In October 2015, several counties in South Carolina experienced catastrophic flooding that caused severe damage. Using a framework for risk communication preparedness and implementation recommended by public health experts, this study investigated public libraries and their legitimacy as partners of public health agencies during and after a disaster. The results show that the libraries in the areas affected created disaster-recovery centers, illustrating their value in facilitating emergency response and recovery. However, the findings also show librarians were not fully prepared to provide disaster and health information, especially through online venues. Information and technology literacy issues created barriers for community members in accessing disaster health information and filing FEMA applications online. It is recommended that public libraries provide user-friendly, reliable disaster and health digital resources, making them available permanently, and updating the information consistently.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Published in Journal of New Librarianship, ed. Stephen P. Weiter, Volume 4, Issue Special Issue, 2019, pages 405-416.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Tu-Keefner, F. (2019). Communities and Libraries in Times of Crisis: A Journey of Knowledge Inquiries in South Carolina. Journal of New Librarianship, 4(Special Issue), 405-416. https://doi.org/10.21173/newlibs/7/12