Reading up on Hurricane Help
One Columbia College organization is helping the hurricane-ravaged city of Biloxi restock its library shelves. The Criminal Justice Student Association donated thousands of books to the Biloxi Public Library.
"I had seen some video footage of the library in Biloxi, right on the coast, and the storm surge had injured the building six, seven, eight feet," said Professor Joseph Carrier. "Having lived in Biloxi for a couple of years while assigned to the Air Force base there, I pitched the idea to the students and they thought it was a good idea."
Students collected at least 10,000 books, but one obstacle stood in their way.
"The greatest hurdle we had was transportation costs," Carrier explained. "The freight cost to ship 11,000 pounds of books would be significant."
Thanks to local networking, Carrier found a few trucking companies to help.
"These people did most of the work," said Martin Sharp of Yellow Freight. "We supplied the pallets. They came out and did all the work. And then our gentlemen put the pallets on the trailer, and we stored them for a couple weeks, waiting on this truck to come in."
Hurricane Katrina destroyed 180,000 library books in Mississippi. The Harrison County Regional Library will distribute donated books to libraries in Biloxi, Gulfport, Pass Christian, Saucier and D'Iberville.
Carrier says he plans to visit those cities this spring to see the results of the restocking.