Rebuilding Communities after Disasters
How libraries are connecting patrons to support, aid, resources
Libraries in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere are still reeling from devastating hurricanes that have blasted the region over the last month.
Now librarians around the country are working to assist in recovery efforts and connect patrons—particularly those of Hispanic and Latin heritage—with support groups, aid organizations, and other resources.
Loida Garcia-Febo, president-elect of the American Library Association (ALA), who was born and raised in Puerto Rico, said the disaster there is personal: Her family is still on the island and dealing, along with the rest of the population, with the lack of power, water, services, and internet access.
Garcia-Febo said disaster relief organizations and library groups like Reforma, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, are still assessing the damage. She said ALA has established contact with the University of Puerto Rico Library, the Library Society of Puerto Rico, and the Puerto Rican chapter of Reforma, the organization’s largest, and is just beginning to gauge their needs.
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