October 11, 2005
Law Library of Louisiana Update
Snippet from longer email distributed on law-lib listserv:
We know that many of you have wondered about the status of our library, which is located on the second floor of the Louisiana Supreme Court Building in the middle of the French Quarter, and about our ability to resume normal operations. As you've no doubt learned from the media, the French Quarter did not flood, and power and water have been restored to most buildings. Several of our staff members were able to visit our library on Friday and reported that although there was only partial lighting and very unpleasant odors, the collection and our offices seem to be fine. The sad exception is with a small part of the collection housed in compact shelving in the basement of the building, where several inches of water had accumulated. Because of environmental restrictions, we have been prohibited from entering that area to check on the condition of the books there. We fear that the dampness and heat have done serious damage and don't know yet whether restoration willl be possible.
The library and the building remain closed to staff and to the public. The Supreme Court has established temporary headquarters in Baton Rouge at the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeals building near the capitol. Court staff, including our Serials/Preservation Librarian Miriam Childs, who were able to find housing in the Baton Rouge area or within commuting distance, have been assisting in various capacities to help get the state-wide court system up and running again.
Of course we are all anxious to return to our library in the French Quarter but do not know when the Supreme Court will be able to reopen the building. In the meantime beginning on November 1 we will be driving back and forth daily to Baton Rouge 80 miles away. The good news is that all of us have e-mail access and can be contacted at our normal e-mail addresses shown in the AALL Directory. Of course we cannot be reached at our office phone numbers in New Orleans. If anyone needs to reach our staff by phone, please call Miriam Childs at the court in Baton Rouge at 225-284-0743, and she will provide the necessary phone numbers where we can be reached. Alternatively, the main court number in Baton Rouge is 225-382-3161.
Carol Billings, Director
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