Friday, August 26, 2011

I Feel the Earth Move

The first song that came into my head this week, as I heard about the moderate earthquakes in Colorado and the East Coast, was Carole King's I Feel the Earth Move. I was here in the Polley Music Library when I heard about the quakes, and I know from experience that "I feel the earth move under my feet" is the usual feeling in an earthquake (although I went through a few as a child oblivious to what was going on).

For those people who don't expect quakes because they don't live in "earthquake country," earthquakes may be frightening. As a child I learned to "duck and cover" for earthquakes (just like for civil defense drills). Get under a sturdy table or desk and protect your head. I also learned as a child that another place to ride out an earthquake is in an interior reinforced doorway, where the frame may provide some protection as the building sways. The bookstacks in a library are not the place to be in a quake, as not just the books, but the book stacks themselves, may sway to the point of failure, crushing anything in the path on the way down. Leave the book on the shelf and get to safety away from the book stacks -- then duck and cover, or these days, "duck, cover and hold."

May all your library visits be safe ones.