Libraries are never more needed than in times of crisis, and it is in times of crisis that we demonstrate why we are considered essential services.
We have updated our hurricane/tropical storm disaster recovery resources for libraries, archives and cultural institutions web page: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/hurricanesafety.
Here you will find current state, federal and professional association points of contact for disaster preparedness and response and emergency management, as well as links to helpful tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Office of the Governor Emergency Management and Texas Hurricane Center, Texas Department of Public Safety Division of Emergency Management, the National Hurricane Center, American Library Association, Texas Library Association, The Library of Congress, Society of American Archivists and more.
Houston Public Library Director Dr. Rhea Lawson wrote to us after Hurricane Harvey in 2017 to report on the status of damage to her libraries. Dr. Lawson made the following wonderful observation:
“As you know, for so many people libraries are a vital lifeline. We recognize that during catastrophic times libraries are even more essential as people need a trusted familiar anchor and touchstone in the community to remind them that everything will be all right again. But most all—our mission right now is to restore the joy in the eyes of children and adults who have seen so much destruction, and experienced so much fear and uncertainty.”
TSLAC will continue to work with federal, state and local organizations to find ways to assist libraries and archives as they struggle with the aftermath of weather-related emergencies.
The Texas State Library and Archives Commission provides Texans access to the information they need to be informed, productive citizens by preserving the archival record of Texas; enhancing the service capacity of public, academic and school libraries; assisting public agencies in the maintenance of their records; and meeting the reading needs of Texans with disabilities. For more information, visit tsl.texas.gov.