Friday, July 07, 2006

Librarians Build Communities

One of the best opportunites presented to conference attendees in New Orleans was that of being able to participate in one or two planned days of volunteerism. For a simple fee, one that was contributed to the ALA library relief fund, volunteers received free transportation to and from the Morial Convention Center, a boxed lunch and beverage, and a neon yellow t-shirt keepsake. Actually, the most important thing we received for that $10 was a chance to talk with the residents of New Orleans. These are wonderful people who despite all of the obstacles still remaining have a positive attitude and pride in their city and homes.

My scheduled day was Friday, so I arrived in New Orleans Thursday afternoon/evening with enough time to check in at the convention center, find my hotel, and have time to scope things out so I had a clue where to go in the morning. Departure was for 8 am Friday morning and we were advised to arrive at least a half hour ahead of time to sign our waivers, get our t-shirts, and locate the rest of our group members. Before getting to the conference, this day's planning was great, unfortunately they appeared to be a bit overwhelmed and we never left the convention center until closer to 9 am. It was reported that over 900 people signed up for both days working at more than 22 different areas and projects.

My group went to Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library to help with their Friends of the Library book sale. Driving up to the outside of this branch, indications were that it was one of the lesser damaged libraries. See the status report on the regional libraries available from library director Lon Dickerson for an overview of the extensive damage caused. The woman at the book drop in this photo wanted to move her car so I would get a better picture of the outside of the library. She did not understand that, in my opinion, her being there using the library was the most important part of the photograph.

I know I discussed this from New Orleans and the Internet Cafe, but now that my pictures are in the computer I thought it was time to revisit the day. More pics to come when blogger stops giving me fits about inserting them into the text.

1 comment:

doctorj2u said...

Thank you so much for coming to and enjoying New Orleans. You and your colleagues gave a real boost to a city that is still suffering emotionally and economically. Any "normal" is such a wonderful thing! Thanks again.