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Back in mid-September, Hurricane Irma dealt a surprisingly ferocious blow to the Cashiers area. Thousands in the area were without power, running water, and internet for nearly a week. Luckily, Albert Carlton – Cashiers Community Library managed to keep power, water, and internet through the entire ordeal. We provided a safe haven to charge devices, check email, start insurance claims, and entertain children that were out of school.

While several staff members had no power or water at home either, we still braved the road closures and came together to make sure our community had someplace to go. We hosted special programs including an all-day movie marathon of family movies for all the children that were out of school. We also hosted impromptu bridge games, chess games, and our community puzzle was more popular than ever. We provided power and internet access for telecommuters and families that had come to Cashiers to get out of Irma’s path. Through the week we set up telecommuting stations, charging stations, distance education stations, and our very popular information station. We dedicated one of our staff machines to real time updates on power and internet restoration, live road closure maps, live weather feeds, and news stations from across the hurricane’s path. 

Through the ordeal, the Library definitely embodied the heart of the community.