Andrea Moreau


The award-winning Hancock County Library System, consisting of four branches within the southwest corner of Mississippi, was dealt a devastating blow on August 29, 2005, as Hurricane Katrina made landfall and ravaged the Gulf Coast. The Waveland and Pearlington branches of this library system were destroyed. The headquarters branch in Bay St. Louis and the Kiln branch sustained critical damage as well.

The impact of Hurricane Katrina, the most notorious natural disaster in our nation’s history (as many have proclaimed), has historical significance in the field of library science as affected libraries, such as the Hancock County Library System, proceed through recovery.

Tragedy strikes libraries all too often. Research is easily performed in order to find a library that burned or flooded. But rare is the circumstance that provides for the opportunity to observe and learn from a library severely damaged along with its patronage, its city, its county, and its region.