Thursday, October 02, 2008
What a difference a day makes...
My calendar of library system activities is pretty bare for half of this month! Usually I have to cram things into my report; this time, it’s more about what didn’t happen. We are usually open about 620 hours a month; this time, it’s 299, which included the days Mont Belvieu opened during the “official” down time. Our circulation reflects that loss of time, of course; in August we had a total circ of 19,678, and September shows 9,958.
As for our facilities, we could have fared much worse. We’ll be seeing some roof work and some floor work at both Anahuac and Winnie. We lost a brand new storage shed at Winnie, with a lot of the items in it crushed or drowned. We have over 5,000 items currently charged out to folks, and we are starting to see a stream of people coming in or phoning to notify us that the items are lost in the storm. The mast at the Winnie branch that carried the wire in for our “wireless” network bent in two, so half our computers there don’t have internet access. A large glass pane at Anahuac exploded (or was kicked) a couple of days after the storm, and an armadillo and a copperhead made themselves at home while the entrance was unsecured. Even Mont Belvieu didn’t go unscathed; a power surge knocked out a computer there.
But we are open to the public again, and look forward to returning to our schedule of programming, checking out materials, and helping people at the computers, especially those residents who lost everything and need to get to their insurance and FEMA online. Praise to the County workers who spent days and nights trying to get our communities into some workable arrangement, and thanks to all those countless people from all over the country who came in to help.