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Building Communities: We’re All in This Together

Post by Nancy Dowd
Posted November 06, 2012 in Special Announcements

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I was raised at the Jersey Shore. In the summer, my mother would pile my sisters and brother into the car and we'd head out to Manasquan, rain or shine. Being a Jersey girl had nothing to do with what Snooky and her crew showed the world. We had salt in our blood, wind in our hair, and sand in everything we ate. We body-surfed and boogie-boarded; collected shells and skeeball tickets; and smelled of Coppertone and zinc.

"As soon as the lights were on, libraries were there for their communities."

While I can turn off my TV when I can't stand to see one more image from the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy, my friends and old neighbors aren't so lucky. Even if their homes made it through the storm, there is the physical and mental exhaustion of picking up the drenched pieces of their lives. The loss will come in waves, and for years they will find themselves looking for something only to remember they lost it to Sandy. 

Libraries have always been front and center when times are tough, and the aftermath of Sandy is no exception. As soon as the lights were on, libraries were there for their communities. My friend Tim Quinn, communications director for Princeton Public Library, wrote a moving piece after working a second, consecutive 12-hour day. In it he concluded, “I’m a public employee and I’m proud of the work all public employees do every day. I’m even prouder of where I work and of the people with whom I work, people whose primary motivation is a desire to serve. When walking through the crowds of people who came to us for help today, I couldn’t help but think, ‘We - meaning all of us, citizens and employees alike - built that.’ Without an “us” it would never have been built.”

Well said Tim.


Nancy Dowd is product lead for LibraryAware, a new marketing service from NoveList, a division of EBSCO, and co-author of the book, Bite-Sized Marketing, Realistic Solutions for Overworked Librarians. Find more information about LibraryAware at