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ACURIL 2011: The Role of Libraries and Archives in Disaster Preparedness, Response and Research

2011 Conference Proceedings

The link below provides a .pdf version of the 2011 ACURIL Conference Proceedings.

2011 Sponsors

ACURIL XLI Thanks the Following Sponsors ...

The USF Internal Awards Program for sponsoring Dr. James Andrews of the USF School of Information






American Medical Association









The Association of Caribbean University, Research and Institutional Libraries (ACURIL), whichoriginated as part of a movement for Caribbean cooperation at the university level, was initiated in the late 1960s by the Association of Universities and Research Institutions of the Caribbean (UNICA). UNICA recognized the need for close cooperation among university and research libraries in the region and sponsored, along with the University of Puerto Rico and its Institute of Caribbean Studies, the first conference of librarians in the region's university and research libraries in 1969.

ACURIL membership is comprised of the states and nations in the Caribbean and bordering on the Gulf of Mexico. There are three official languages for the conference: English, Spanish, and French. Our annual attendance includes participants from across the Caribbean, the Americas, and Europe. This year, the conference is hosted in the United States for the first time in 14 years.

For additional information about this year's conference, and about ACURIL and its activities, please contact   Luisa Vigo-Cepeda, Executive Secretary.

 -- "What is ACURIL?" ACURILNET. Retrieved November 9, 2010, from


Conference Theme

Disasters are not uncommon events, and take many forms. Natural disasters include weather phenomena, such as hurricanes, tropical storms, winds, floods, extremes of heat or cold, earthquakes, landslides, and volcanic eruptions. Manmade disasters generally include building collapse, transportation accidents, and industrial accidents and now include acts of terrorism, genocide, and war. Although disasters primarily are seen as sudden onsets of cataclysmic events, such as a tsunami, there are ‘slow-onset’ disasters, such as drought, famine, or environmental hazards, which occur over a longer duration of time.

Disasters, in whatever form they take, rob us of our sense of well-being, our security, our community, our loved ones, and our homes. Disasters forever change ‘life as we know it’ and seriously impact our ability to function. We may rebuild buildings and replace lost books but the impact on staff, their families and loved ones, and their communities linger.

With the hurricanes -- Ivan, Dennis, and Katrina -- and now the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, we are increasingly vulnerable to the forces of nature, which we cannot control. However, we can inform ourselves of best practices through the experiences of others and through the research. It is to this that the theme of the 2011 ACURIL Conference was chosen.

The 41st conference will consist of keynote speakers, formal presentations,  panels, workshops, and poster sessions to  address real concerns in our response to disasters that occur in our libraries, our role in the community before and after a disaster, and our role in helping to build the evidence base in disaster research to make our communities safer and more resilient to catastrophes.

The first day will be devoted to how we in libraries and archives respond to the disasters that befall us. This day will focus on management and triage, not only of books and media but will also the human side of libraries and archives, our staff.

The second day will be devoted to how archives and libraries respond within our communities before and after disasters occur. For example, what types of outreach can we provide? How do we recreate our services to meet the needs of our patrons?

The third day will examine the roles of libraries and archives in disaster research. Libraries, such as Caribbean Disaster Information Network (CARDIN) and the Regional Disaster Information Center for Latin America and the Caribbean (CRID), address a broad spectrum of topics in disaster research. There are also collections who specialise in a focal area, for example, the Florida Mental Health Institute Research Library's collection on disaster mental health collection or the Natural Hazards Research Center's collection on post-disaster assessment and analysis, or the University of Delaware Disaster Research Center, which houses one of the largest social and behavioural sciences disaster collections.

Please consider submitting a paper, panel, or poster for the conference. Also, if you are aware of individuals who may be interesting keynote speakers, please send their contact information and short bio  to our Local Organising Committee and to Luisa Vigo-Cepeda, Executive Secretary, at

Translators Needed

ACURIL membership represents the expansive range of cultures existing between the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea borders.  With such diverse heritages comprising the association, it should come as no surprise that ACURIL actively engages its membership by providing English, Spanish, French, French Creole, and Dutch conference sessions and publications. 

Translators - both textual and simultaneous (verbal) - are needed. As the conference will be held in the United States for the first time in 14 years, conference organizers anticipate significantly greater attendance from the American English-speaking population than years past.  Spanish-English, French-English, French Creole-English and Dutch-English interpreters are sought as well as interpreters able to translate simultaneously between any of the languages presented.

If you are interested in serving as a textual or verbal translator, please contact Ardis Hanson. In addition to identifying the specific languages spoken, written or read, please include your level of expertise (native, fluent, intermediate) and years of experience.