The purpose of this paper is to analyze the Hurricane Katrina‐related narratives of Library and Information Science students at the University of Southern Mississippi's School of Library and Information Science, in order to gain insight into the role of public libraries post‐Hurricane Katrina.
Qualitative NVivo software was used to code the narratives for themes related to public libraries post‐Hurricane Katrina.
Post‐disaster problems include physical damage or destruction of the libraries and inundation of the libraries by refugees and evacuees seeking communication and information. Post‐disaster services provided by public librarians include providing communication and information, helping fill out aid forms, listening, offering comfort, volunteering, and donating.
This study can inform practitioners of the value of the public library as a quality of life issue since providing people with information and communication in public libraries played a crucial role in light of a catastrophic circumstance.
The unique context of local rural and small‐town public libraries faced with devastating catastrophic circumstances can add to the body of literature related to the value of public library services post‐disaster and form the basis for further, more comprehensive studies.
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