Books and Mud: Library Cleanup and Relief Effort Update

If you saw this blog post, you know how the Wells Memorial Library in Upper Jay, NY was devastated by a flood & lost its children’s section to Tropical Storm Irene, and how The Bookstore Plus and people from all over the world now are pitching in to help rebuild.  If you want to help this library – or the West Hartford Library in Vermont, which lost its ENTIRE children’s collection in the floods – there’s tons of information on how to do that here.

The good news today? Help is coming. The library director has been flooded with emails of offers to send books, computers, workers, and more – and while the library doesn’t have space to store many books at this time, they so appreciate the donations that have been coming via The Bookstore Plus ($1600 on a gift card so far, and counting, and from as far away as Germany and England) and in the form of checks to the library. David Mazor at Reader to Reader just emailed to tell me his organization is providing six new computers to replace the ones the library lost. On top of that, authors and illustrators have been donating original art and signed books for a silent auction to be held as part of a big fundraiser at The Bookstore Plus in October. (More on that here)

But rebuilding is going to be a long process.  Here’s what was going on at the library today…

The basement was filled with not only river and mud but also items that had been donated for the library’s fundraiser sale. Washing dishes and other glass items that could be saved was a great job for the kids who came to help.

These books had been collected for a library book sale fundraiser. They were all lost in the basement which was completely filled with water and mud. Volunteers passed crates and crates of mud and mud-filled books up the steps all day.

Tomorrow will be another work day at the library.  If you’re not too far away and want to pitch in, carrying books, washing walls, or generally cleaning up, they’d appreciate your help. Work starts at 9 AM.  Bring rubber gloves. Wear old clothes and tall rubber boots if you can.  I literally had to be hosed off before I could get back in my car today.

And if you live too far away to come shovel mud, you can help in other ways:

Send a check to:

Wells Memorial Library
P.O. Box 57
Upper Jay, NY 12987
Contact local independent bookseller The Bookstore Plus at 518-523-2950 to purchase books and/or contribute to a library gift card. Authors & Illustrators may also donate signed books & original art for an October fundraiser. Click here for details.
To help the West Hartford Public Library in Vermont, which suffered similar damage (check out this video of the damage after Irene)
Send a check to:
West Hartford Public Library
P.O. Box 26
West Hartford, VT 05084
Contact local independent bookseller The Norwich Bookstore at 802-649-1114. to purchase books and/or contribute to a library gift card.
Polly-Alida Farrington has shared a blog post with more information on NY libraries that were affected and how you can help.
And finally…thanks! The library folks are overwhelmed by the support they’re getting, and it is very, very much appreciated.

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