Hurricane Irma

Rebuilding Communities after Disasters

September 29, 2017

Now librarians around the country are working to assist in recovery efforts and connect patrons—particularly those of Hispanic and Latin heritage—with support groups, aid organizations, and other resources. Loida Garcia-Febo, president-elect of the American Library Association (ALA), who was born and raised in Puerto Rico, said the disaster there is personal: Her family is still … Continue reading Rebuilding Communities after Disasters



Jefferson-Madison Regional Library in Charlottesville, Virginia (Photo: Billy Hathorn/Creative Commons license)

Charlottesville Violence Poses New Challenges for Libraries

August 18, 2017

Libraries at both the public and university level historically have developed response plans for natural disasters, but the Charlottesville demonstrations and similar white nationalist rallies planned for other cities have library administrators working not only to protect patrons and library infrastructure but to assist in relief efforts. Both the University of Florida and Texas A&M … Continue reading Charlottesville Violence Poses New Challenges for Libraries


2016 Year in Review

2016 Year In Review

January 3, 2017

Hayden Becomes 14th Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, 2003–2004 American Library Association (ALA) president and former director of Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, made history by becoming the first African American and the first woman to head the Library of Congress. She was sworn in September 14.     ESSA Shows ALA’s Grassroots Advocacy … Continue reading 2016 Year In Review


A fire destroyed the library of Mzuzu University in Malawi in 2015. Photo: TEAM Malawi

Rebuilding in Malawi

September 23, 2016

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VT) has been running student service opportunities to Malawi for several years, so it was no coincidence the university was one of the first to hear about the fire. The student service initiatives, known as TEAM Malawi, are part of a multidisciplinary program based on a community wellness model … Continue reading Rebuilding in Malawi


Sam Meister, preservation communities manager at the Educopia Institute, discusses the preservation of digital data in disasters.

Preparing for the Worst

August 16, 2016

The panelists addressed the topic from a variety of angles. Bogdan Filip Zerek, head of the conservation department at the National Library of Poland, presented an exhaustive study of how the library combated the effects of water damage in the Krasiński Palace in Warsaw, built in the 17th century, which houses the library’s iconographic collections. … Continue reading Preparing for the Worst



Southern California Gas Company's Aliso Canyon facility, site of the gas leak in Los Angeles.

Providing Calm in the Chaos

April 5, 2016

On October 23, 2015, Southern California Gas Co. discovered a gas leak at the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility, which was pouring up to 1,200 tons of methane into the air daily. Residents reported health problems such as nosebleeds, nausea, headaches, stomach aches, and respiratory issues. Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency on … Continue reading Providing Calm in the Chaos



Tulane University Special Collections

The “Landmark Undertaking” of the Tulane Libraries Recovery Center

August 27, 2015

This post is the sixth of a six-part series commemorating libraries and librarians 10 years after Hurricane Katrina. Yet Howard-Tilton reopened the same day classes resumed at Tulane in January 2006. “It was a little rocky that first semester,” says Corrigan. “The first day we brought staff back we had a glitch and didn’t have power … Continue reading The “Landmark Undertaking” of the Tulane Libraries Recovery Center