Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wells Memorial Library

I'm passing this on from Vermont College of Fine Arts regarding author Kate Messner, who started a drive to help a tiny library in a poor area.

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I'd gone with my meteorologist husband to take photographs of flood damage in Essex County, just to our south. Roads were washed out, bridges closed or in pieces, familiar sights to anyone who's seen news coverage coming out of Vermont this week. But these tiny towns along Adirondack rivers haven't gotten much media attention.

"Go on up ahead," one town supervisor told us from his pickup. "You need to see Upper Jay. It's awful."

We made our way through roads that were down to one lane, and took detours when there was no road.

As we drove around a bend in the road today, my husband slowed down. "Whoa…look at all the stuff in front of that house."
But it wasn't a house. It was the library.

They lost virtually their entire children's collection. All of the picture books.

"They were all on the lower shelves," library director Karen Rappaport explained, "so the kids could reach them."

Would you like to help, too? Here's how we can rebuild the children's collection of a small Adirondack library…

1. Send a donation. Checks may be made payable to the Wells Memorial Library.

2. Donate a new, hardcover children's book. Picture books are needed most. They were all destroyed except the five waiting to be re-shelved and those that were signed out to homes that didn't get flooded.

The Bookstore Plus, a terrific independent bookstore in nearby Lake Placid, NY, is helping to coordinate this effort. I talked with owners Marc & Sarah Galvin this morning, and they've set up three options for folks who want to donate books:

1. You can call The Bookstore Plus at (518) 523-2950, and a bookseller will help you choose a book to purchase, based on the library's needs. They'll keep track of what's already been purchased. These books will be collected and stored, and when the library is ready, we'll deliver them all at once.

2. The bookstore is also setting up a "virtual gift card" for the library. You can call and let them know you'd like to give $20 or any amount. They'll charge your credit card and add that money to the library's gift card for the purchase of books later on.

2. Or you can order a book online through The Bookstore Plus website, and have it sent directly to the library at the address below.

Here's the library's address for checks & new book donations being sent through the regular mail:

Wells Memorial Library
P.O. Box 57
Upper Jay, NY 12987

If you are sending new books via UPS, please use this address:

Wells Memorial Library
12230 State Route 9N
Upper Jay, NY 12987

Authors & illustrators: If you have a spare author copy of a book you'd like to donate, the library would love that.

Children's Book Editors & Publishers: If you're cleaning out the shelves of new children's books in your office & would like to send a care package, it would be most welcome.

Bloggers: If you have hardcover review copies of kids' books that you're finished reading, the library will make sure they get into kids' hands. (Note: No ARCs, please.)

Both monetary donations and new children's and YA books may be sent at any time. Library director Karen Rappaport assures me that books can be stored safely until the library is ready to reopen. I hope it's soon.

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