As a library technician I’ve seen my share of damaged books, gum between the pages, dried cat urine crinkling bookcovers, and even the occassional (and dreaded) spring flood and loss of a few hundred titles. However, it is every library staff member’s subconsious fear to lose all the books in a fire. And I’m not talking a book burning, though those are horrifying as well, I mean an all out natural disaster, or electrical failure, and the whole building burns down. (Another reason why I’m so anal about unplugging our zooped up laminator after EVERY use.)
Luckily most of us will never see that image become a reality. But it does happen. And it has happened to the people of Slave Lake, Alberta who recently lost 40% of their town due to a forest fire. City Hall, the Public Library, the cop shop…and countless homes. All destroyed.
Here is a recent blog post from the library’s blog:
“Posted on Tuesday May 17, 2011 at 09:44PM
It is with sadness and shock that I write this post. As of Sunday, May 15, our beautiful new library has burned to the ground. Watching the news footage of the library in flames was one of the hardest things that I have ever had to watch. All the hard work and effort by so many people to bring the new library to the community destroyed in minutes.
All of the library staff and board are safe and sound however, which is the most important thing. Right now we don’t know what the future will bring but we will be working hard to bring library service back to the community as soon as possible. Our best wishes to all members of the Slave Lake community.”
Let’s help them rebuild – one donation at a time. I encourage all my author friends to donate copies (even one!) of your book(s) and scour your bookshelves for any new/newish titles you can part with.
If you’d like to help the library rebuild, this information was posted to the Peace Library System website:
Rebuilding the Slave Lake Library – one Donation at a Time (posted May 19)
The public library in the Town of Slave Lake was completely destroyed on Sunday, May 15, as a result of a huge forest fire. The beautiful new Rotary Club of Slave Lake Public Library had just opened in 2010.
About forty per cent of the Town is gone and support for those who lost their homes and possessions is pouring in via the Red Cross and other organizations. Support for the library is also pouring in. Libraries, bookstores, publishers and other library-related organizations have been in touch with Peace Library System to see how they can help the library rebuild. Here’s what you can do:
Donations of new or nearly new books (no more than two years old) can be shipped to Peace Library System headquarters where they will be catalogued, processed and stored until a temporary library opens in Slave Lake. Please ship prepaid to:
Peace Library System
8301 – 110 Street
Grande Prairie, AB T8W 6T2
ATTN: Books for Slave Lake Library
Cash donations can be made by going to the library’s web page at www.slavelakelibrary.ab.ca and clicking on the “Make a Donation” link.
The Slave Lake Library and Peace Library System thank all who make a contribution to rebuilding the library.
For additional information, please contact Carol Downing, Assistant Director, at email@example.com.
Monitary donations can be sent to the Red Cross to assist the town in general. Here is more information.