I know a number of people in the Louisville area, so I’ve heard all about the horrible weather they’ve been having this year. But the flooding of the Louisville Free Public Library was the kicker. Check out some of fellow blogger Greg Schwartz’s pictures of the damage — it’s really bad. They’re estimating at least one million dollars in damage to their books, facility, computers, bookmobiles and more.

It’s times like this that I’m proud to be a librarian and am especially proud of the amazing generosity and come-togethery-ness (well it should be a word!) of my online friends. Steve Lawson has set up a Library Society of the World Fundraiser to collect money for the Louisville Free Public Library:

I have set up the email LSW.LFPL@google.com and linked it to my PayPal account. I intend to collect money at that address until September 1, at which point I’ll send a check in the name of the Library Society of the World to the LFPL Foundation. You can just send money to that email address using PayPal, or use the button [at Steve's original post]:

If you’d rather send a check, send it to the Library Society of the World Clubhouse, PO Box 7893, Colorado Springs CO 80933. Make the check payable to Steve Lawson.

Don’t worry about how much you can afford to donate. My own contribution will be small-ish, between $20 and $50.

But there are about 300 members of the LSW room on FriendFeed. There are close to 1,000 members of the LSW group on Linkedin. I would like to think we can raise at least $5,000 for LFPL by September 1. That’s only $17 per FriendFeed member, or $5 per Linkedin member.

For this to work, you have to trust me. I promise that every dime that comes through PayPal or check will go to LFPL. (PayPal takes a small cut if your donation is charged to your credit card (rather than your bank account) and if you don’t choose the option to pay those fees yourself, so it’s possible that I won’t get the full amount of your donation. I’ll only be able to donate the money I actually receive after PayPal fees.)

On September 1, I’ll total up what we have raised and send it to the library. If you would rather give money yourself instead of sending it to me, here is the address and phone number given in the Louisville Courier-Journal:

The Library Foundation
Attn: Flood
301 York St.
Louisville, KY 40203
(502) 574-1709

Whether you’re a LSW member or not, please consider finding a way to donate to the library so that they can quickly get up and running again. Even just a few dollars from each reader of this blog would really add up. Greg and colleagues, you’re in my thoughts.