Public Library Partnerships with Local Agencies to Meet Community Disaster Preparedness and Response Needs

Chris Hagar

ABSTRACT

This paper reports on the initial findings of the first phase of a study funded by San Jose State University, USA to provideinsightregardinghowpubliclibrariescanbe moreinvolvedincommunity-wide disasterplanning,strengtheningtheirroleascoremembersof theircommunities’disasterpreparedness and responseinfrastructure. The first phase of the study involves a nationwide survey of public library directors and library staff who are involved in coordinating disaster planning for their institutions. A survey was carried out during December 2014 and January 2015 to explorewhatpubliclibrariescanbringtocommunity-wideplanningefforts and thetypesofpartnershipsthatarepossible. The findingswillprovidelibraryleaderswithvaluableinsighton how to proactivelyengageindialogueandplanningwiththeirlocalemergencymanagement community. The second phase emerging from the research will involve follow-up in-depth explorations of the exemplary disaster planning models.

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