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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Libraries Are Essential After Disasters

One year ago this week, Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast of the US with vicious force. Countless buildings were damaged, and millions of people were left without electricity, heat, drinking water, food, and shelter. Of course it took massive response teams to get things back in order (and the work continues in many areas), but local public libraries were some of the first to shelter and help their citizens. 

This scenario has happened time and again. Emergency assistance is not the first thing that comes to mind when people think of libraries, yet they gravitate toward them in times of need. This is an important topic to discuss with your stakeholders. When they wonder why libraries still matter, and you're trying to convince them that it's not all about books, and you need specific stories to tell and real proof of what libraries mean to their communities, you can show these videos and use these posts. 
Urban Librarians Unite helps out after Hurricane Sandy by doing storytimes for affected kids. Photo courtesy of Christian Zabriskie.

I'm sharing a new video at the top of this post; a look back at Queens, New York, one year later. Also, see these other emotion-inducing, informative sites you can share. 

The Urban Libraries Council honored three libraries for their responses to community crises -- a hurricane, wildfires, and a mass shooting -- as Top Innovators at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference.

An overview of how Colorado librarians supported people during the Summer 2013 fires. 

I know that librarians and libraries have come to the rescue in many other emergency situations. Share the ones you know about in the comments so others can benefit from the evidence. 

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