Reading has always been one of the joys of my life as has going to the library. The books I checked out were a form of immersing myself in another world. For some people along the Gulf Coast, that escape is no longer possible. Not only are their books gone, their libraries are gone. On a practical level, libraries in states affected by a heavy influx of evacuees are having problems providing the computer access people need to get assistance and to monitor message boards and web sites for their friends' and relatives' names.
If you want to do something to help libraries, the Texas Library Association has disaster relief information. As well as accepting financial donations, they are partnering with another agency to provide books to areas along the Gulf Coast; they will accept recent issue books that are in new or good condition. The American Library Association also has some suggestions for helping. There is even a list of suggested reading for teenagers to help them cope with this disaster.