Investigating the Readiness of Iranian Public Libraries in Confronting Dust Crisis

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Prof in Knowledge and Information Science, faculty of Education Sciences & Psychology, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran

2 Prof in Knowledge and Information Science, faculty of Education Sciences & Psychology, Shahid Chamran University Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran.

3 MSc in Knowledge and Information Science, faculty of Education Sciences & Psychology, Shahid Chamran University Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran.


Objective: Concerning the importance of the role of libraries in crisis, this study seeks to study the status of public libraries in confronting dust crisis.
Methodology: This study is an applied descriptive survey. The statistical population includes all librarians of public libraries of provinces exposed to duct crisis (Kurdistan, Kermanshah, Ilam, and Khuzestan) which includes 378 individuals. Using simple random cluster sampling method and Cochran formula, 190 have been selected as the sample. A researcher-made questionnaire with 46 close-ended questions (5-point Likert scale) has been used for data collection. The theoretical framework of the study is structured through studying research backgrounds, related literature and basic documentary studies. The questionnaire intends to evaluate the status of libraries in three stages: pre-crisis, pre-crisis and post-crisis. Data were analyzed using SPSS 24 software.
Findings: The results of single-sample t-test showed that the readiness status of the studied libraries was poor in terms of educational, cultural, informational, and executive dimensions in the face of duct crisis. These libraries are also at a critical status during the crisis (information and administrative). In addition, the findings of the present study showed that the status of public libraries in post-crisis stage is poor in terms of documentation and implementation aspects.
Conclusion: Overall, the results of this study showed that public libraries have no planning in dealing with dust phenomenon. Moreover, no provision has been made for librarians in these libraries for the three stages of pre-crisis, pre-crisis and post-crisis. However, libraries as a social and cultural institution can play an important role in this regard. For example, some of the measures that the libraries could take during dust crisis is to train users in dealing with dust crisis phenomenon, consider some plans to provide services during dust crisis, provide essential resources on dust crisis, communicating with institutions related to dust crisis, and provide the required information resources as they might require and documentation of the obtained experiences and presenting them when required. It should be noted that libraries, like all other public institutions, must be able to deal with all kinds of unexpected events and be prepared to deal with such events as far as this type of events require rapid decision-making and urgent action. Therefore, it seems necessary for public library administrators to pay more attention to the importance of the social activities of libraries and define guidelines for libraries in accordance with social, cultural and economic conditions to introduce the new role of libraries as information centers to the society and make libraries popular in the society.


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