Update on Libraries and Storm

Vermont Library Community,

I have received phone calls and emails from many of you and I am heartened by the community spirit of the Vermont library community and am inspired by your offers to help.

DOL staff members have been on the phone yesterday and today contacting libraries statewide to assess damage and needs following flooding. I am happy to report that most libraries are in fine shape. Some report water in the basement and damp carpets, but they are doing well.  Libraries in some of the hardest-hit areas, including Brattleboro and Wilmington, are in fine shape, though there is major devastation in those towns.

The West Hartford Public Library sustained major damage. The children’s department on the lower level was completely submerged by flooding and is a total disaster. The main level of the library has at least 4” of mud. Library Director Aileen Gillette believes that 60% of the library collection has been destroyed. I plan to make a visit to Hartford tomorrow.

I have very little reporting about our school libraries and know that many schools are closed. As I receive reports I will give you that information as well.

Libraries report huge use of public internet, WiFi and phones. Some libraries are extending hours and making space available as a “community center.”

I encourage libraries to look to the needs of local communities and get the word out that you are open, offer a safe haven, have internet access, running water, etc. Social media is an effect tool for getting the word out.

If DOL can be of any assistance, please don’t hestitate to call on us.

Christine Friese has set up a DOL twitter account:VermontLib

We will be posting news via twitter and we invite you to share news and photos for us to tweet (or re-tweet).  Contact Christine for more info:christine.friese@state.vt.us

Please note that we have cancelled the two e-rate workshops scheduled for 8/31 and 9/1 this week.

We will re-schedule those and will send out word when we have new dates set.

Be well – and keep in touch!


Martha Reid
State Librarian
Vermont Department of Libraries
109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609-0601
Tel: (802) 828-3265
Fax: (802) 828-2199
Website: http://libraries.vermont.gov/