Stephen Siwinski

Communications Officer

Texas State Library and Archives Commission Issues $194,071 in Rebuilding Texas Libraries Grants to Offer Assistance to Libraries Affected by Hurricane Harvey

Friday, November 10, 2017 • Austin, Texas • News Release

In response to Hurricane Harvey, and acting under emergency procedures issued by the Governor’s Office, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission released the Rebuilding Texas Libraries grant program on September 18, 2017. The Rebuilding Texas Libraries Grant was designed to aid libraries that sustained damage during the hurricane and its aftermath. The goal was to assist Texas libraries in restoring services and programs to their patrons and to enable libraries to respond directly to the disaster. This grant program funds operating expenditures such as library supplies and materials, technology, furniture, and contractual services.

“We are proud of the role that Texas Libraries have played in the aftermath of this devastating storm,” said Mark Smith, TSLAC Director and Librarian. “These funds will fast track the abilities of more than 20  libraries to return to operation and fulfill their vital positions in their communities,” Smith said.

Grantees Include:

Aransas County Independent School District (Rockport), Amount Requested: $25,000.00

The Aransas ISD facilities are closed indefinitely forcing students into makeshift facilities thereby affecting the programs and services of five campuses. The libraries will purchase books, rolling shelving, tablet and/or notebook computers, makerspace materials, and other furnishings.


Aransas County Public Library (Rockport), Amount Requested: $5,000.00

While sustaining no damage from the storm, the public library seeks to provide information and programming for those who were affected. The library will purchase materials covering topics such as home repair, construction, renovation, and decorating,and provide two programs - Landscaping After Hurricane Harvey and Your Taxes and Hurrcane Harvey.


Beaumont Public Library, Amount Requested: $5,000.00

Beaumont Public Library requests funds to augment its collections at four branch libraries to include materials to help citizens recover from Harvey. The library will also provide two seminars. Materials and seminars will cover recovery-related topics of stress, home repair, etc.


Clear Creek Independent School District (Friendswood), Amount Requested: $5,000.00

Brookside Intermediate School in Friendswood sustained extensive damage from Hurricane Harvey. The district will purchase library supplies and books.


Coastal Bend College (Beeville), Amount Requested: $4,936.00

The college will purchase additional seating and table space to accommodate the dramatic increase in students and community members using the library at their main campus in Beeville.


Dennis M. O'Connor Public Library (Refugio), Amount Requested: $5,000.00

The public library received significant water damage primarily affecting the children's area. The library will purchase computer software, a dehumidifier, office supplies, and books to supplement their collection of home renovation/repair titles and junior nonfiction titles.


Ed & Hazel Richmond Public Library (Aransas Pass), Amount Requested: $4,824.00

The library seeks to refurnish a conference room and study rooms that suffered damage and replace several non-fiction books.


Effie & Wilton Hebert Public Library  (Port Neches), Amount Requested: $5,000.00

The Port Neches library will purchase two dehumidifiers plus monitoring equipment to help stabilize the environment to prevent the spread of mold to other library materials.


Fort Bend Independent School District, Amount Requested: $5,000.00

The district seeks to replenish lost resources for an elementary school that could remain closed until the  fall of 2018. The new books will be housed at a neighboring elementary school and middle school which are accommodating displaced students.


Hardin Independent School District, Amount Requested: $5,000.00

While incurring no damage, Hardin ISD is housing approximately 240 students displaced from their school in neighboring Hull-Daisetta school district. The district will purchase Accelerated Reader books.


Hardin-Jefferson Independent School District, Amount Requested: $10,000.00

The district experienced the complete loss of a newly renovated middle school. The district seeks funding to replace a portion of the 8600 books lost to help the high school accommodate the displaced students.


Houston Public Library, Amount Requested: $24,816.00

Houston Public will put into place mini-libraries to address the derth of services caused by the continued close of seven of 42 branches.  To support the  six mini-libraries, Houston will purchase  basic equipment needed to provide residents with computer access, internet access, the ability to check out and return library resources, and receive assistance with assistance applications.


Hull-Daisetta Independent School District, Amount Requested: $5,000.00

The elementary school is closed until further notice. In the meantime, 240 students are being bussed 12 miles to neighboring district, Hardin ISD. The funds will be used to  purchase Accelerated Reader books.


Humble Independent School District, Amount Requested: $10,000.00

The district seeks to help two campuses rebuild the collection of a high school that was flooded to help its 2500 students who are bussed 45 minutes away to the other high school.



Kirbyville Public Library, Amount Requested: $4,960.00

While not damaged, the Kirbyville library has served as the information HUB and has been greatly impacted by the resulting foot traffic. The library seeks to purchase two smart TVs for use as digital visual aids and information sources and chairs.


Klein Independent School District, Amount Requested: $5,000.00

Approximately 700 elementary school students have been relocated to a high school while their school is restored. The district will purchase age appropriate tables and chairs and library supplies to accommodate the students.


Lamar State College Port Arthur, Amount Requested: $5,000.00

Gates Memorial Library has assumed the responsibility of serving the patrons of the Port Arthur Public Library which is closed until further notice. The college will purchase laptops and iPads to accommodate the additional demand for technology on campus.


Little Cypress-Mauriceville Consolidated Independent School District (Orange), Amount Requested: $15,000.00

The district seeks to replace books on three campuses that were flooded with category level 3 water.


Lone Star College - Kingwood, Amount Requested: $5,000.00

The library will replace instructional and supplemental course materials, including text books, lost due to flooding.


Orangefield Independent School District, Amount Requested: $10,000.00

The Orangefield district will replace shelving and furniture lost at the elementary and high schools.


Shepherd Public Library, Amount Requested: $5,000.00

The library would like to purchase 5-6 patron computers to replace those lost in the flood.


University of Houston, Amount Requested: $5,000.00

To support its Harvey Texbook Relief program, the university library will provide students access to textbooks  through its course reserves collection. Funds will be used to purchase $70 + textbooks.


University of St Thomas, Amount Requested: $5,000.00

To help its students affected by Harvey, the library gave 27 laptops to their IT department to distribute to students.  Funding will allow the library to begin  replacing those computers.


Victoria Independent School District, Amount Requested: $9,540.00

The district will replace student seating, books, and rugs at two elementary schools damaged by wind and rain.


William R. Ellis Memorial Library (Port Aransas), Amount Requested: $4,995.00

The area library was temporarily closed and stripped to the studs following Harvey. It will purchase DVDs and audiobooks to meet the needs of area schools and winter visitors.

“Our library‘s acquisition of additional laptops, tablets and other accessories will  assist the community not only with hurricane relief but also assist students who have been personally affected and need computers for homework as they continue their education,” said Helena S. Gawu,  Dean of Library Services at Lamar State College in Port Arthur.

Public, school, and academic libraries located in the counties declared disaster areas by the Governor, and counties that provided assistance to displaced persons, were eligible to apply for grants. The maximum grant award was $5,000 for a single location. If there were multiple locations affected, libraries were eligible to apply for up to $5,000 per location for a maximum award of $25,000. The source of funding is the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Grants to States Program under the Library Services and Technology Act. TSLAC received specific permission from IMLS to extend the federal deadline for expenditure and reporting on FY 2017 funds to allow expenditure for this purpose. For a complete list of grantees visit