Libraries provide services and support amid historic wildfires

Updated: Sep 20

When they are needed most, NLS libraries are once again rising to the occasion

Students take part in library programming
The Placerville Library learning hub hosts Camino Elementary School students during evacuations caused by the Caldor Fire.

As wildfires force evacuations throughout Northern California, libraries in the NorthNet Library System (NLS) are once again providing vital assistance to their communities.

In El Dorado County, where the Caldor Fire has destroyed one school and forced thousands to evacuate, the Placerville Library is hosting a learning hub for students displaced by the fire. In partnership with the Camino Union Elementary School District and the county office of education, the library is offering learning activities and meals for students. Community members and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond have also stopped by to offer their support. Above all, the library is providing a supportive environment for parents, students and teachers to reconnect.

For community members affected by the Dixie Fire, the largest single wildfire in state history, the Plumas County Library has also been providing additional supports. After losing a branch library, as the fire devastated the community of Greenville, Plumas County Library branches in Quincy and Portola have extended hours and offered new programs. They are providing vital access to computers, WiFi and free printing services. The libraries are also offering concurrent children’s programming to support parents as they complete assistance forms and paperwork. Donations to help rebuild the Greenville Library can be made here.

These are just a few examples of how NorthNet libraries go above and beyond traditional service as they respond to community needs, even when their own staff and operations have suffered losses too. Leaders at NorthNet member libraries have been collecting and sharing their lessons learned and practical resources, including on, the network’s resource for disaster preparedness, response and recovery. As another difficult California fire season continues, we encourage all organizations to take advantage of this valuable resource.

Community Recovery Efforts

If you’d like to support communities affected by the Caldor and Dixie fires, donations can be made to the following organizations:

The Plumas Bank Dixie Fire Fund

El Dorado Community Foundation

North Valley Community Foundation Wildfire Relief & Recovery Fund

United Way of Northern California