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Libraries Offer More than Books for Ohio Storm Victims

A photo of stacks of books at Pike County Library

When storms ravaged parts of Ohio during Memorial Day weekend, several libraries were forced to close their doors for a short time. Those facilities are back in operation. And many libraries are serving in relief efforts now.

The Ohio Library Council’s Michelle Francis says some libraries in Green, Montgomery and Mercer counties lost power or had minor damage and were forced to close but are back up and running now. And some libraries have become community relief centers.

“We have electricity so you can charge your phones. And then in areas that were not under a boil alert, which most of them weren’t, especially those in Green County and Mercer county, they had clean water so they could come in and serve as filling stations.”

Francis says the libraries have been offering phones, computers and wi-fi on site and in shelters, and adds some libraries have offered counseling.  And she says libraries are collecting funds for storm victims and helping them apply for disaster assistance.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.