Florida is a wonderful place to live for a lot of reasons. Sunshine virtually year round, beautiful beaches and lakes, unique habitats such as our local scrub land and the Everglades, theme parks, and some very diverse demographics. Add to that our laid back atmosphere compared to most of the country and Florida is the place to be. We know it, and our winter visitors know it too.
Yet still, as we were so recently faced with, Florida does have one major drawback: Hurricanes. At the time of this writing, it is not certain what impact Hurricane Dorian will have on our area, but I know one thing for sure. Your library staff are ready to serve you before, during and after the storm.
You may not be aware of this, but when local hurricane shelters open up, they are staffed by Highlands County employees, of which all library staff are members. So if you are in need of some place to go to be safe during a storm, you can be sure you will find a friendly face there.
After Hurricane Irma in 2017, your local libraries hosted FEMA as the organization worked to assist with filing claims. The power and air conditioning were on and it was a nice, safe, cool and friendly place for those looking for a respite from Florida’s infamous high temperatures.
Library members checked out high numbers of items before Irma in anticipation of power outages and were able to enjoy them until well after the storm since outside book returns were closed during and immediately after while libraries were without power and library members were focused on more important things.
It was a top priority to get the libraries open as soon as possible and many people expressed their relief that there was some place for them to go. Likewise, staff were happy to see library regulars and new faces again. It’s the calling of those who enter into this profession to serve and take care of others and our complete pleasure to assist our community in this and other ways.
There’s nothing more fulfilling than putting others first and when you work at a library you can do that every day. We love people. We love our community. We are here for you. So, don’t hesitate to come to a hurricane shelter if you need to or to visit us before or after a storm.