Post-Irene: help Upper Jay library rebuild its children’s collection

(Update:  NPR’s Melissa Block will talk about the Wells Memorial Library relief effort tonight on All Things Considered)

The Wells Memorial Library in Upper Jay was slammed by the East Branch of the Ausable River, and the flooding hit the children’s book section particularly hard.

An effort is underway to rebuild the children’s collection.  Go here for full information about the crisis and see below for instructions on how you can contribute.

(Hat tip to children’s book author Kate Messner for putting this together.  The photographs on her website are sad but powerful.)

1. Send a donation. Checks may be made payable to the Wells Memorial Library.

2. Donate a new, hardcover children’s book. Picture books are needed most. They were all destroyed except the five waiting to be re-shelved and those that were signed out to homes that didn’t get flooded.

The Bookstore Plus, a terrific independent bookstore in nearby Lake Placid, NY, is helping to coordinate this effort. I talked with owners Marc & Sarah Galvin  this morning, and they’ve set up three options for folks who want to donate books:

1. You can call The Bookstore Plus at (518) 523-2950, and a bookseller will help you choose a book to purchase, based on the library’s needs. They’ll keep track of what’s already been purchased. These books will be collected and stored, and when the library is ready, we’ll deliver them all at once.

2. The bookstore is also setting up a “virtual gift card” for the library.  You can call and let them know you’d like to give $20 or any amount.  They’ll charge your credit card and add that money to the library’s gift card for the purchase of books later on.

2. Or you can order a book online through The Bookstore Plus website, and have it sent directly to the library at the address below.

Here’s the library’s address for checks & new book  donations being sent through the regular mail:

Wells Memorial Library
P.O. Box 57
Upper Jay, NY 12987
If you are sending new books via UPS, please use this address:
Wells Memorial Library
12230 State Route 9N
Upper Jay, NY 12987

Authors & illustrators: If you have a spare author copy of a book you’d like to donate, the library would love that.

Children’s Book Editors & Publishers: If you’re cleaning out the shelves of new children’s books in your office & would like to send a care package, it would be most welcome.

Bloggers: If you have hardcover review copies of kids’ books that you’re finished reading, the library will make sure they get into kids’ hands. (Note: No ARCs, please.)

Both monetary donations and new children’s and YA books may be sent at any time. Library director Karen Rappaport assures me that books can be stored safely until the library is ready to reopen. I hope it’s soon.

Thanks in advance to anyone who’s able to help!


3 Comments on “Post-Irene: help Upper Jay library rebuild its children’s collection”

  1. Dennis Costello says:

    I suggest you contact the Tompkins County Friends of the Library (at They hold a semi-annual sale of used books, including a significant number of children’s books, as their primary fundraiser. I would not be at all surprised if they would be in a good position to donate some gently-used children’s books in a wide variety of titles, age groups, etc – and perhaps support your rebuilding efforts in other ways.

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  2. Lily says:

    Has there been any thought to relocating the library before they refill it with new books? Of course it is a beautiful old building, but it continues to get damaged by floods. It doesn’t take an advanced degree to conclude this won’t be the last time the AuSable rages out of its banks in Upper Jay.

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  3. Brian says:

    Anyone in the southern part of your listening area, I’d suggest using Red Fox bookstore. They’re going out of business in two weeks so their books are discounted 25% so you could help the wonderful owners defray some of their losses and help the Jay library at the same time.

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