Many bookstores and libraries suffered severe damage during
Hurricane Katrina and the flooding that followed it. Herewith reports
from associations and news media:
Bookends Bookstore in Bay St. Louis, Miss., and Pass Christian Books in
Pass Christian, Miss., both on the shore, were totally destroyed. In
addition, Afro-American Book Stop in New Orleans is ruined.
Bookends owner Susan Daigre told Bookselling This Week
out of the book business. I can't even think of rebuilding it. . . . We
have no home, no jobs . . . but we have great family, great friends and
New Orleans booksellers, including Mary Price Dunbar of Beaucoup Books,
Michele Lewis of Afro-American Book Stop and Octavia Books co-owner Tom
Lowenburg, are all safe. Lowenburg wrote ABA that a neighbor reported
that "our store building is in good shape and has remained above water"
although he worried that the water might have risen since the
The ABA has contacted member stores in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi
and Florida, offering to talk with suppliers about extending credit
terms and being resupplied, among other issues. It has also contacted
some major publishers and wholesalers.
ABA CEO Avin Domnitz commented: "Our hearts go out to all those
devastated by Katrina, and we want to do whatever we can to help. We
know many in the book industry feel the same way, and are looking for
ways to offer assistance."
ABA has set up a Bookseller Relief Fund to assist independent
bookstores affected by the hurricane. Checks should be made payable to
ABA/Bookseller Relief Fund and sent to the ABA at 200 White Plains Rd.,
Tarrytown, N.Y. 10591; please write "Bookseller Relief" on the envelope.
Any affected members needing business advice should contact Domnitz at
800-637-0037, ext. 6610, or email@example.com or David Walker, ABA's
director of special projects at ext. 6612 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Several stores around the country have said they would house and /or
employ booksellers whose stores cannot reopen soon. Anyone wanting to
offer such help should contact Walker.
As of last Thursday, Barnes & Noble had apparently heard from only
about 10% of its booksellers in affected areas and was making extensive
efforts to contact them. It was also offering those booksellers
financial assistance and housing information at any B&N or Dalton
in the country.
Borders and Books-A-Million also have stores that are damaged and closed.
The National Association of College Stores's CM Bulletin
reported that some 50 Follett stores in Louisiana, Alabama,
Mississippi, Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky have been hurt, although
the company isn't sure because it hasn't been able to communicate with
all of them. "Some stores may be damaged beyond repair," Cliff Ewert,
v-p of campus and public relations, told the newsletter. "Our prayers
here are with all of the people affected down there."
The Louisiana Association of College Stores has canceled its annual
meeting and is donating money earmarked for that to the Red Cross.
NACS is "actively looking into ways to help all of those unfortunate
people hurt by this devastating storm, including our members in this
region," CEO Brian Cartier said. "We view this as a long-term
Likewise NACS president Debbie Harvie said, "We want to provide support
for the long haul because we understand that this can't simply be just