Deanna Larson, public information officer for the Nashville Public Library—and a prolific BookPage contributor—says the library system “was mostly unscathed, for which we are very grateful.” Only one branch sustained damage, in the basement. All branches were back up and running by Tuesday, and even the Bellevue branch, in one of the city’s most heavily flooded areas, had Internet access restored by Wednesday.
A few years ago I interned at a small publishing house in New York City that had a basement warehouse. During my time there the warehouse was flooded after extensive rain, and I can tell you from personal experience that sorting through—and throwing out—soggy books is both hard work and heartbreaking. We’re so glad that the NPL (the main branch of which Ann Patchett has called “like a friend”) wasn’t majorly damaged.
Speaking of the flood, last night Nashville got the national media attention that many people have considered absent. Anderson Cooper reported from the city in “Anderson Cooper 360°”, and yesterday he tweeted several times about his experience reporting (“in nashville. so many people volunteering to help their neighbors who are suffering in the wake of the flooding. Truly inspiring”). Watch clips from the show.
Of course, Cooper is also a best-selling author. His 2006 memoir Dispatches From the Edge was a #1 New York Times bestseller, and coincidentally Deanna Larson interviewed him about the book for BookPage. The piece, which addresses the emotional impact of reporting, is especially timely now.