Libraries, Telecenters, and the 2010 Chile Earthquake

On February 27, 2010, a massive earthquake struck Chile, followed by a tsunami that devastated several coastal communities. The Libraries, Telecenters, and the 2010 Chile Earthquake project examines post-disaster information and communication needs, services provided by libraries and telecenters, response times, factors contributing to successes and shortfalls, and how emergency management might be improved. Looking at five libraries and seven telecenters, researchers conducted semi-structured interviews with three groups: library and telecenter staff, government representatives, and users. They found that libraries and telecenters played an important role in responding to the crisis, helping to restore communication and promote recovery. The project team concluded that governments should include libraries and telecenters in emergency plans, that library-telecenter alliances and coordination could be improved, and that there is a need to develop tools and provide training to make it easier to organize and communicate in post-emergency situations.