Active Shooter: Plan, Prevent, Survive

Dan refers us to a truly excellent article from “Library Leadership & Management,” volume 25, no. 1, 2011, entitled “Active Shooter in the Library:  How to Plan for, Prevent, and Survive the Worst,” by Amy Kautzman, Associate University Librarian at UC Davis’ General Library.  The article is available through Creative Commons here http://journals.tdl.org/llm/article/view/1864/1625.  It’s difficult to point out highlights because every sentence is important, but there were several eye-openers for me, such as:  active shooter incidents are not random, out-of-the-blue events.  In previous incidents, there have always been warning signs displayed by the person who became the shooter, but they were not reported until after the event, or if they had been reported before, no action was taken.  So awareness, reporting and follow-up are key preventive stragegies.  And, one of the keys to surviving an active shooter incident is to respond immediately rather than waiting to be told what to do; in other words, accept personal responsibility for your safety by learning response strategies and developing a “mindset” of preparedness.  Be sure to continue past the references at the end of the article to find the “Active Shooter / Safety and Security Selected Materials” bibliography of additional resources compiled by Amy Kautzman and Jennifer Little, who is Head of User Services at Morehead State University.

In the article, Ms. Kautzman acknowledges how scary it can be to entertain thoughts or develop scenarios in order to become prepared, but we can use this kind of scary to motivate us to make plans that might save our lives someday.