Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities
Articles Information
Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vol.1, No.3, Jul. 2015, Pub. Date: Jun. 8, 2015
Querying Facility Management Teams: Document Preservation and Debris Removal for Cultural Collections
Pages: 215-228 Views: 1343 Downloads: 1106
[01] Paulette R. Hebert, Department of Design, Housing and Merchandising, Stillwater, USA.
A university research team travelled to four sites located in a large metropolitan area on the United States of America’s Eastern seaboard which had all been evacuated in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy. During the three day study period researchers toured the affected sites: two university libraries, one museum, and one world-class art gallery. Facility management team members were identified by the researchers as potential study participants prior to researchers’ arrival at the sites and after receiving Institutional Research Board approval. Purposeful and snowball sampling techniques were utilized. Researchers contacted potential participants via telephone and/or email prior. At the sites, the researchers administered a perception survey with 21 close-ended questions using a Likert-type scale and one open-ended question. This instrument queried facility management team members regarding their experiences prior to, during, and after Hurricane Sandy. Participants were asked for recommendations to improve disaster preparation and recovery. Researchers also administered four focus groups which were audio recorded and later transcribed. Dragon Natural Speak software was utilized. Two sites' participants, those at the art gallery and one of the libraries, also managed "sister" facilities which were located nearby and also impacted by Hurricane Sandy. These facilities were considered in the focus group sessions as well for a total of six considered sites. The close-ended survey questions were analysed using descriptive statistics. The open-ended questions and the focus group data were analysed for common themes. Seven participants completed seven usable surveys and participated in four focus group sessions which each lasted approximately one hour. Disaster preparation, disaster recovery methods, and disaster recovery effectiveness varied across sites. Water intrusion, flood and wind damage varied across sites but broken windows, ruined sheetrock and smashed gates, produced electrical system problems, and damaged records and artefacts. One participant rode out the storm in a facility and was trapped for five days with relatively inadequate living conditions and no outside communication. Other participants were prevented from returning to their urban facilities for one week or more due the unavailability of public transportation or access blocked by law enforcement. The most recurring themes included Post- hurricane disaster plan use or updates, Vendors or external providers, human health and safety, communications, transportation, and records stored in basements.
Museum, Library, Art, Preservation, Disaster, Interview, Survey, Focus Groups
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