Libraries Build Communities” or through the free programs and services we provide.”

In 2006, the ALA’s Libraries Build Communities project led more than 900 librarians and library workers in a volunteer effort to help rebuild libraries, homes and other community sites in New Orleans, and launched a national effort to provide relief and assistance, raising $500,000 dollars to distribute to the regions libraries.

New Orleans “Libraries Build Communities” volunteer sites include:

  • Alvar Library, 913 Alvar Street, New Orleans
  • Beacon of Hope, 145 Robert E Lee Blvd. # 210, New Orleans
  • Dillard University, 2601 Gentilly Blvd., New Orleans (two site projects)
  • Keller Branch, 4300 S Broadway St., New Orleans
  • Kingsley House, 1600 Constance St., New Orleans
  • Livaudais Middle School, 925 Lamar Ave., Terrytown, La.
  • Louisiana Recovery School District, 1641 Poland Avenue, New Orleans
  • New Orleans Public Library, 219 Loyola Ave., New Orleans (four site projects)
  • Rebuilding Together New Orleans, 923 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans
  • St. Bernard Project, 2515 Canal Street, New Orleans
  • St. Paul's Homecoming Center, 1509 Filmore Avenue, New Orleans

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 61,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.

For more information on the 2011 Annual ALA Conference, please visit the ALA Conference Web site at, or contact ALA Media Relations Manager Macey Morales at (312) 280-4393,, or ALA PR Coordinator Jennifer Petersen at (312) 280-5043,


Macey Morales

Media Relations Manager

American Library Association