Notes from The Director 2022 Flood
One Year Later
If you don't know about the flood last year, read the Notes from the Director.
I also put exciting updates on our Facebook pages.
Where are we now? The first few weeks we were in a state of shock trying to be here helping people and at the closed branches trying clean out and to save what we can.
Then we were trying to connect people to people and services that could help them. We extended our hours. Started opening on Sundays.
We got into a routine.
I am very blessed with the employees who work at our library system. They have been handling everything so I could be elsewhere helping to muck out buildings, hiring contractors, and attending weekly phone meetings with FEMA. All of our employees have been so wonderful this past year.
The Thank You note on our main page is staying there. So many people have been so kind and so generous. People called to check on us, prayed for us, sent us things. Other libraries sent us care packages, coffee, cleaning supplies, candy, stickers, and games. Our friend, Kim Michele Richardson, author of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek started a GoFundMe for us. People sent books and money, so many books. It is always the cards and letters - messages of hope that make me emotional.
The first really big step that we made, that felt like making progress, was to buy an outreach vehicle. In November, we bought a 2020 Toyota Sienna van from Toyota on Nicholasville. Everything fell into place so suddenly and well, that it felt like someone was looking out for us.
I and staff met with architect and designers for Blackey and Fleming Neon Branches. We have plans for what we want for both Branches. I want all our branches to feel welcoming, calm, and comfortable. The only reason the Board has not approved the plans and posted the request for bids to the newspapers and moved forward is lack of information. We're applying for grants from FEMA to help pay to repair and put flood mitigation (flood damage prevention) measures in place, but we didn't know what measures we needed. And nobody was answering my questions.
Luckily, our Kentucky Emergency Management liaison knows what we need to do. Now our architect is requesting cost analysis and putting that information into the plans. I am hopeful we can finalize the plans soon and go forward. I would love construction to start by early October.
I am daydreaming about when we can have our Grand Reopening Parties. Consider yourself invited.