Association of Research Libraries
Research Library Issues 289 — 2016
Finally, at a mid-afternoon press conference, we learned that the FSU
president and a few other administrators were going to visit Strozier
Library at 4:00 p.m. The library dean was asked to accompany them.
We who toured the library that afternoon ducked under the yellow
crime-scene tape to enter the building. The steps, site of the worst
violence, had been scrubbed clean. The lobby was spotless. A large
contingent of maintenance staﬀ was waiting for us inside the entrance,
clearly proud of their work. As we toured, we marveled at their eﬀorts.
The floors were gleaming, the furniture carefully arranged, desk surfaces
wiped to a high shine, everything—books, computers, desk equipment—
neatly in place. Aside from plywood over one front window, there was no
sign of the chaos of the night before.
FSU’s president, John Thrasher, had been in oﬃce for just 10 days. He
was deeply shaken by the shooting. As we walked through Strozier, he
pulled the dean aside and said, “I want us to reopen just as soon as we
can.” And it was agreed that we would reopen the next morning, Friday,
November 21, at 9:00 a.m.
The Library Reopens
Library management sent an e-mail to the staﬀ on Thursday afternoon,
asking them to be at work by 8:00 a.m. the next day. An early-morning
meeting for all library employees was hastily arranged. A breakfast
spread provided nourishment and comfort. Speakers from the University
Counseling Center, EAP, the FSU Police Department, library security,
and library administration shared the latest information and promised
ongoing support for our staﬀ, as well for as the entire FSU community.
Friday was a gorgeous fall day. The media presence on Landis Green had
not abated. News trucks and reporters were everywhere, but this time
they were enabling FSU to make a public statement about its resilience
in the wake of such a horrifying event. After brief statements by the
president and the dean of libraries, other campus oﬃcials joined them in