The streets of Louisville, KY were inundated with a record 6.5 inches of water Tuesday morning after a massive storm rolled through the town, resulting in the flooding of numerous residences and businesses, including the main branch of the Louisville Free Public Library.
According to library director Craig Buthod, up to 4 feet of water poured into the basement of the Main Library, damaging at least 10,000 books, audiobooks, CDs and DVDs (the average cost per item was conservatively estimated at $20 apiece). Three Bookmobiles parked at the library were damaged by flooding, and water pressure blew out some basement windows. Additionally, conference and meeting rooms and offices in the basement and their furnishings were damaged, and all the library’s boilers, air-conditioning controls, chillers and air-handling equipment were waterlogged. Furthermore, all the computers at all the branches were rendered inoperative when flooding damaged the central computer unit and wiring in the Main Library’s basement, along with about 40 new computers awaiting delivery to another branch (valued at roughly $50,000).
Recovery from such a catastrophe would be slow and difficult under normal circumstances, but with the economy in recession and budgets being slashed at both the local and state levels, the process is likely to be even more drawn-out and painful than it otherwise would be. But you can help! If you would like to make a donation to the library to assist with the disaster relief, send a check to:
The Library Foundation
301 York Street
Louisville, KY 40203
For those interested in more information, I’ve linked to an article from the Courier-Journal that you can check out. There is a photo gallery available there as well. In addition, I’ve found a few more images online that weren’t included in the Courier-Journal set, and I’ve provided links to those below.
Author and historian Barbara Tuchman once said “Nothing sickens me more than the closed door of a library.” Lets all chip in and get the doors of the main branch of the LFPL opened back up again!