American Library Association president-elect to tour Puerto Rico libraries

For Immediate Release
Fri, 01/05/2018


Communications and Marketing Office

ALA Media Relations


(El Español)

CHICAGO – In times of disaster libraries serve as an invaluable resource to communities in need. When areas are affected by natural disasters, the ALA, library supporters and the community at large work to provide resources needed to help pave the way towards recovery and relief.  ALA President-Elect Loida Garcia-Febo will carry on this tradition by visiting damaged libraries in Puerto Rico from Jan. 16 – 19 and providing resources to libraries in need.  

In the wake of Hurricane Maria, the American Library Association (ALA) is supporting library relief efforts in the U.S., Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, and the recent earthquake in Mexico by means of its Disaster Relief Fund.  Through its Disaster Relief Fund the ALA has raised more than $60,000 to help support earthquake and hurricane recovery efforts.

Garcia-Febo, who was born and raised in Puerto Rico, spent a significant portion of her library career there, as a school librarian at Berwind Elementary School, a special librarian at Centro de Información del Programa de Asistencia Tecnológica de Puerto Rico and an academic librarian at the University of Puerto Rico. Her family still resides in Puerto Rico and continues to deal with lack of water, power and spotty internet access.

Tour locations will include:

Jan. 16, 2018
2 p.m. - University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus Anfiteatro A-211 de la Facultad de Ciencias Naturales de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Rio Piedras
Contact: Lorna M. Castro, Directora Public Relations,

Jan. 17, 2018
2 p.m. – University of Puerto Rico, Humacao Campus, Avenida Jose E. Aguiar Aramburu, Carretera 908 Km 1.2, Humacao, P.R.
Contact: Iraida CintrónDirectora Public Relations,

Jan. 18, 2018
10 a.m. - University of Puerto Rico, Bayamón Campus Library, Industrial Minillas 170, Carr. 174, Bayamón, PR 
Contact: Vanessa Droz, Directora Public Relations, needs a link

Jan. 19, 2018
12 p.m. - Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico, 2250 Boulevard Luis A. Ferre Aguayo, Ponce, PR
Contact: Jalibeth Rodríguez, Directora Public Relations,

REFORMA (the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and Spanish Speakers) President Tess Tobin will join Garcia-Febo during the tours. Both Garcia-Febo and Tobin will share their experiences via social media. Garcia-Febo also will share tour highlights with ALA’s American Libraries magazine upon her return to the states.

ALA has been in contact with the University of Puerto Rico Library, the Library Society of Puerto Rico, and the Puerto Rican chapter of REFORMA (the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and Spanish Speakers), which Garcia-Febo served as president in 2009-2010. REFORMA has launched a disaster relief taskforce to help libraries in Puerto Rico.

Meanwhile, ALA chapters in Florida and Texas have taken the lead on recovery efforts in those states. Currently ALA is accepting donations to support library relief efforts at  The ALA also offers a list of resources for dealing with natural disasters at Libraries Respond.

For more information on ALA’s disaster relief efforts, contact the Chapter Relations Office: Michael Dowling at (312) 280-3200 or Don Wood at (312) 280-2429. To help international libraries, please contact the International Relations Office at (312) 280-3201.