My sister thought people might like to know how I found these libraries. Here's what I did:
1) I looked at the New York Times's drought map to find the hardest-hit regions.
2) I correlated it with county maps of affected states to see which counties were in those regions. I also looked up declarations of drought emergency by state, as a cross-check.*
3) I Googled "public library [county name] [state name]" to find the library or libraries that serve that county.
4) I looked up the libraries' towns on City-Data.com/ , looking for two things: the population of the town, and the median income. I wanted to send aid to libraries that might be particularly vulnerable to a drop in local income.
5) I went back to the library's website, if they had one, to look for a contact email address (preferably the director's or head librarian's address). Libraries without websites, or without email contacts, I ended up slighting because I didn't feel I could explain the project clearly and convincingly over the phone.
6) I emailed directors/head librarians, explaining the project and asking if they could accept this kind of donation. Those who replied are the ones we're funding.
The next "Making of" will be about the rain dance poems. Also, there's going to be some sort of extra surprise** gift for people who donate twice, as one amazing person has already done.
*After the first three libraries, I got smart and did a
further cross-check with state agricultural boards, since
farming-dependent communities are particularly vulnerable.
** "Surprise" because I haven't thought of it yet.