April 19, 2018

Patricia Husband | Movers & Shakers 2006

Adapting to Crisis


Patricia Husband was managing 11 branches and overseeing the construction of four new branches of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library (EBRPL) when Hurricane Katrina hit. She had to maintain normal services and keep construction on schedule while also making sure the buildings were safe, operational, and available to help both residents and evacuees locate missing relatives, apply for assistance, look for work, and put their lives back together. As Husband says, with understatement, it’s important to have an emergency plan, ‘but when your population temporarily doubles overnight, you will need to adapt those plans.’

Fortunately, Husband has experience in adapting to rapid change. While serving in EBRPL’s computer department, she’d presided over ever-changing technologies as troubleshooter, trainer, and budget planner. As branch manager, she’d learned to cope with unanticipated complications in building projects and long-range planning. When Katrina hit, Husband adapted with aplomb, inspecting buildings, chasing down emergency contacts, creating a résumé template for suddenly jobless evacuees. Meanwhile, she nailed down last-minute details for the Carver branch, which opened, on schedule, September 6, and went on to the next project, the new Pride-Chaneyville branch. The biggest adjustment she’s had to make, Husband says, is ‘accepting that things will not revert back to pre-Katrina conditions for some time. We have to meet the challenges of increased demand for our services in a time of limited resources.’ Count on her to adapt to that challenge just as gracefully.



Current Position Assistant Director – Head of Branch Services, East Baton Rouge Parish Library System, LA
Degrees MLIS, Louisiana State University, 1994
Fun fact Doodles while brainstorming