When the Nation is in Crisis: Libraries Respond

Source: Bibi Alajmi, Library Management , (2016) Vol. 37 Iss: 8/9, 2016

From the abstract:
Purpose: This research aims to shed light on the role of libraries as community institutions by reflecting on the experience of the Ferguson Municipal Public Library (FMPL), Missouri, USA, during the time of social unrest in the summer of 2014. The research explores the traditional and non-traditional roles of libraries during times of social unrest while focusing on relevant areas of crisis management preparedness and competencies necessary during crisis.

Design/methodology/approach: The study adopts a qualitative approach in investigating the research problem and uses the case study method to collect relevant data

Findings: This paper reports on the experience of the FMPL staff during this time. Their experience of what happened, how they dealt with it, and what their expectations were after the crisis are all documented

Research limitations/implications – Practical implications – Originality/value: Several scholars have studied how public libraries respond to disasters, yet little is known about whether public libraries proactively engage in community-wide disaster planning, and if so, what is the nature of those partnerships.