TLA & TSLAC Respond to Hurricane Harvey

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In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the Texas Library Association and Texas State Library and Archives Commission are working together to coordinate a response to damage caused to libraries and archives across the Houston and gulf coast region. We share a deep concern for the condition of facilities and collections, and for the wellbeing of staffs of libraries and archives in the area. We are also very appreciative of the many offers of help that are coming in from across the state and nation.

The following is a report regarding the current status of our coordinated efforts.

Assessing the damage – It is very early yet in terms of knowing how much damage there has been to Texas public, school, academic, and special libraries and archival collections. We have isolated reports of damage but nothing comprehensive and especially in some areas it will be difficult for library and archives officials to assess the damages soon. We are reaching out to the library and archives community for information on damage. In the meantime, we recommend use of available channels such as TLA electronic discussion lists (e.g., pld@txla.org; culd@txla.org; tasl@txla.org; sld@txla.org) and social media to report damage. TLA and TSLAC will be monitoring those lists and keeping track of reported damage.

Financial assistance for recovery – TLA has its Disaster Relief Fund available and TSLAC is considering how it can make resources available as well. As damage is assessed, we will provide more information on the availability of these resources. All persons wishing to help financially are encouraged to donate online to the TLA Disaster Relief Fund. 

Offers of books and other resources – It is too early to know the extent of damages to collections. Offers to send books and other materials are very generous, but there is no place to send materials at this time and no assessment of needs. We ask that those with materials to send refrain from doing so until we can further assess the situation and the needs of individual locations.

Coordination with other agencies – TSLAC and TLA will be reaching out to other organizations to determine what resources are available to assist with the recovery. We are contacting public agencies and non-profit organizations who may be willing to help. If you are aware of a non-profit or public agency that you believe would be willing to assist, please let us know and we will reach out to them.

Volunteering – We are considering options for coordinating volunteers who may wish to go to the area and assist libraries. We hope to provide a way to match library needs with persons who wish to volunteer.

We look forward to exploring these areas of assistance. As more information is available, we will  provide regular updates via TLA  list serves and social media. Please stay tuned for developments and information on how you can help.

And please join us in sending your most positive wishes and thoughts to our friends and colleagues at this very challenging time.

Patricia Smith
Executive Director
Texas Library Association

Mark Smith
Director and Librarian
Texas State Library and Archives Commission


Created on Aug 28, 2017 | Last updated August 28, 2017