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Role of libraries in disasters and emergencies


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In 2010, a massive earthquake struck Chile, followed by a tsunami that devastated several coastal communities. The Libraries, Telecenters, and the 2010 Chile Earthquake project examines post-disaster information and communication needs, services provided by libraries and telecenters, and how emergency management might be improved. Researchers found that libraries and telecenters played an important role in responding to the crisis. The project team concluded: (1) that governments should include these venues in emergency plans, (2) that library-telecenter alliances and coordination could be improved; (3) that there is a need to develop tools and provide training to make it easier to organize and communicate in post-emergency situations.

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Role of libraries in disasters and emergencies

  1. 1. Role of Libraries in emergency context: The case of the 2010 Earthquake and Tsunami in Chile The Urgency of Reading October 11th, 2013 Paris, France Maria Garrido & Beth Patin In collaboration with Angelica Celedón y Andrea Pequeño (ATACH)
  2. 2. GO WITH THE FLOW Motivation 2010 Chilean Earthquake & Tsunami Case Study Themes and Trends Directions for the Future 2
  3. 3. RESEARCH GOALS • What roles did libraries play during this crisis? • What strategies were implemented to foster communication and information sharing for people in affected areas? • Are there common elements across the public access venues which would facilitate appropriate response in the future? 3
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  8. 8. DIFFERENT ROLES LIBRARIES PLAY 1. Changing information and communication needs 2. Shifting services/shifting roles 3. Transformation of Community Space 9
  9. 9. CHANGING INFORMATION NEEDS | SHIFTING LIBRARY SERVICES THE TECHNOLOGY COMPONENT • Locating & interacting with family and friends • Downloading/Filling government forms • Checking updates about conditions of the affected region. • Locating information on the status of their homes and work places THE SOCIAL COMPONENT • Creating & distributing preparedness information • Establishing emergency operations centers • Providing physical aid (food, water, tarps, shelter) • Assisting with completion of government forms • Cleaning up the damage after the disaster.
  10. 10. CHANGING INFORMATION NEEDS 1. Safety & Welfare (I’m okay, Are you okay) 2. Access to basic needs (food, water, shelter, etc.) Citizens in Chile locating family members | Mobile Telecenter Source: CDI Europe
  11. 11. CHANGING INFORMATION NEEDS 3. Filling out government forms and insurance claims Astrodome Library after Hurricane Katrina Source: Beth Patin
  12. 12. This research was made possible by Microsoft and the Global Impact Study, a project co-funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Maria Garrido Research Assistant Professor @mariaigarrido Asociación de Telecentros Activos de Chile (ATACH) (56 2) 89 15 261 Twitter: @atach_chile Beth Patin PhD Student Technology & Social Change Group University of Washington Information School +1.206.616.9101 Twitter: @taschagroup