Disaster awareness and preparedness in academic libraries: The case of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Library, Umudike, Nigeria

Blessing Solomon-Uwakwe
Keywords: Disaster awareness, Disaster preparedness, Academic library. Michael Okpara University, Agriculture, Umudike, Nigeria
Library and Information Perspectives and Research 2019 1(1), 1-15. Published: July 13, 2019


Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the disaster awareness and preparedness of academic libraries at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Library, Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria. The research design adopted for the study was the descriptive survey design. The design was adopted to enable the researcher generate accurate data on the current status of disaster awareness and preparedness in the library investigated. The instruments used for collecting data for the study were questionnaire, interview and observation. The population of the study consisted of the management and the entire library staff of the Library. The collected data were analyzed using frequency counts and percentages. Findings revealed that fire outbreak, power failure, vandalism, theft, roof leakage, flood and biological agents are types of disaster that may occur in the library; the library has disaster preparedness plan, although the plan is lacking in effective implementation and monitoring, the library does not have any disaster training programme on disaster awareness and preparedness, there is no disaster response and recovery team in the library, the major disaster prevention measures available in the library are fire extinguisher, regular fumigation of the library and use of security procedures, monitoring and repair of leaking roof as well as regular checking of electrical fittings, the library does not have any sophisticated modern technological disaster equipment such as fire detective equipment, remote sensing equipment, smoke detector, etc., there was no insurance policy for quick disaster recovery and no response and recovery team in the library; the problems militating against disaster preparedness in the library include: absence or inadequate implementation of disaster awareness and preparedness plan, lack of insurance policy, financial constraints, lack of staff training, lack of modern disaster technological equipment, unreliable power supply for operating disaster modern technological equipment, negligence of the stakeholders and staff to disaster preparedness,. Disaster awareness and preparedness help library management to know and appreciate the dangers of disaster to its resources and appropriately position the library for its eventuality. The effort and commitment of library towards avoiding or reducing effects of disaster in the library by engaging in proper planning in view of library huge investments cannot be overstressed.