I received the following email from a friend tonight.
I try never to forward mass emails — but this one (I hope you’ll agree) is worthy of sending to everyone you know who is a book lover.
As you might already know — I grew up in Gulfport, Mississippi, where Hurricane Katrina took an enormous toll. Tom and I recently toured the devastation and it’s remarkable that now (10 months later) most places still look like a bomb just went off. It was so much more vast and overwhelming than photos can possibly portray.
The one thing that hit me the hardest was seeing the Gulfport Library in such ruins. I spent nearly every Saturday morning there with my family — I was the Lisa Simpson of our clan — and I knew the librarians/staff there and their collections well. I have so many memories of that place — doing research for hours in high school — writing college papers while seated in the aisles of the stacks of books — reading all the classic children’s literature in their special room devoted to kid’s books — participating in their summer reading programs, etc. It was the place that probably meant the most to me in Gulfport, apart from my home.
So — here’s an easy way to contribute to their re-building effort —
These nice folks run a book drive each year — in the past, they have supported school districts where funding for libraries have been cut, or even supported libraries in the tsunami-affected areas — and this year (2006) they selected the Gulfport/Biloxi public libraries as their targeted beneficiary.
The libraries in Gulfport/Biloxi have even put together “wish lists” on Amazon.com — and you KNOW how easy it is to order things there — or you can send whatever you like — including just a cash donation — and there’s a place to leave a note, letting them know what you’ve sent and why — the website has everything you need — including an adorable mascot — Dewey (he’s a decimal).
PLEASE (after you send a few books/dollars of your own) consider forwarding this to everyone you know who’s a book lover and who would support this worthy cause — you can spend big/little, you can send your favorites or some classics, you can send anything you like — and be sure it gets directly to the good folks who are rebuilding in Mississippi.
Think for a moment — how different your life would be without books/libraries — and consider what an amazing thing a public library is — it’s a Barnes & Noble where everything is free, so long as you promise to return it.
Thanks for letting me share this with you —
Claire is a great person. She has a special spot in heaven because she married a trombone player.
If you are looking for a cool way to share a few dollars you have been blessed with, with some folks who are still only beginning to recover from Hurricane Katrina, consider the Dewey Donation System.