What Is Your Library Doing About Hurricane Katrina?
The current poll over at LISnews is "How has your library/school responded to the Katrina/Rita disaster?"
Here's how my library, Ocean County Library, NJ, has responded. And I'm really excited about what OCL is doing -- especially the partnership aspect and the fact that it is ongoing, not a one time thing. Which is why I'm putting up so much information.
In an initiative called "Partners in Caring," OCL has partnered with Hancock County Library, Mississippi. It is an ongoing project will lend support to Hancock County Library and staff while building lasting relationships between both communities. Part of the objective of the initiative is that OCL is not going to do just one thing: raise a collection, collect books, etc. Instead, working with HCL, things will happen throughout the year. Also, staff at both libraries are going to try to get to know each other better, to make this personal. It's not about institutions; it's about people.
The current part of the project is A Fine Way to Help. For the month of November, customers pay half the fine; OCL waives the other half; and all monies collected, minus collection fees, will be sent to HCL. In October, OCL staff contributed money to a fund that was used to buy debit cards for each HCL staff member.
Why Hancock Library? Both OCL and HCL are shore communities. OCL's Assistant Director, Mary Ellen Pellington, was Mississippi State Librarian for several years so had direct contacts and personal knowledge of the affected areas and of Hancock County.
Future Partners In Caring projects: T-Shirt sales using this logo:
and a Cookie Sale for Valentine's Day. Plus, "we're getting to know their staff" says Bonnie Mullane, an administrative secretary for OCL. Explains Elaine McConnell, Library Director: "This personal touch, you just really can see you're making a difference. The personal connection will keep us involved and keep us interested."
Local news coverage in the Times-Beacon and the Asbury Park Press.