Law librarian David Matchen wins top award for article

David Matchen, UB School of Law circulation/reference librarian, co-wrote an article that won the American Association of Law Libraries’ 2016 Spectrum Article of the Year Award.

Matchen’s co-author was Jason Hawkins, research librarian at the Thurgood Marshall Law Library at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.

“Faced With Crisis: The importance of establishing a comprehensive crisis management plan” was published in the November/December 2015 issue of AALL Spectrum.

Matchen and Hawkins begin their article with a discussion of the civil unrest that followed the April 2015 death in police custody of 25-year-old Baltimorean Freddie Gray and the impact of those events on the UB and Maryland law schools and law libraries.

While noting that many libraries have crisis plans in place for fire, flooding and inclement weather, the authors say that libraries should also address less likely hazards, such as sudden structural damage, civil unrest, cyberattacks or even “active shooter” incidents:

“A comprehensive plan will address not only common but also less-common hazards and will provide for appropriate responses for all users of the library’s operations and services. With the increasing occurrence of incidents once considered far-fetched, being prepared now requires more than simply shutting down for a snowstorm or recovering water-logged books.”

Matchen has an undergraduate degree in history from the University of Chicago and a law degree from Tulane University. He is also an honors graduate of Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science and a member of Beta Phi Mu, the librarian honors society.

Matchen practiced civil litigation in Illinois for 10 years before he moved to Baltimore. He became the circulation/reference librarian at the UB School of Law in 2008.

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