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Midwest Matters October 21st, 2021
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Broadening our thinking about disasters and the library’s response

Posted by on July 22nd, 2016 Posted in: Emergency Preparedness


What is a disaster for a library community? Is it a hurricane along the gulf coast, a tornado in the plains of the Midwest, a blizzard in the north? Certainly these situations and a lot more could qualify as disasters to which libraries might respond. A recent post to the Disaster Information Outreach by Librarians email list, <DISASTR-OUTREACH-LIB@list.nih.gov>, extended that response to other horrifying events in their communities, Libraries responding to crises.

Libraries can offer community support in more than times of natural disasters. Recent tragic events, such as the killing of police officers in Dallas, can prompt libraries to act. Per Robin Taylor, Disaster Information Resource Center (DIMRC), libraries “can provide information about local events and services, create reading lists and research guides, and offer less-traditional services to their communities in the wake of tragedy.” Robin shares the following articles to stimulate thought about responses to community crises:

Follow the conversation on the Gray & Amundsen post or tweet with the hashtag #librariesrespond. Also, as Robin reminded us, DIMRC offers training through the Disaster Information Specialist program (https://disasterinfo.nlm.nih.gov/dimrc/disasterinfospecialist.html) and through monthly webinars. To receive more information about disaster information outreach by librarians, consider subscribing to the DISASTR-OUTREACH-LIB Discussion List, please see the following URL: https://sis.nlm.nih.gov/dimrc/dimrclistserv.html. You can see the full text of Robin’s post in the LIST archives.


Jacqueline Leskovec

Jacqueline Leskovec, MLIS, MA, RN
Network Librarian
National Network of Libraries of Medicine
Greater Midwest Region
Hardin Library for the Health Sciences
University of Iowa
Web: http://nnlm.gov/gmr/
Skype: jacqueline.leskovec

Image of the author ABOUT Jacqueline Leskovec
Jacqueline Leskovec, MLIS, MA, RN is the Network Librarian for NNLM GMR. She is the lead for the Partner Outreach Library Program, Network membership and user accounts, and the GMR website. She has been with the Network since 2005. In addition to being a health sciences librarian, Jacqueline maintains her license as a registered nurse. She telecommutes from her home office in Chicago and attends on-site meetings regularly. She is well acquainted with power tools and will be happy to bore you with details of her many home repair and remodel adventures.

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This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Grant Number 1UG4LM012346 with The University of Iowa.

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