Buy The Book

Wednesday, 14 December 2005, 14:54 | Category : Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi
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When the waters of Hurricane Katrina retreated back to the Gulf of Mexico last August 29th, when the wind died down, they left, as has been shown and described over and over, massive devastation. Among the things ruined in the storm were many library facilities on the Mississippi coast. The details are staggering:


  • The Hancock County Library System lost nearly it’s entire 117,000 volume collection, along with severe to total damage to 3 of the 4 facilities

  • The Harrison County Library System lost perhaps half of it’s 315,000 volumes, 3 of 5 facilities destroyed.

  • The Long Beach Public Library lost all 60,000 volumes and the library building.

  • The East Mississippi Regional Library lost all 97,000 volumes and it’s only building. [Correction – thanks to James for pointing this out – EMRL does have facilities in other area towns, and I’m guessing that the 97,000 volumes were for the entire system, not just the one facility that was lost, so they weren’t completely wiped out]

  • The Jackson-George County Library System lost about 20% of it’s 300,000 volumes.

While the numbers may seem relatively small when compared to, say, the New York Public Library’s 49 million holdings, the effects of the loss of even small systems like these can be severe and long-lasting on the communities they serve, and replacing the holdings will be difficult when all public resources are stretched beyond breaking by more immediate needs. So, I think it’s important to get the word out about an opportunity to directly help rebuild these libraries. A fund has been set up for this purpose:

Rebuild Mississippi Libraries Fund
c/o AmSouth Bank
210 E. Capitol Street
Jackson, MS 39201

Contributions are tax-deductible. If you love libraries like I do, please consider making a donation.

9 Comments for “Buy The Book”

  1. 1PoliBlog: Politics is the Master Science

    Mississippi Libraries

    Harry Boswell of The Kudzu Files highlights an effort to rebuild libraries in Mississippi in the wake of Katrina.

  2. 2Zebrality.com

    Buy The Book

    Buy The Book

  3. 3The Moderate Voice

    Another Big Hurricane Victim: Mississippi Libraries

    Hurricane Katrina devasted many lives and aspects of routine lives along the Gulf Coast when it wreaked its destruction this summer. And it absolutely DECIMATED Mississip coast libraries.

    Libraries are a gathering place, a vital spot for y…

  4. 4Random Fate

    Rebuilding is needed for more than just houses

    I grew up in northern Mississippi, and at that time, the schools had little money to buy books and other important supplies needed to educate their students. The public libraries were no better, there were a few Carnagie libraries around, but they di…

  5. 5Karen

    Bless you for supporting Mississippi’s libraries destroyed by the storm. I’ve contributed as it is near to my heart, I was born in Biloxi (Harrison county) and our home was in Ocean Springs. Many years ago but the devastation breaks my heart.

  6. 6seawitch

    Thank you for doing this. It was haunting to see the Biloxi Main Library with no books or people in it. In Gulfport, there are still a few books scattered around Jones Park that were washed out when the Gulfport Main Library was gutted. I live in Gulfport.

  7. 7Thoughts by Seawitch

    Help Rebuild Dreams and Ideas

    I love to read and read a lot. I’ve spent a lot of time inside the libraries on the Gulf Coast. My favorites were the Gulfport Main Library and the Biloxi Main Library. All of the books and research materials are gone at both of these libraries because…

  8. 8Outside The Beltway

    Rebuild Mississippi Libraries Fund

    Harry Boswell points to the need to rebuild Mississippi libraries devasted by Katrina:

    The Hancock County Library System lost nearly its entire 117,000 volume collection, along with severe to total damage to 3 of the 4 facilities

    The Harrison Coun…

  9. 9idgie

    Harry, I’m copying this one over to my blog. I adore books and always carry one. We must give those people their books back!