Illinois Library Updates Emergency Reponse Plans
Libraries in Illinois are updating emergency protocols and installing emergency alarms out of an abundance of caution.
- By Sydny Shepard
- Mar 15, 2019
A library in Mundelein, Ill. is updating their emergency response plan to strengthen security precautions.
The Fremont Public Library has had tactics for an emergency crisis for years—employees taught to run, hide, fight if necessary—but there is no written set of instructions.
The Library's Director, Scott Davis, is rectifying that by compiling current strategies as an appendix to the library emergency plan. The text could be finalized as early as this month.
In addition to Fremont, libraries in Naperville, Elgin and Zurich are among those preparing employees for an armed intruder.
The move to update emergency response plans comes after concerns over violence in other parts of the country. In 2017, a gunman fatally shot two people and wounded four others at a library in New Mexico. Librarians in California and Florida have also been shot and killed on the job in December and January, respectively.
As part of the safety training, Davis said employees watch a shockingly realistic how-to video for surviving a mass shooting that was produced by the city of Houston and the U.S. Homeland Security Department.
"It's a sobering video," Davis said. "We let it sink in for a few moments before beginning discussion on what we saw."
Other libraries in the area are installing emergency alarms at their facilities. The blue boxes resemble wall-mounted fire alarms and can be manually activated during an emergency to call the police.
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.