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Anthony D. Smith, Institute of Museum and Library Services Senior Program Officer, writes about the way libraries were refuges and support systems for citizens displaced by the recent storms in the DC, Virginia, and Maryland area.
Libraries were called upon to provide a level of comfort and stability to many of the millions of citizens who had their lives dramatically disrupted by widespread electrical power outages, brought on by a recent sudden storm. More than three million customers lost power, many for as long as a week. The lack of air conditioning during a time of record-breaking temperatures created a volatile situation and serious health threat for many, especially the elderly.