28 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 289 2016 Thinking about the Unthinkable: A Personal Reflection on the June 1 Incident at UCLA and Library Responses and Roles in Active Shooter Situations Virginia Steel, University Librarian, UCLA The first text from the UCLA campus alert system, “Bruin Alert,” on June 1, 2016, was sent at 9:49 a.m. and said, “Police activity. Avoid area around Engineering IV.” Four minutes later a second text was sent with the message, “shots fired, lock down.” This was the beginning of what would turn out to be a day of surprise, shock, and tremendous uncertainty mixed with moments of fear and sadness for the entire UCLA campus. In the end, what had at first been thought to be an active shooter situation turned out to be an incident of workplace violence that resulted in the murder of a faculty member and the suicide of one of his former students. This instance of workplace violence had a profound impact on the UCLA Library while it was happening and in the weeks and months since then. This article describes some of what went on in UCLA Library facilities during the lockdown, and it offers some practical suggestions for preparations and responses to similar situations. The Lockdown June 1 was a typical busy day at UCLA during the week before finals. The campus and the eight library buildings were bustling with students studying, writing papers, and meeting with their peers to work on assignments. Library staff members were attending to their normal responsibilities, although many librarians were either in meetings or out of their offices for a variety of reasons. No one in the library had any reason to expect anything out of the ordinary that day. When the first two campus alerts came through, the general reaction of everyone, including library staff members, was to be stunned and uncertain about what to do. The texts instructed us to lock the doors to all campus structures, but doing this turned out to be more difficult
Previous Page Next Page