Friday, June 27, 2008

Help for Iowa flooded libraries

As we sit in 90 degree heat and sun, the Midwest is still coming to grips with the destruction due to floods. Of course close to our hearts are the libraries, many of which have been destroyed.

The tally is heart wrenching:
Cedar Rapids: 75 % of its collection is lost
New Hartford: 80% of its collection and their computers are gone

The following public libraries had water damage ranging from mild to fairly serious:
Chelsea, Creston, Elkader, Iowa Falls, Rockford, St. Charles, and Waterloo.
Not to mention libraries in Indiana and Wisconsin.

I worked at the St. Louis Public Library, and know many of the small river towns that are using sandbags to stem the overflowing Mississippi. The St. Louis Public's Main Library should have been far enough to be "flood proof," but the Mississippi was lapping on the road and steps of the Arch at the riverfront at last report.

The Iowa State Library has a website with other damaged libraries on it. It's hard to look at and realize the loss.

Here in Santa Fe, librarians take workshops in the steps to take in case of fire or wildfire. Our job would entail saving books that were water damaged from natural storms or that which was used to put out a fire. Scary thoughts about how to save our most precious commodity, books and libraries.

What these libraries need now is funding--small and large--to start rebuilding. Everyone is always so generous with donating books, but now is the time for even the smallest check:

Friends of the New Hartford Public Library
P.O. Box 292
New Hartford, IOWA 50660

Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation
500 First St., SE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library
30 Sixteenth Avenue Southwest
Cedar Rapids, IA. 52401-5904

The book gods will thank you.

Written by PCH at Main

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