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Campus Shootings and Library Security Covered in Research Library Issues

FSU Gathering of Unity, Nov. 2014. Photo credit: Matthew Paskert / FSView.

How can research libraries handle and recover from “active shooter” incidents? The latest issue of Research Library Issues (RLI) features two articles that describe campus shootings and library response.

Julia Zimmerman and Susannah C. Miller tell the story of staff who were in Florida State University’s (FSU) Strozier Library on the fall 2014 night when a terrifying shooting occurred at the library. Zimmerman and Miller note how challenging it was to sort through the events of that night as well as the impact the incident had on staff, students, and the campus community. The authors also detail actions taken by the libraries, university, and community to help the campus recover and move forward.

Virginia Steel describes the spring 2016 day when a shooting in a UCLA School of Engineering building put the campus libraries into lockdown. This incident revealed the tensions between the library’s role as a safe haven and the need to follow security procedures, especially when accurate information is limited. Steel discusses lessons learned from the experience and from a campus safety review that was conducted afterward.

The complete table of contents with links to the articles follows:

Research Library Issues no. 289 (2016) is freely available from ARL Digital Publications.

About the Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL’s mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at ARL.org.