Student Perceptions of the Library during Times of Terror: Exploratory Research Surveying Students Affected by the October 1 Shooting and Their Impressions of Safety in the Academic Library Community

Kelsey Lupo Mazmanyan

Abstract

On October 1, 2017, the history of Las Vegas, Nevada was forever changed when a mass shooting claimed the lives of 58 innocent people at a concert site on the Vegas Strip. Only three miles away, the University of Nevada Las Vegas and its main branch, Lied Library, became a space where students sought shelter and answers. To understand how this event impacted students’ perceptions of safety at UNLV, nine qualitative interviews were conducted asking students to consider the various qualities of a public place that make it feel safe. Students’ responses were analyzed to determine similarities and differences of “safe” locations on campus. Although each participant shared unique viewpoints as to where they would seek shelter and why, it was discovered that most students did not alter their actions regarding spatial use after the incident. More research must be conducted to determine if the majority of UNLV students feel similarly about their campus spaces and how the university can improve upon feelings of safety in the academic community.

Keywords

Strategic Planning and Change; Assessment and Evaluation; Library Space and Facility Planning

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