Huge Donation For Hurricane Battered Libraries - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Huge Donation For Hurricane Battered Libraries

On Thursday, another delivery arrived at a double-wide trailer that temporarily houses the Pass Christian Library.

"Eight boxes that just came in this morning are from Woodstock Union High School and Middle School of Woodstock, Vermont," said Pass Christian Librarian Sally James.

Donations are still pouring in from all over the country to replace books and materials that were soaked by Katrina's flood waters. James spearheaded efforts to get the library up and running again, and she will tell you she's not afraid to beg for help.

"Libraries are notoriously poor you know," said James. "In our case, in Pass Christian's case, I want to stress this, we have no tax base."

So when James heard about the nearly $18 million library donation from the Gates Foundation, the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund, and the Institute for Museum and Library Services, she was thrilled.

"I was just astounded to find that so much of it was going to come our way," said James. "I thank you Bill Gates. I thank you George Bush and Bill Clinton, and send more."

The generous donation opens a new chapter in James' life. She now looks forward to seeing her library renovated and restored and her beloved children's wing rebuilt.

James said, "I think this wonderful news today is going to lift the souls and mind of every librarian up and down this coast. This is going to be a happy day, and a day we'll all mark on our calendars."

The Southeastern Library Network will work with the Mississippi Library Commission to determine what each library system needs and how much money each will get.

By: Trang Pham-Bui

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