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The Information Connection in Times of Crisis

Trudi Bellardo Hahn

(Submission #125)


Abstract

An IMLS-funded study in 2009 focused on public libraries' participation in relief efforts during times of disasters, particularly related to information services. The research team at the University of Maryland (Trudi Bellardo Hahn, Ann Weeks, Diane Barlow, Paul Jaeger, John Bertot) and at the University of Alabama (Elizabeth Aversa, William Evans) targeted certain public libraries in Maryland and Alabama as exemplars of the range of different types and sizes of public libraries, with a variety of governance structures and relationships with their state and local communities. The goal of the project was to learn whether a single model of disaster response would work both in Maryland, which has well-off communities of urban, diverse populations, the libraries are well supported, and are part of a county-level organization, and also in Alabama, which has a poor rural population, the libraries have limited resources, and each library is an individual entity. The study found few differences between Maryland and Alabama, but found that most public libraries are not part of local community plans for disaster response regardless of where they are located.

  


  
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