Last week the Hudson Valley saw some crazy weather, high winds and two tornados touched down in our region. Area libraries rose to the occasion.
Libraries reported helping people shelter in place during the storm, "
Turns out we had a tornado tear through Saugerties," reported Katie Scott-Childress, the director of the Saugerties Public Library, "It came so fast we had kids coming into the library with their bikes and scooters because they were suddenly being pummeled by inch round hail." Tracy Priest, director of the Town of Ulster Library reported a similar experience, "At about 3:30 the library was full of people who didn't want to be driving around in the storm. People were sharing information, talking through anxieties, accessing the pubic computers to track the storm and try to find out when the schools would release the buses and kids."
In the aftermath of the storm many residents have been, and some still are, experiencing an extended power outage. Libraries like the East Fishkill Community Library and the Desmond-Fish Library in Garrison extended their hours to give residents more time in their facilities to charge devices, access the internet and use the library's public access computers. Other libraries, like Kent Public Library, heavily promoted online services for people who were home with power but banned from traveling on local roads due to the state of emergency that had been declared.
In related news, the New York Library Association's Sustainability Initiative has announced their 2018 Webinar Series
which will kick off on Wednesday, June 20th with a one hour webinar from 11:00 am - 12:00 pm which is focused on
Disaster Planning & Community Resilience at Your Library
. Presented by Michele Stricker, Deputy State Librarian for Lifelong Learning at the New Jersey State Library, this webinar will provide you with guidance on how to prepare your library to respond to the next disaster or crisis and to support community resiliency.
"Recent catastrophes have highlighted the important role public libraries play in enhancing their community's resiliency and post-disaster recovery efforts. Many community leaders now view libraries as ad hoc disaster recovery centers and recognize librarians as Information First Responders. This presentation will help you and your library embrace this new role as Information First Responders, who quickly enable people to get back to work, back to their lives, and ensure recovery of the community's economic life. Learn what you need to prepare before disaster strikes, guided by New Jersey State Library's
Disaster Preparedness & Community Resiliency Toolkit [https://bit.ly/2INUHlE]
, which has been emergency-tested by libraries. Your library can be at the forefront in providing that safe haven in times of crisis and helping your community return to normal life."