Shiva Rezaei – On 23 and 24 March 2020, Iranian Library and Information Association – the southern branch of Iran- and the Scientific Association for Information Science and Knowledge of Shiraz University, with the participation of directors, faculty members, librarians, and library staff as well as students, held a specialized virtual meeting entitled “The Role of Libraries in Crisis Management”, in which the role and mission of libraries and librarians during a crisis was addressed. In this two-day meeting, the vital role and position of libraries and librarians, which will be much more significant during various crises that society inevitably faces, was initially discussed.
As a result, it is a need for libraries to have a plan for crisis management in order to have an authoritative performance during crises. It is clear that depending on the type of crisis, the role of libraries will be different. In the current situation and due to the worldwide epidemic, libraries are closed. Nevertheless, librarians continue to do well not as a librarian but as an informant in society. Then, the necessity of evaluating the information in cyberspace, training librarians, and their practical and mental preparation and performing pathology in this field, providing information about health issues, and paying attention to the context of social networks were discussed.
In addition, some other important issues raised by the members in this meeting about the role of libraries in crisis management are as follows:
– Providing infrastructure and forming a user community; Paying attention to the capacity of virtual media; Providing information services in the context of digital libraries; Including the relevant contents to crisis management in educational topics; Production and collection of appropriate and creative content and its presentation to users in crisis situations such as audiobooks, etc., considering the copyright laws; Holding motivating reading events and competitions to promote reading habits in society; Collaboration with other organizations to provide library programs.