As ALA staff members pack for the Association’s Annual Conference in New Orleans June 23–28, the second since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast six years ago, what should arrive but an email thank-you note from a Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, librarian regarding ALA’s 2006 Annual Conference there.
Open Letter to ALA:
On behalf of the residents of the New Orleans Metropolitan area, I want to thank you again for coming to New Orleans for the conference in 2006. It was very uplifting to me and others to know that our profession was one that stood fast and followed up on their vow to assist us at that time by not canceling the conference. It meant more than you might realize.
I remember there was one medical convention that canceled and I am sure there were others but I thought how good, when the greatest need is there, for the American Library Association to put into action the thought of truly helping our city. To all of those who volunteered to help rebuild, that was just an added much appreciated action.
I know this “thank you” is a bit late but it was always in my heart to thank you for that. As a new conference embarks this summer, it made me think again about it and thus produce this letter. When you are experiencing great difficulties, sometimes you are intellectually grateful but do not think about concretely expressing it for there are so many distractions to handle.
Thanks again for your fearlessness and perseverance.
Jefferson Parish Library