Libraries across Maine are collecting donations to help rebuild the Lac-Mégantic, Que., library destroyed in the train derailment and explosion earlier this summer.

Farmington Public Library director Melanie Coombs launched the effort because the Maine community is the sister city of nearby Lac-Mégantic.

The July 6 train disaster killed 47 people and levelled the town core, including the library and its archives.

The derailment and explosion occurred just as the library was preparing to move into a new building for the fall.

Coombs told the Lewiston, Me., Sun Journal that the Canadian community's library lost its collection of 60,000 books, except for the few that customers had borrowed. It also lost irreplaceable records and photos documenting the town's history.

Coombs reached out to libraries across Maine, and they agreed to put donation cans at their circulation desks.