In this brief article, I address the usefulness of including community-driven interviews into preparations for disasters. Drawing on Shera’s (1970) highly influential construction of library work as tied to communication, I analyze responses of three library organizations – the New York Public Library, the Brooklyn Public Library and the New Jersey Library Association – immediately following Hurricane Sandy. I then turn to a specific role of communication that libraries can offer surrounding communities, providing resources for local community members to conduct interviews among those who have experienced a disaster. By incorporating this kind of responsibility to communicate experiences of a crisis to a wider audience, libraries fulfill an important part of Shera’s charge to reflect the local values and norms of surrounding communities.
Lingel, J. (2013). The value of community ethnography in public library crisis preparation. Urban Library Journal, 19 (1). Retrieved from http://academicworks.cuny.edu/ulj/vol19/iss1/15