Impact of the 2019 Floods in the Public Libraries of Kerala
A Study with Special Reference to Kannur District
Occurrence of natural disasters like floods, cyclones, tornados, Hurricanes, heavy rains, earthquakes, landslides, droughts, cloudbursts and tsunamis has increased over the years. While all types of disasters have the potential of damaging libraries, water is not only the most common but also the most potent factor. The extent of damage inflicted by floods can range from minimal to completely destructive, depending on the materials involved and the amount of water, the circumstances and the purity of the water. Severe floods affected the south Indian state Kerala, due to unusually high rainfall during the monsoon season in August 2019. While public libraries in some districts like Ernakulam, Thrissur were worst affected, other distircts like Palakkad, Pathanamthitta and Kannur were also impacted. This paper analyses the extent of damage caused by floods in the public libraries, how the affected libraries coped with disaster and the level of disaster preparedness among libraries. It also throws light on the loss of service days, recovery measures taken by library, the range of progress achieved in recouping damages, sources of collection re-building, and the extent of official and community support received by the libraries for the mitigation of damages. The paper also offers suggestions to encounter future eventualities.
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