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.
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/
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.”