Small and Large-scale Disaster Planning within the Library: Preparation, Procedures, and Preservation for Water Based Emergencies

Open Access
Esperon, Emma Elizabeth
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Jacqueline R Esposito, Thesis Supervisor
  • Lisa Ruth Sternlieb, Honors Advisor
  • library
  • preservation
  • conservation
  • disaster
  • emergency
  • water
  • planning
  • Katrina
  • flood
  • hurricane
  • Pattee
  • Paterno
  • book
When disasters occur, they impact the heart of the community: the library. Although some libraries are moderately equipped with an effective emergency plan, most are unprepared for a large-scale disaster. In such circumstances, library collections would need to be protected against forces that could destroy entire towns. This poses the question, how can a library be adequately prepared for a large-scale emergency? This thesis addresses the necessity of a library to write a preparedness plan and train for a possible emergency situation by analyzing the sections of the standard disaster response scenarios as well as create small and large-scale case studies. Currently, disaster response plans are very effective against small-scale disasters as shown by the Pennsylvania State University’s response to their 1993 flood; however, in comparison to large-scale disasters, like Hurricane Katrina, libraries are unprepared for the magnitude of the disaster and the devastation it causes.