Diasaster at the Louisville, Kentucky Public Library

Aug 05 2009 Published by under libraries

Louisville was hit with a massive rainstorm that overwhelmed the sewer system and caused massive flooding everywhere. It took out the bottom floor of the library. Preliminary damage is assessed at $1M, but I would expect that to go higher (see).
I divided a session at CIL with Greg Schwartz a few years ago. He works in the system and his tweets and attached pictures show how horrible this is.
Steve Lawson has set up a way for librarians to donate. Others can also check this blog to get the address for the library foundation.
Update 8/7/2009: The library director is interviewed by Library Journal. There are more details why it is as bad as it is and the nature of the damage. They're looking at $5M or so damage. When I was faced with supervising placing sandbags around the Navy Museum, I had hours of notice and the sandbags and sand came from the base. For this, there was no such notice. Also, when the materials aren't rare or "special" it's unlikely that you can (or should) afford preservation through freezing.

3 responses so far

  • Jay says:

    There was also apparently significant damage to the collections of at least one of the University of Louisville's libraries.
    I saw roads flooded here that I've never seen under water in the 40 years I've lived in Louisville.

  • Monado says:

    Freezing sometimes helps to keep the books from going mouldy until they can be dealt with.

  • Ethan Siegel says:

    This is a great blow to one of the most underfunded public services in a time where we need it most. Thank you for raising awareness of this and for giving people an easy avenue to help out. Click on the "Steve Lawson" link in the post.