Thursday, September 08, 2005

New Home for Geaux Library Recovery

Please meander on over to the shiny, new version of Geaux Library Recovery While it's live, I still need to migrate all the terrific links, and older posts over the next couple days. Any current news can be found at the new digs.--rochelle

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Louisiana State Library Needs Computers,Printers

The State library of Louisiana has sent out this call for computer equipment. If you are interested and able to send computers, here is the request from the Louisiana State Librarian, Rebecca Hamilton.

"To all-we are in desperate need of computers/printers. We are being inundated with evacuees needing to file FEMA applications, unemployment, search for loved ones, etc. and are coming into our public libraries to use the computers. Our libraries have greatly extended their hours to accommodate the people but they need additional computers and printers. If you can please put the word out that if anyone wants to help immediately, this is our greatest need."

Equipment Specs:
* Pentium 3
* Windows 2000, prefer XP
* Laser printers if you can still get toner for them

Send equipment to:
State Library of Louisiana
701 North 4th Street
Baton Rouge, La. 70802-5232

If you are able to assist them, please let Rebecca know via email at to help her know what to expect.

New Home for Geuax Blog

All hail SixApart, who has offered us a sweeeet deeal on a Typepad account. Sometime in the next week, I'll be migrating all the content, and will let everyone know when it's ready for public consumption.

The Status of Libraries in the Gulf Coast Area

Reports are starting to trickle in from libraries, archives and museums in the Gulf Region. Keep them coming! Rather than posting every email and report we get, I am forwarding updates to George Eberhardt at American Libraries where they are doing a daily update.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

About Housing

So far, we have had a lot more people offer their homes to those displaced by the hurricane, than are in need of a place to stay. I'm hoping that this is a good sign and that those in the library community have adequate support systems to help them during crisis. If we are suddenly inundated with requests, we'll put another call out. For now, we're good.--rochelle

Monday, September 05, 2005

Planning Ahead: Beyond Preservation

We received a forwarded, sobering email from someone who had been in touch with Mississippi State Librarian Sharman Smith. The email said that damage south of Jackson was "terrible, almost incomprehensible, with the full extent of the
destruction not yet known." What is known is that at least ten libraries are completely gone and countless others damaged beyond repair. As we look to how we can help, we would do well to look beyond preservation, and think in terms of offering even more basic assistance, such as clean-up and construction. --rochelle

If You Have Books to Donate...

Librarians everywhere want to help libraries and library workers affected by Katrina. Aside from giving money or helping with local needs, if you are hosting evacuees, there's not much to be done yet. As people get back into their libraries, the needs will be identified and that's when the work will start. If you have books to donate, The Texas Library Association, in addition to taking donations for a relief fund, is working on a plan for receipt and distribution of books to libraries in need. So, hang on!

I read a post somewhere that said a particular library was not legally allowed to donate books, according to state statute. One way around this might be for someone to buy the books from your Friends group at a special price, maybe even via a "preview" sale. OR...have a table of books that you know will be in high demand for libraries that are rebuilding collections, and let booksale patrons buy a book for another library. That way, your Friends still make money, and another library benefits.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Update on Medical Reference Materials to Baton Rouge...

We've successfully been able to help supply the American Red Cross and other emergency medical personnel with the medical reference materials they needed in Baton Rouge.

Addie, one of the Geaux Library Recovery team members in Baton Rouge, sent out an urgent plea for Merck Manuals and other medical ready-reference materials. The result was one of the largest, fastest responses to a "patron request" in history. And this patron request will actually help save some of the lives devestated by Hurricane Katrina. Librarians and other information professionals from around the country flooded Addie with offers - access to medical databases, discards, even contacted publishers to solicit donations.

I have had so many responses for now that I am asking that you wait until further notice before sending anymore books. I intend to come up with a more definitive list of books for these shelter doctors as soon as I can, and in the mean time, wait for the books to appear on my doorstep and see what we've got to work with. Many have offered other reference books and I don’t know yet if they will be needed, but I doubt they will be turned down. Others have purchased new copies and are having them sent directly to me, other shave suggested and offered access to public and private online databases, and still others have contacted the publishers of these sources (Merck and Washington Manuals) to see about them donating.

Thanks to all who stepped up to the plate on this one. We'll be calling on you more in the future.

- The Geaux Library Recovery Team

Official Statement Concerning Disaster Recovery Efforts

September 2, 2005

OXFORD, Ohio – Librarians, archivists, conservation experts, and IT professionals are beginning to mobilize in an effort to volunteer time, materials, and skills to help some of the world's greatest libraries, museums, and special collections rebuild and restore collections in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Geaux Library Recovery is a network of information professionals dedicated to assisting with library and archive recovery and clean-up and to help information professionals and their families recover from the most catastrophic natural disaster in American history.

“Restoring and guaranteeing the safety and well-being of all people in the affected areas should be the Number One priority of all American relief efforts,” Jason Jackson, a visiting librarian at Miami (OH) University and Geaux Team Member, said. “Once the proper disaster recovery agencies have made the situation stable enough for recovery of some of the nation's most valuable treasures and important libraries to commence, Geaux Library Recovery volunteers will be ready.”

The Gulf region of the United States is home to some of the world's oldest and most important historical collections, including the Greater New Orleans Collection, The William Ransom Hogan Archive of New Orleans Jazz, the Archive of New Orleans, and the New Orleans Museum of Art. Additionally, the region is served by numerous public libraries and historical societies, many of which were underfunded and understaffed before Hurricane Katrina.

“We're calling on all institutions, large and small, to coordinate local recovery support efforts, to conduct community outreach and educational responses, as well as to provide as much support of local disaster charity organizations as humanly possible. We want to send a message to the world – that we will not let the Gulf region's information centers, their collections, or their staff and patrons, down.” Jackson added “It is the ethical and moral responsibility of archivists, conservation and preservation experts, librarians, Information Technologies professionals, and historians to make sure our friends and colleagues have the support they need, when they need it most.”

The Geaux Library Recovery effort is working towards developing strategic partnerships with other professional organizations, including the American Library Association, the Louisiana Library Association, the Northeast Document Conservation Center, SOLINET, the Society of Southwestern Archivists, the Society of American Archivists, the National Park Service, and various other agencies to help meet possible supply and volunteer labor needs. Volunteers will be ready and waiting to offer any support to these organizations in their efforts to help the Deep South recover from Katrina's aftermath.

Geaux Library Recovery is actively soliciting only trained professionals in the area of collection disaster recovery, all aspects of librarianship, systems support, historic preservation, repository construction and renovation, archival management and administration, and conservation of historical sites, collections, and properties.

Financial contributions should be directed to the American Red Cross: We cannot accept financial contributions at this time.

# # #

Group URL:


Group E-Mail:


This came through my In-Box two days ago...

There are emergency vehicles and strange looking equipment *everywhere*. Hellicopters fly over every ten minutes. There still some downed trees and power lines, but many people have their electricity back. People are waiting in line for gas that is not cheap.

People are recently very anxious over rumors of
violence in [EBR and surrounding] parishes.... I also heard there was a shooting near the shelter, around the time I drove through the neighborhood, but that is unsubstantiated as well.

The Chancellor of LSU has advised students to stay
inside because of reported muggings on or around LSU--But the news saying that all of these things are untrue. Who would you believe? Common sense says the news, but there is a voice in your head that says "of course they say it isn't true, they don't want people to panic", so there is some doubt.

Meanwhile, at the shelter, there are never enough
blankets or towells, and at the same time, some of the "residents" are hording things, others are taking advantage of the Red Cross's policy on letting residents become volunteers and just taking things for themselves and their families while other people sleepwith their heads on the concrete. And there are people sleeping in every possible place they can lay down. There are elderly and invalids, almost everyone there is poor and black. It smells pretty unpleasant too--as you can imagine with 1900 people would living in oneroom together. This morning I cleaned up an old man's cot that he had wet while his son just sat there and did nothing. And everyone demands more than we can give and some complain when they don't get the best of it.

The thing that keeps me going back is that the Red
Cross is constantly thankfull for *any* help, no matter how untrained it is, and *most* of the residents are genuinely considerate of eachother and me. And they seem truly thankful for the help you provide--only a few are difficult. One person said "You would never see this in New Orleans, these people treating eachother this way", and I believe him. It is truly remarkable to see people co-existing this way. They are either very resilient, or they have no idea how bad it is going to get...

Please, please, please...

If you're reading this, please organize and volunteer with emergency disaster relief efforts nationally and in your neck of the woods.

- Jason Jackson, Geaux Library Recovery Member


Just got word last night from one of the New Olreans Times-Picayune's staff members who was evacuated yesterday. For thouse unaware, the T-P's staff were the sole information providers to untold millions around the world on what was going on in New Orleans throughout this disaster.

These guys are truely Information Cowboys - they kept us all from being in the dark.

Geaux Library Recovery is working to place several T-P librarians and staff in temporary housing around Louisiana and the country.

To help, please direct correspondence here:

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

"was at picayune building during and after the storm .... evacuated. i ran tech, ftp delivery, and anything else that needed tohappen to get the tp out for about 6 days now.... we have no support but i'm starting to burn out hard."

- From [Name withheld]

Google Maps adds Katrina Sat. Images

Google Maps now offers a link to satellite images of flooded New Orleans


What Tips for Host-City Librarians Helping Evacuees

As someone who is currently safe, well, and has a support network of family of friends, some suggestions of little things libraries can do especially if people want to help but can't do so financially.

1. Ask patrons to bring in the coupons from the Sunday paper. Many do not use these and it is free money. Have coupon parties to cut them out and organize them into categories - diapers, toothpaste, food.

2. Have blood drives. It will be needed and I remember after 9/11 the fantastic response.

3. Ask local realtors, hotel chains, chambers of commerce, DOTs to donate maps of your city. Many people who are displaced won't know their way around and not having to buy a map is one less expense.

4. Start now to have programs on conservation and recycling. This is going to be a rough winter all over this country. I remember the public service announcements I grew up with in the 70s to turn off lights, carpools, plan your errands and co-ordinate with others.

5. It's the little things. If you get wrapped plastic silverware with take-out use it or save it. Bring your own bags to the grocery store like they do in Europe or save and recycle the bags. Bags will be needed to give out donations and will be "suitcases" for many people for awhile.

6. Ask patrons to volunteer to do a storytime or to help an adult navigate the web to find info, forms, etc. Two of my son's favorite comfort books are Goodnight Moon by Brown and Goodnight Lulu by Bogan. I had to set up a free email account for my sister on Yahoo when hers was down because she had never done it before and was scared about having to pay for something when finances are so uncertain.

7. Host meetings for people to just come and talk. If possible, have a mental health professional but sometimes people just need someone to listen. Also, New Orleans is a small town in a big city. It's like the Kevin Bacon game except usually you don't even have to go to seven before you find a connection.

Alicia, Geaux Team Member, New Orleans, La.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

New Geaux Library Recovery Weblog...