Protecting documents against disasters and theft : the challenge before the public libraries in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Patrick Ngulube, Lindiwe Magazi


All forms of documentary materials are prone to disasters and theft. Security and disaster management are keys to the protection of library materials from theft and risks. However, librarians often overlook disaster preparedness and security control yet they are fundamental aspects of preservation management as they make it possible for people to have access to library materials, and to respond to and recover from disasters. A cross-sectional survey carried out between December 2005 and February 2006 in public libraries of KwaZulu-Natal revealed that the libraries were not adequately prepared for protecting documents against disasters and theft. Furthermore, most of the public libraries did not have disaster plans, adequate procedures for disaster response and recovery, satisfactory theft management strategies and sufficient staff with disaster management knowledge and skills.


Disaster Preparedness; Preservation ;Public libraries; KwaZulu-Natal; Security control

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ISSN 2304-8263 (online); ISSN 0256-8861 (print)
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