Steadfastly We Serve: Library Resilience during the 1918-19 Spanish Influenza Outbreak and Current COVID-19 Pandemic
Disruptions occur regularly, regardless of size of impact. Disruptions libraries face can include budget cuts, environmental disasters, building issues, and technological failures. Any type of disruption can and will dampen the level of service provided by libraries but the ability to quickly overcome the disruption while moving forward with organizational goals is vital. Resilience in organizations is not a new concept, but the high level of resilience exuded by libraries despite the disruptions they face is worth noting. The Spanish Influenza and COVID-19 pandemics have significantly disrupted library operations. The similarities between the two pandemics are astounding and in both cases, libraries did, and continue to, go beyond to provide high levels of service to their communities. This article will highlight the resilient nature of libraries and provide examples of how libraries combatted the issues they faced during the Spanish Influenza and COVID-19 outbreaks.