When storms ravaged parts of Ohio during Memorial Day weekend, several libraries were forced to close their doors for a short time. Those facilities are back in operation. And many libraries are serving in relief efforts now.
The Ohio Library Council’s Michelle Francis says some libraries in Green, Montgomery and Mercer counties lost power or had minor damage and were forced to close. But she says they are back up and running now. And she explains some libraries have become community relief centers.
“We have electricity. We have electricity so you can charge your phones. And then in areas that were not under a boil alert, which most of them weren’t, especially those in Green County and Mercer county, they had clean water so they could come in and serve as filling stations," Francis says.
Francis says the libraries have been offering phones, computers and wi-fi on site and have been taking those items, as well as video games and books, to local shelters that are temporarily housing storm victims. She says some libraries have even offered counseling from their facilities. She also says some libraries are helping storm victims apply for disaster assistance and have been collecting funds for storm victims, raising more than $60,000 so far.