Public Libraries Need Help In WV Flooding Aftermath

July 15, 2016
WV Flooding Relief Efforts

Public libraries in counties served by Dolly Parton's Imagination Library are seeking assistance after flood waters destroyed everything.

On June 23, 2016, many homes and businesses were impacted by the flood waters that passed through the southeastern region of West Virginia. As for two public libraries, Rainelle (Greenbrier County) and Clendenin (Kanawha County), the destruction is unimaginable. Total devastation.

In Clay County, flood water found its way into the basement of the Clay County Public Library ruining computers, children’s program supplies and the heating and cooling system.

How To Help

To rebuild lost collections, Books-A-Million Stores across the state are supporting flood relief efforts by donating a portion of their sales on Saturday, July 16, 2016, to the state Library Commission. Be sure to mention “WV Flood Relief” at the time of purchase to confirm relief efforts.

“It is a company standard of Books-A-Million to provide a warm and genuine atmosphere to our customers,” said Anne-Marie Johnson, general manager of the Beckley Books-A-Million. “Many of our customers are also library patrons, and the partnership between Books-A-Million and local libraries has always been very natural. For many of our customers – particularly in outlying areas – the library is the closest resource for not only books, but also educational courses, local history, children’s activities, and computers for the public’s use. We are very focused on assisting them during this crucial time of need.”

If you are interested in donating time and hard work, please register with Volunteer West Virginia

For an online donation benefitting Rainelle PL, please send funds to: YouCaring Account for Rainelle

Public Library Checks can be mailed to any of the following:

  • Rainelle Public Library 378 7th Street Rainelle, WV 25962
  • Kanawha County Public Library (Clendenin) 123 Capitol Street Charleston, WV 25301
  • Clay County Public Library 624 Main Street Clay, WV 25043
  • WV Library Commission 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E., Culture Center Charleston, WV 25305

More About The Recovery

Rainelle Public Library is making a slow, but gradual recovery. The building consumed 5 feet of water, destroying the library’s entire print and digital collection. Most of the furnishings were unsalvageable, but a few things were recovered. Director of Rainelle Public Library, Ann Farr said,

“Thanks to a local church group, clean-up has been better-than-expected and moving along quite well. The National Guard picked up flood-damaged items left by the curb and a contractor was hired to remove interior sheathing and insulation and to inspect the electrical wiring.”

Clendenin Public Library was also declared a catastrophe. Powerful flood waters forced out windows and left 8 inches of mud throughout the building. No printed piece was left unscathed. Tables and chairs floated across the room and computer equipment was destroyed. The electrical and HVAC systems are damaged beyond repair and the structure of the library itself is uncertain. No items are foreseen as salvageable, but as the sifting through continues – so does the assessment.

Recovery time for these libraries is estimated to be several months. The restoration process will be slow and tedious, but the rescue will happen.

Imagination Library in West Virginia

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is a free book gifting organization that sends nearly one million books per month to children around the world. In West Virginia alone the program serves 21,941 children with help from the WV Dept of Ed and the Arts - the state coordinator which directly oversees all the county programs.