TLACast Newsletter
Texas Library Recovery
October 2017
Volume. 36 No. 6
3355 Bee Cave Road, Suite 401 | Austin, Texas 78746-6763
Phone: 512.328.1518 or 800.580.2852 | Email: tla@txla.org

Six and a half weeks have passed since Hurricane Harvey, the most powerful hurricane to hit the state in 50 years, devastated the Gulf Coast and southeast Texas.

The numbers are staggering:
Governor Greg Abbott appointed John Sharp, the chancellor of Texas A&M University to chair the Governor's Commission to Rebuild Texas which is tasked with using state resources to help communities impacted by the hurricane, and advocating for those communities at the state and federal levels. Both Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick issued Harvey-related interim charges to committees, and hearings are being held around the state.

Many libraries and librarians around the state were impacted by the hurricane. Some experienced total devastation, while others were able to open after a brief closure. Those in affected areas are providing essential information and services to their damaged communities, while supporting staff and family who may have lost everything.

TLA has been inspired by the outpouring of support for libraries from around the country. As of October 4, more than 1040 corporate and individual donors have contributed $129,283 to the TLA Disaster Relief Fund. Thank you all for your generosity!

Monday, October 16 is the deadline to apply for a TLA Disaster Relief Grant. Academic, public, school and special libraries are eligible for financial assistance, and you do not have to be a TLA member to apply or receive assistance. A total of $100,000 has been earmarked to support Texas libraries damaged by the hurricane, and grant amounts will range from $2,500 to $5,000. Grants will be announced November 3.

The Texas Library Recovery Connection is an online information sharing system to connect those offering assistance to libraries in need. If you work at a library damaged by Hurricane Harvey, please add your information to the Google spreadsheet so that those individuals and organizations offering assistance can reach out to you directly to coordinate help.

Recovery is going to be a very long process and the library community is here to provide support and assistance!

Financial Assistance for Damaged Libraries
  • 858,716 individuals have applied for FEMA assistance
  • 1,000 Texans remain in seven Houston-area shelters
  • 62,032 individuals are still living in hotels paid for by FEMA's Transitional Sheltering Assistance
  • 84,032 people have visited Disaster Recovery Centers for assistance
  • 176,100 Texas homes were damaged or destroyed
  • 200 – 300 million cubic yards of debris left behind
  • 1.4 million K-12 students were directly impacted by the storm