My public library has lost its entire adult collection of 29,000 books to the great Cedar Rapids flood of 2008, and there is a question of whether the children's collection is salvageable. Take a moment to think about that. 29,000 books destroyed, the library contaminated; and nothing I can do to help at least for now.
It breaks my heart. Like all professionals, I'm sure the librarians and other staff felt a sense of ownership about their space. I can't imagine what they're going through. Looking at my own modest library I try to imagine what it would be like if a flood destroyed them all. There are books I've had since young adulthood, books my mom left me after she died, books I've bought and cherished since. I've read them all and many of them multiple times. To lose them all to a flood? Unthinkable. As a friend said to me tonight about his personal library, he'd be sobbing. So would I. My books are like old friends looking back at me from the shelves. They are a comfort in difficult times and therefore irreplaceable.
For now, good night.
- ► 2009 (17)
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