Monday, June 16, 2008

Update on the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library in Cedar Rapids

Here is an update about the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library in Cedar Rapids.
Thankfully, the staff and their families are safe and they are now trying to deal with the flood crisis and disaster recovery.

I visited this wonderful museum and library when I was a speaker at a conference of the Czechoslovak Society of Arts & Sciences, which was held in Cedar Rapids in 2003, and have interacted with many of the staff there for a variety of projects. As Gail Naughton, President and CEO, so eloquently says in her message posted on the their web site (see below) along with a photograph: "Czechs and Slovaks have endured many devastating events in their history with an indomitable spirit." I have faith that our friends in Cedar Rapids will as well.

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone.



June 14, 2008

National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

NCSML.org

A statement from Gail Naughton, President/CEO

National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library

To our Czech and Slovak friends around the world.

The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library has been dealt a devastating blow with the massive flooding in Cedar Rapids. The museum buildings are surrounded by more than 10 feet of water up to the roof, which is rushing with such great force boats cannot get near. It is a flood of historic proportions, beyond any imagining. I want to assure our members and friends that everyone at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library is safe. We were able to remove two semi truck loads of artifacts and books to safety, but we were unable to remove everything before we were told to leave. We will not know the full extent of the damage until we are able to get inside, which may be over a week. The museum staff and board of directors are already meeting to plan for disaster recovery and professional help is coming from across the country to advise and assist us.

I have received an outpouring of concern, support and love from across the United States and around the world. I want to thank everyone for these messages, which are so treasured by us as we go through these difficult days. Many have asked how they can help. At this point we don’t know. When we do, we will ask, because we will need the help of everyone in the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library family and Czechs and Slovaks worldwide to survive this.

Czechs and Slovaks have endured many devastating events in their history with an indomitable spirit. The United States is filled with the strength of those Czechs and Slovaks who settled here and built the nation.

A museum is more than a building, it exists in the hearts and souls of people. The treasured heritage of the Czechs and Slovaks will continue to be preserved as we triumph and rebuild the museum and library.

Callers will not be able to reach the Museum through our telephone number at this time. For the latest information go to the Museum’s website www.NCSML.org which will be periodically updated. As soon as phone service is restored, we will post it here.

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