Lemonade, Strawberry Ladybugs, and Libraries in Need

First of all…a HUGE thank you to everyone who has donated to the flood-ravaged Wells Memorial Library and everyone who has helped to spread the word. I spoke with library board chairperson Marie-Ann Azar Ward this afternoon, and she says donations are pouring in, to the point where the library director burst into tears with her arms full of mail today. The good kind of tears.

For those who wanted to send new book donations but were asked to wait, there’s good news. The library has had an offer of safe, dry storage space at the community theater. So book donations can be sent any time. Boxes of beautiful new books have already started showing up.

Marie-Ann also said this: “I hope the other flooded libraries are getting this kind of help.”

I hope so, too.  Let’s make sure, okay?

Grace Greene sent me a link to the Vermont Department of Libraries website, where they’re asking folks to hold off on sending book donations for now, and instead consider writing a check for a fund to help with recovery for all the Vermont libraries affected by Irene. Here’s the address:

Vermont Public Library Foundation
c/o State Librarian
Vermont Department of Libraries
109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609


There’s also an indie bookseller partnership set up for the heavily damaged West Hartford, VT Library. You can call The Norwich Bookstore at 802-649-1114 or visit their website to donate to a gift card for the library.

I got word from Jen Groff that The New York Library Association created a Disaster Relief fund several years ago (the last time there was major flooding) to collect donations from the library community and beyond to assist libraries damaged by floods and other natural disasters… NYLA can serve as collection point for donations and then distribute proceeds to affected libraries. To make a donation to NYLA’s Disaster Relief Fund visit the link below:

Checks for the flooded Schoharie Free Library can be sent here:

Schoharie Free Library
c/o Treasurer Margaret Carballeira
103 Knower Ave.
Schoharie, NY  12157-0519


Checks for Middleburgh Library can be sent here:

The Middleburgh Library
323 Main St.
P.O. Box670
Middleburgh, NY 12122


Schenectady independent bookseller The Open Door Bookstore is also collecting donations for gift cards for these two libraries. Call (518) 346-2719 or visit the bookstore’s website to donate.

And to help Wells Memorial Library, send checks here:

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.


And finally…a little inspiration for those looking for ideas about how to help.

I got an email today that made me smile all afternoon.  It was from a Colorado mom who shared photos of the lemonade stand her daughter and friends set up to raise money for Wells Memorial, the flooded library on the other side of the nation.  They couldn’t imagine not having kids’ books to check out of their library, so they set up a stand to sell lemonade, iced tea, cookies, shaved ice, strawberry ladybugs, and flower bouquets.

Tomorrow, they’re sending this letter to Upper Jay, NY…along with a check for $55.

Thank you SO much, Eva, Adam, Emma, Carter, Reese, Greer, Isabella, and Anna. You rock.

And thanks to everyone who’s helping these libraries get cleaned up, rebuilt, and re-stocked with books. You are making a world of difference to families in these areas that were hit so hard.

5 Replies on “Lemonade, Strawberry Ladybugs, and Libraries in Need

  1. Thank you for sharing this terrific story about the lemonade stand, wow! Please congratulate and thank those young ladies from RIF! And Kate, thank you over and over for your dedication to these storm ravaged libraries as they rebuild, what a friend you are to libraries!

    1. You are most welcome – and I know…it hadn’t occurred to me either, but when I saw this, it was so sad to think of a community trying to recover without access to its library.