On Monday, Oct. 29, Sandy headed for the East Coast, looking to make landfall in my home state of New Jersey. Days before, my local CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) group staffed a Red Cross shelter at Chairville Elementary School in suburban Medford, NJ. Having volunteered to staff a shelter there last year during Hurricane Irene, I knew there would be residents with worried minds and lots of time on their hands, in need of distractions.
Preparing for what could be days at the storm shelter, I grabbed a box of books already set aside for donation; evacuees needed them more than the next book sale would. The stash included everything from science textbooks to romances and poetry. I threw in some recent magazines, a few children's books, and a stack of holiday catalogs that had come in the mail. On the morning we opened, I set up the box with some colorful, cheerful fabric and a sign that assured guests that they were welcome to keep whatever they liked—otherwise, people might have ignored the longer books for fear they wouldn't finish them before they went home.
When the storm came in, the 20-plus shelter residents spent lots of time eating, talking, reading, and playing games. The little library saw plenty of use, and received many positive comments from volunteers.
The next morning, when most residents were able to leave and we started closing up, I overheard a newspaper reporter interviewing residents at the next table. Asked to name something specific that made the shelter stay fun, one young man said "books and magazines"—along with all the food and coffee. I was thrilled!
While this little makeshift library was not an official part of the operation, and my volunteer CERT work was not the most vital role, the reading material helped displaced, worried residents pass the time: libraries FTW, again!
— By Kathy Dempsey, Libraries Are Essential
Across the US, 31 communities have joined forces to make the dream of fast, affordable, and reliable gigabit-speed broadband a local reality. The Next Century Cities program, launched this week, hopes to defeat the forces holding broadband back. The 31 inaugural signatories are:
Jonathan M. Katz reported on the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake for the AP. What he saw there ran contrary to the prevailing narrative of violence, looting and lawlessness in the streets. Instead, what he found was another example of “Elite Panic”, the UN’s “relief” forces landing heavily armed people all around the island who […]
Back in November, I blogged the Tsarina of Tsock’s wonderful shark socks, noting that they were not yet articles of commerce and hoping that they would become such soon. Now, Tsarina writes and says, You asked me to let you know when my Shark Week sock was released to the general public, so I thought […]
The Lytro Illum dares to be different, boasting even more robust features than its first generation predecessor and a sleek design reminiscent of professional DSLRs. What’s so cool about it? Most cameras capture the position of light rays, producing a statoc 2D image.
SitePoint Premium is the ultimate e-learning library for web developers, designers, and digital professionals. Famous for their web development books written by industry leaders, they’ve expanded their content library to include in-depth video courses and short, handy screencasts partnering with A Book Apart and UX Mastery. Whatever you want to achieve in your web career, […]
Skip the technical jargon and get right to taking amazing, professional-quality photos with this complete training. The Hollywood Art Institute Photography Course includes 22 modules filled with tutorials on how to profit off of your photography, or simply capture your memories in the manner they deserve.Accredited by the Photography Education Accreditation CouncilDive into this 22 […]