From the President...
December 2012, by Carol Anne Germain
I begin by saying how happy I am to take on the challenge of serving as the next president of NYLA. I appreciate all the well wishes from my library colleagues and will strive to serve you well. In approaching this commitment, many individuals asked me a common question: “What will you do?” My initial desire and response was that I wanted to get the word out on the value of New York libraries (all New York Libraries) and NYLA. Though I still plan on following through on these plans, (via visits to New York libraries, systems, library schools, and legislative offices) a more pertinent issue arose in the weeks prior to my taking office: the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy and Storm Athena.
While in my mind Sandy conjures up Bruce Springsteen lyrics of youth, innocence and love; and Athena invokes the Greek goddess of intelligent activity, their named disasters produced devastating damage. The byproduct of these storms caused severe loss to many Long Island, New York City and Staten Island libraries. In spite of these catastrophes, libraries and librarians in the devastated areas met the challenge with amazing fortitude. They continued to provide needed services and information resources too storm victims. Many worked through the Thanksgiving holiday, as well as weekends and nights. A recent New York Times article (http://tinyurl.com/cusecp4) highlighted the noble and innovative actions taken by these librarians including the use of a mobile library bus (situated outside a destroyed Rockaway branch library), offering warmth, power outlets, emergency information, and books. As librarians, we know so much more is being done and not reported and/or recognized. I acknowledge with deep gratitude the efforts of librarians, library administrators, library staff members, trustees, volunteers, and all others immersed in these efforts.
A recent estimate places the cost of repairs, rebuilding, and acquisition of resources of these libraries in the millions of dollars: an astonishing figure. At the NYLA conference, several thousand dollars was donated to the NYLA Disaster Fund, but more is certainly needed. So what can you do? You can make a donation to the NYLA Disaster Fund by clicking here. All funds will be dispersed to the Storm area libraries, so the size of your donation does not matter - $1., $5., $100. – will be welcome. I thank you for your generosity and look forward to working with you in the coming year.