Prepare For Disaster

Academic libraries are different than public libraries when it comes to the patrons they serve, but one thing that is the same--disasters and crime. On any given day librarians and staff must be prepared to deal with episodes of theft, inappropriate behavior from patrons in the library, natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes on the east coast and even earthquakes, all of which can do untold damage to collections and the lives of those who work in libraries. Additionally, on college and secondary campuses it seems that we are reminded frequently that there are unstable individuals that care nothing about taking someone's life. Should this cause panic in how we handle the daily activities, the answer is no; however it should cause concern and action. Develop a strong disaster preparedness plan and familiarize yourself and your staff with the necessary steps to take if a disaster strikes. While it is sometimes easy to be amused by the stupid things that people do, we should never forget the seriousness of the actions that a few can take or the consequences of mother nature having a bad day.