January 18, 2013

What To Do...

Today I attended a meeting with one of the Clerks held by the Nassau County Police Department at Adelphi University called Active Shooter Briefing (It was about what to do if someone came into a building and started shooting up the place) and boy it was a downer.

We were bombarded with information on how to deal with various aspects of having an active shooter within a building, photos and videos from past tragedies, etc. It was all very informative but I don't think that I was the right person to send seeing as I am not a person in a position to make decisions on what our library should do in terms of having some sort of plan to deal with the issue.

Honestly the whole thing just brought back memories of being in college and worrying about what to do if there was a shooter because they showed pictures and talked a a lot about what happened at Virginia Tech. I was away at Binghamon when the Virginia Tech massacre occurred and I distinctly remember sitting around talking with my friends about what would happen if someone went crazy in our building and decided to shoot up the place. Unfortunately the answer was we'd be screwed because we lived on the third floor of a building and there was only one exit we could possibly get to. It really is just as scary to think about now as it was in April 2007.

On top of that now all I can think about is how unsafe our library is if something was to happen here because the advice of lock your doors and take cover in the back somewhere really doesn't work in our building. So I'm interested in knowing what one would do in a building like ours and what kind of plan should be put in place. I guess I'll have to wait until the follow up meeting (Which I think my Director and Assistant Director should attend) and find out.


  1. I went to a similar training a few months ago, since I am the library's emergency point person (which has more to do with where my office is than my crisis management abilities!), and you're right. It was quite scary and unsettling to realize how ill prepared we are if something like that were to happen. It's especially challenging because in a library you have a lot of people in one building.

    I think it was useful, though, in that the fact that it makes you think about it makes you more prepared than if you had never thought about it or received the training before.

    1. I'm so glad someone else from a library went to a similar meeting. I felt like I was the only librarian in the room during mine.

      My biggest issue with the whole thing is the fact that I don't know how we would be able to deal with such a situation merely because of the layout of our building. We have an open floor plan on our main level and if someone strolled in and decided to shoot up the place there wouldn't really be anywhere for people to run and hide. On the second floor (Where my department is) we have a few more rooms but all of the doors lock from the outside and we have poorly placed emergency exits.

      I totally agree, it was useful in terms of making one think about that sort of situation. Now I just have to get my Director & Assistant Director to think about it.