Safety and Security in Urban Academic Libraries: a risk assessment approach to emergency preparedness

Raffensperger, Thomas Edgar
March 2010
Urban Library Journal;Spring2010, Vol. 16 Issue 1, p68
Academic Journal
Academic libraries have developed a wide range of emergency preparedness policies, procedures, and training programs. Libraries have traditionally focused on the recovery of collections after an emergency. Risk assessment has focused on collections, largely as an outgrowth of valuation for insurance purposes and the core responsibility of libraries to safeguard collections. Risk assessment has rarely been systematically applied to personal safety and security. There is an anecdotal sense that urban academic libraries are subject to higher risk from property and violent crime than other academic libraries. This study examines the level of risk of property and violent crime using Clery Act data and Uniform Crime Report data, distinguishing between urban and less-urban academic environments and comparing crime rates in academic environments with the general crime rates. It provides a model for risk assessment and for the prioritization of prevention and preparedness initiatives.


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