emergency planning

Dial 112! Czech Libraries Responding to Emergencies

Abstract: The history of the Czech Republic, and before it when it was Czechoslovakia, has been punctuated with crises and upheavals.  All of these experiences forced the Czech people to become adept at dealing with political, economic and social unrest, and this facility also impacted the realm of libraries.  The silver lining is that all of the manmade turmoil created by the Nazi and Communist years fostered the mind set and the experience to enable Czech libraries to cope with the natural disaster of the 2002 Prague flood.  Although they encompassed emergencies of varying sorts, the experiences of Czech libraries in dealing with the disasters of Nazi occupation, Communist repression, and a “five hundred year” flood proved to be impactful in the development of library policies.  The commonality in the responses to these various emergencies is a notion that access to information needs to be preserved, and within the last twenty years, digitization has certainly come to be seen as one means of accomplishing this goal.


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