Click on this URL, http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6671751.html, for a summary of a session on active shooters at the 2009 ALA Conference. The session was moderated by University of California-Davis librarian Amy Kautzman and featured a panel of two law enforcement officers. It’s a short read with some very good suggestions.
On September 28, 2010, we were all dismayed to hear about the shooter on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. The crisis ended with the shooter running into the Perry-Casteneda Library, where he took his own life, not having injured anyone else. While the incident was unfolding, the University acted immediately to instruct all its students, faculty and staff to shelter in place. According to news reports, within 8 minutes of shots being fired, they had sent out an emergency alert via text message and posted the alert on their web page, and sounded outdoor sirens on campus to warn everyone to take shelter. While most of us, fortunately, have no experience with this type of incident, it can, unfortunately, happen anywhere and anytime.
When the NN/LM SE/A Emergency Preparedness & Response Committee met in December, one of the Florida representatives, Allison Howard, mentioned that their staff had watched a DVD called “Shots Fired: When Lightning Strikes,” and that it was very effective in teaching the best response to shots fired in the workplace or vicinity. Here’s the link to the site where the video is available, including a trailer/preview: http://www.shotsfireddvd.com/
Yesterday’s incident in the Perry-Castaneda Library at the University of Texas is a sad reminder that a violent incident can happen in your library. Remember Step 2 of the 10-steps: Protect yourself, your staff, and your patrons. Do you have procedures in place for an active shooter? If so, have you drilled your staff on those procedures lately? Click on this link, http://www.virginia.edu/emergency/plan.html#violent, to view procedures for active shooter/violent person from the University of Virginia’s Critical Incident Response Plan. Also check with your parent institution.
See this article, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39213800/ns/health-health_care/, entitled “Hospital Violence is on the Rise, Health Agency Warns,” by JoNel Aleccia, Health Writer for MSNBC. Yesterday’s incident at Johns Hopkins is an unfortunate reminder that everyone who works in a health care setting could possibly be at risk for violence, even though, as the Joint Commission report noted, hospitals have traditionally been considered “safe havens.”