This was a project aimed to create a self-managed library in New Orleans that would inspire youth ages 5 thru 15 affected by Hurricane Katrina to excel academically through reading and writing. It was also a project aimed to encourage community development, parental involvement in the educational lives of their children, and inspire others to continue in the rebuilding efforts in New Orleans. The project took a few months of planning, but after a summer's dedication, waht resulted was an over 900-book free library open to the youth, family, and friends of the Cutoff Community Center in Lower Algiers. All of the books underwent an extensive organizational process, as they were all alphabetized, labeled according to grade level, organized, and shelved accordingly. All of the information was then manually imputed in an electronic catalog to ensure that the library functioned similar to a typical public library.
This project was created not simply a way to aid in the Katrina Relief efforts, but it was an effort to specifically address the needs of a group of urban youth plagued by economic inaccessibility, drugs, and violence. The Cutoff Youth Library provides a productive and educational outlet for youth that otherwise seek sports and the streets as an outlet.