The Alabama Virtual Library has launched a Gulf Oil Spill Resources page with information on topics from health risks to job opportunities and cleanup efforts.
“We’re trying to gather resources that will help people who have been impacted by the oil spill,” said Ronald Leonard, director of Network of Alabama Academic Libraries — part of the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, also known as ACHE.
Leonard said there might also be people “who haven’t been impacted but are doing research on the oil spill.”
The Virtual Library provides online access to essential library and information resources on numerous subjects. The spill page went online last month.
Gregory G. Fitch, ACHE executive, said academic libraries are working with public libraries and other agencies to provide the free service.
Some libraries have seen an increase in patrons since the oil spill.
More than 1,000 people have used the resource page at the Baldwin County Library Cooperative in Robertsdale, said Liz Reed, the library’s director. That’s 700 more users than in an average month, she said.
“Ever since the oil spill, lots of people have been coming in to update resumes and search for jobs, so our computers have been swamped,” said Reed.
“Overall, it has helped calm people’s fears,” Reed said.
Leonard said one librarian reported that people are coming to libraries seeking help filing claims with BP PLC.
“What a lot of people don’t realize (is that) one of the best resources is the public librarian,” said Leonard.
Visit the new site here: http://blog.al.com/live/2010/09/alabama_virtual_library_launch.html