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, MLIS, MA, RN
National Network of Libraries of Medicine
Greater Midwest Region
Hardin Library for the Health Sciences
University of Iowa