Renewal After Hurricane Katrina: The importance of Broadmoor’s public library

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Last month was the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. As we revisit our grant to the Rosa F. Keller Library, provided to help support a community revitalization effort and the repair and restoration of the local library, we now see a library that has that become a central part of the community. The library reconstruction project served as the centerpiece of the Broadmoor Redevelopment Plan, a comprehensive strategy inspired and shaped by the neighborhood residents themselves. Rebuilding the Keller Library was identified by the community as a critical component of the blueprint because the institution is a concrete symbol of Broadmoor's resilience and rebirth.

From those devastating first days, the Broadmoor community has proven that the reestablishment of their public library was not only symbolic, but a necessary part of community revitalization. Spearheaded by LaToya Cantrell, now a New Orleans City Council Member, the library, which houses the Broadmoor Arts & Wellness Center, has become a community resource for the mind as well as the body. In Cantrell’s Huffington Post article she talks about the devastation she felt those first few days after Katrina, and about the many milestones reached with the redevelopment of the Broadmoor community.