UPDATE 6/29: I just heard from Jacque Gage, who reported on the overwhelming response from libraryland to their call for funds. To date, $16,020 has been raised, all of which has been given to JPL staff impacted by the tornado. Great job everyone!!
UPDATE: A trust has been established via a local bank to help with distributing funds. This makes it so all donations go through a trust rather through an individual, although they will still be distributed to staff members in need of help from Joplin Public Library. Please make checks out to “Joplin Public Library Staff Relief Fund” and specify Shelli in the message/memo portion of the check. Checks can still be sent c/o the library (see address at the bottom of the post) for distribution. Thanks again!
Thanks to the Iowa Library Association listserv, I have been getting some updates on how the public library in Joplin, MO is doing following the tornado. The building is not damaged at all, but 8 staff members lost their homes completely, two others’ homes were severely damaged, and two employees were injured during the storm (but they are still alive, so that’s a relief!) Amazingly, the Joplin PL is still open and being run by the staff who are able to make it in, which I think it a testament to their dedication to serving the Joplin community. This brings me to the next point: how can the rest of us help?
I just spoke with the library’s director after receiving a listserv update from her about donations. It’s not legal for the library itself to give donations to employees, BUT Jacque, as an individual, can. So, all donations should be written out to her (details below) and sent to her, c/o the library. She will then take the money and distribute it to employees. I know this is not the first time I’ve asked readers to donate to disaster relief this year, but I feel like it’s so important that we’re all here for our fellow LIS folks. Jacque said that 5 of the 8 employees who lost their homes only work part-time, one of whom is a single mother (who had her arm broken during the storm.) These folks especially need a hand. I’ll be sending a check off this week, and would love it if other readers would consider doing the same (or at least forwarding this information to people who might be interested!) Here’s the information:
Make checks payable to: Jacque Gage
Mail checks to:
Jacque Gage, Director
Joplin Public Library
300 S. Main Street
Joplin, MO 64801
Thanks in advance to everyone for your help!!