In the September 16 daily edition of this newsletter, I wrote about the New Orleans Public Library and described how that library had been spared by hurricane Katrina. Damage to the library was minor and the city's precious archives and the special collections department housed in the library's subbasement were undamaged. It looked like patrons would soon have access to those materials again. However, another force bigger than a hurricane has intervened: public officials.
In the wake of "financial constraints in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina," 197 New Orleans Public Library (NOPL) staff have been let go as part of Mayor Ray Nagin's October 5 directive laying off 3,000 city employees. The remaining 19 New Orleans Public Library employees have been retained as essential to the operation of city government.
The library and its branches will remain closed. There are no plans to restore library services in New Orleans anytime in the near future.
You can read the Mayor's directive at http://www.cityofno.com/portal.aspx?portal=1&tabid=48