Libraries Offers Essential Services During Hurricane Sandy
The city and campus prepared well over the weekend for Hurricane Sandy that arrived in Philadelphia on Monday, October 29, 2012. This was a storm that affirmed an important role of the Libraries on Drexel’s campus.
The Provost requested that the Libraries serves as an essential service during the University's closing on Monday and Tuesday. Several staff were asked to work and provide skeletal services for over 25 hours during the two days when classes and campus activities were cancelled. They did so fearlessly and with service commitment beyond the normal expectations of their jobs. Here is what was provided to the thousands of students staying on campus during the storm, along with the opening of the Daskalakis Athletic Center [DAC] across Market Street from the W.W. Hagerty Library.
Reserve, circulation and information assistance on-site in the W. W. Hagerty Library was offered by Josh Fore, Oreste Jimenez, Tessa Erickson, Kevin Rabuck, as well as student workers Jeffry Hambrecht, Mamadou Sidibe, Ryan Carey, Christina Russel. Virtual reference assistance was managed through IM Chat and email messages, from the homes of librarians Rebekah Kilzer, Jay Bhatt, Nancy Bellafante, Kathleen Turner and Beth Ten Have. Kate Lynch maintained important updates on the Libraries website, even having to find a coffeeshop with wi-fi when Internet access failed at her own apartment. Ann Yurcaba and Dee Childs were managing communications with supervisors and various campus resources through phone, texting, and emails.
In addition, the Libraries was very fortunate not to have any flooding or other damage to its facilities. This was in large part due to the superb preparation and vigilant watch given by members of campus Facilities. Sandy simply wasn't going to bother showing her wrath on such a well cared-for site!
Over 1,350 people came through the W.W. Hagerty Library turnstile during these two days. A couple of students expressed their thanks to have the library open for this "catch up" period. We had a couple dozen reference questions through our virtual services through which librarians offered their expertise and guidance to help with more complex questions.
Appreciation has been extended to all staff for demonstrating, with their dedication and high quality services, that the Libraries is essential in advancing Drexel's mission.