Earlier this week a group of Library Science students from across America visited us at the University of Strathclyde as part of their study tour of the UK. It was brilliant to meet up with them and to discuss both the differences and similarities between libraries in the UK and USA.
It was also a privilege to hear first hand from some of the students about the long term impact that Hurricane Katrina has had on communities and individuals across the Gulf Coast. This has proven invaluable in terms of my own research into the social value of public libraries as I’m planning to investigate the role that public libraries play in the rebuilding and transforming of communities following natural disasters.
“…preserve and expand upon the lessons of Katrina and disasters like her for the benefit of those who will
face the challenge of the next epic catastrophe” (Katrina Research Centre, 2008).
I’m so pleased that I found out about this project at an early stage in my own research. I’ll be sure to check the website regularly for research findings, photos and news in order to help build my depth of knowledge of the social and transformational value of public libraries in the face of adversity and tragedy.
Out of disaster comes hope and inspiration and I feel that there is much to be learned from the people of the Gulf Coast and their formidable library services.