Library books destined for the trash after Harvey repairs get a new home
HOUSTON - When FEMA agreed to repair a Houston library that was damaged by Hurricane Harvey, federal rules required all the building's contents to be discarded. That included tens of thousands of books that were never touched by floodwaters. Now, nearly three months after first sharing this story, the books are finding a new home.
In a stuffy southeast Houston warehouse, Jessica Marshall arrived with a heavy-duty pickup and a rental trailer. The librarian from Rice CISD, in Colorado County, saw our original report and has arrived to pick up some books.
Houston District G City Council Member Greg Travis has spent the last several months trying to save the undamaged books that were in the Kendall Library on Eldridge Parkway.
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Before renovations began, he was able to get the volumes boxed and stored, while he looked for takers. In all, there are 31 pallets, stacked with 40 boxes each, full of books. Travis credits our FOX 26 report with generating interest, "You did it," he says, "She saw that story and she reached out to us."
"I just couldn't see someone having to destroy books," says Marshall.
He is the first, of several, to take possession of several pallets worth of books, that are destined for 'young' readers.
"I figured our kids at the library would love to have some new, fresh books. Well, new to them," she says.
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Now, thousands of books are on their way to a new home.
"It's gonna' be little kids reading these books, that were destined for the junk pile," says Travis, "They're not gonna' be thrown away; they're not gonna' be burned; they're not gonna' be tossed; they're gonna' be reused, and they're gonna' be enjoyed."
A west Houston church is scheduled to take another load of books, while the rest remain in a safe place until Travis' office can find someplace for them to go.