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Recovery from Katrina Will Take Your Help

Particularly outside of the areas unaffected by Hurricane Katrina, it’s easy to get a feeling of “well, o.k., things are moving along now.”

I remember how weird it felt to be in California after September 11 and hear people talk about how they were “bummed out” for a while but–and this was not even October–they had since moved on. I had walked through the World Trade Center every day for two years, and have always felt a strong connection to New York City, so I didn’t “move on” quite so quickly. But for those of us who aren’t sitting in a shelter or temporary housing, or whose jobs are still secure (at least until the national deficit catches up with us), it can be easy to put Katrina on a mental shelf called “recent events.”

Before you move on, look at the picture of the Smith Branch of New Orleans Public Library, below. I’m sure the waters have subsided since this picture was taken, but the recovery efforts have just begun. See if you can’t get out that credit card or checkbook and give thanks for the simple pleasures of life: housing, food, clean water, and a good library nearby. Remember that libraries are employers, and that many librarians–our people–are affected by Katrina. You can adopt a library in the Gulf, or you can donate directly to a state or library in the Katrina war zone and help out that way. And remember, disasters happen quickly, memories fade rapidly, but recovery is a long, slow process.


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