Librarians Who Were There
Remember 9/11 on Film

Loss & Recovery

Loss and Recovery: Librarians Bear Witness to September 11, 2001, a video documentary offering an oral history of the disaster in the context of libraries, premiered at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Atlanta in 2002. As many as 200 librarians were working in or near the World Trade Center and the Pentagon when the terrorist attacks occurred seventeen years ago.

Consisting of interviews with corporate, university, law, government and social-agency librarians who witnessed the attack in New York City, the documentary looks at the effect on libraries located in lower Manhattan and at how librarians have recovered personally and professionally. Four librarians died in the attacks. Others lost colleagues, facilities and collections. What they saw and their efforts to recover make for compelling lessons for all who work in the profession. The full interviews with the 26 librarians who participated in the project are being archived in the ALA Archives at the University of Illinois/Champaign-Urbana.

The documentary is available as a DVD at libraries. Watch a preview on YouTube.

“September 11, 2001: Traumatized by Terrorism was published in American Libraries, the magazine of the American Library Association.

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