Powered Up Libraries and New Harvey Resources

This week we are celebrating Power Up at Your Library Week, a celebration sponsored by the Texas Library Association to highlight the innovation they bring to communities and campuses across the state. TLA has provided a variety of ways to that libraries can participate in Power Up Week and ways to showcase the exciting work that is happening in libraries across our state at http://www.poweredlibraries.org/power-up-week.  Also available on this site is a toolkit of resources libraries can use to Get Powered Up! Be sure to also check out the video tour of powered libraries conducted by TLA and TSLAC in various libraries in West Texas. Those videos as well as a promotion of Power Up at Your Library by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, are available on Twitter at #poweredlibraries.

Speaking of TLA, this week we welcome Dana Braccia, the new Executive Director of the Texas Library Association. Dana comes to her position with a rich background in library service as well as business and association work. She is the past president of the Mountain Plains Library Association and former ALA Councilor. Dana was VP of Library Operations at Library Systems and Services and before that worked at the Scottsdale, Arizona, Public Library. We welcome her to her new duties at TLA and very much look forward to working with her.

On the Harvey front, we continue to collect and disseminate information to Texas libraries about their status and resources they may find helpful. We appreciate information that came to us yesterday from Lori Foley, Administrator of the FEMA Heritage and Emergency National Task Force, on how to apply for federal disaster assistance in Texas. That information in its entirety can be found on our Library Developments blog at https://www.tsl.texas.gov/ld/librarydevelopments/. The following is excerpted from that post:

In a Nutshell: File, File, File

  1. File a claim with your insurance company immediately. Follow all the deadlines set by the insurance company, and submit all documents and information requested within the deadlines set by the company. FEMA will want to see a settlement or denial letter from your insurance company to ensure that benefits are not duplicated, so be sure to file an insurance claim promptly. If you still have unmet needs or damages that the insurance company does not cover, then FEMA may be able to provide you with assistance.
  2. File for FEMA Public Assistance. Don’t dither about your eligibility; let FEMA determine your status. Be aware of the filing deadline. If you miss the deadline, which varies based on your county disaster declaration date, you will not have access to this federal disaster assistance. (See the attached PPT for deadline dates.)
  3. File for a Small Business Administration disaster loan as well. Complete and submit the application as soon as possible. Returning the application does not obligate you to accept an SBA loan, but it is a necessary step to being considered for other forms of federal disaster assistance, including FEMA Public Assistance.

See also the blog post by Craig Kelso, Director of our State and Local Records Management Division on documenting the destruction of public records damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Harvey, an article of great interest to records managers in the various departments and units of local government.

Humanities Texas has announced Hurricane Harvey Recovery Grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities available to libraries, museums, colleges, universities, and other cultural and historical institutions affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. More information on those grants is available at: http://www.humanitiestexas.org/news/articles/hurricane-harvey-recovery-grants-now-available

We have also provided information to both House and Senate committees of the Texas Legislature on the impact of Harvey on Texas libraries and archives, our efforts to support those libraries, and the remarkable ways that Texas libraries support their communities in times of crisis, truly earning their FEMA designation as “essential services.”

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