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Association of Research Libraries
Research Library Issues 289 2016
Strozier Library, November 20, 2014. Photo credit: Florida State University.
Parking near Strozier Library, Katie saw a sky eerily lit by the flashing
lights of police cruisers and emergency vehicles. Barricades and crime-
scene tape surrounded the library building. “I approached an officer
sitting in his cruiser. ‘Excuse me, officer. I’m an associate dean in the
libraries. I need to speak to someone about what’s going on.’ I was lucky.
The officer’s wife was a PhD student so my title meant something to him.
He told me what little he knew and went off to find his sergeant.” The
sergeant wasn’t sure what to do with Katie, but brought her through the
lines to stand alongside FSU’s director of communications, who was also
trying to gather facts and make sense of the event, in anticipation of a
press conference. Bridgett, Katie’s colleague and head of the Learning
Commons, texted to say she was on her way.
A few minutes later Katie was leading Bridgett through the police lines.
They shared information with each other, trying to develop a coherent
understanding of what had taken place. Bridgett was texting with her
employees in Strozier and Dirac Libraries, but questions and confusion
prevailed over facts.
More and more news trucks and reporters arrived. Katie and Bridgett
spotted two university officials—the vice president for student affairs
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