I loved this story on NPR about the important role libraries play in a community after a disaster, such as Hurricane Sandy. In Houston we saw this after Hurricane Katrina, when the Houston Public Library established an emergency library at the George R. Brown Convention Center where thousands of Louisiana residents were being housed. We saw it after Hurricane Ike, when HPL provided emergency day-long programs for kids of all ages so their parents (essential personnel) could go to work getting the city up and running. In addition, after Hurricane Ike, computer labs were converted into FEMA application centers where librarians gave one-on-one assistance to people applying for emergency aid. And so much more.
Libraries do so much more than most people think, and this is just one example of an essential role that’s overlooked: disaster recovery.
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