Disaster Planning and Recovery

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Library Disaster Planning :

Library Disaster Planning Marisa H. Martinez Libr 240-02 Fall 2012 San Jose State University


Introduction All libraries have an extensive collection of artifacts and provide services to their communities. Natural disasters are problematic for cultural institutions. A disaster plan is important for a library to respond, recover, and prevent future disasters. Image credit: nsubalibrary.wordpress.com

Natural Disasters in the Past:

In the “Fire at the University of New Mexico.” Terry Gugliotta offered an account of “a fire that destroyed 30,000 volumes”, and discusses how an earlier flood had prepared the library to better handle the new disaster. (2006) Sharman Bridges Smith, Executive Director of the Mississippi Library Commission offered an account of what she saw after Hurricane Katrina did to a public library. She states “walking into what remains of one of the state’s largest public libraries and finding no indication a library was ever there is indescribable”. (2006) Thus, library disaster prevention policies are essential for the continuation of the preservation of collections and libraries services. Natural Disasters in the Past


Objective Disaster control plan for all libraries: Disaster preparedness for library staff to survey their building(s) and their collections for possible natural disaster threats. Disaster response for library staff to respond to news that a disaster has occurred. Disaster recovery of libraries collections and continue services. Image credit: hds.harvard.edu

The Challenges Faced by Libraries in Developing a Disaster Plan:

The Challenges Faced by Libraries in Developing a Disaster Plan Library staff developing a survey for a disaster plan. Library staff surveying the entire library building and its collections for potential hazards . Library staff conflicts about which collections to save and the recovery of services. Library staff conflicts about roles before, during and after disaster response/recovery. Insurance plan for damages to the library and its collections.

Unfamiliarity of the Library Disaster Planning:

Unfamiliarity of the Library Disaster Planning Library staff not trained for a disaster response and recovery. No disaster plan. Image credit: http://pariharraj.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/clip_image0064_thumb.png?w=419&h=428

Disaster Response Challenge:

Disaster Response Challenge Libraries should develop disaster response teams for responding to disasters. Developing a criteria for the disaster response team to follow during an emergency. Assign disaster response members to their roles and responsibilities. Image credit: hacklibschool.wordpress.com

Disaster Recovery Challenge:

The recovery phase: The resumption of services. The restoration of cash flow. The recovery of collections. Disaster Recovery Challenge Morgan Library materials damaged as water rushed through the building. Colorado State University ca. 1997. Image credit: http://www.colostate.edu/features/flood97-morgan.aspx

Libraries Need to Consider in Disaster Planning and Recovery:

Libraries Need to Consider in Disaster Planning and Recovery Disaster prevention by surveying the building and collections. Establish a disaster response team. Review insurance coverage. Readily available disaster supplies for library staff’s immediate response. Immediate response to notification that there is a disaster. Restore primary services. Evaluate response procedures and revise disaster plan. The American Red Cross Emergency Preparedness Kit. Image credit: http://www.cpr-savers.com/emergency/red-cross-emergency-preparedness-kit.html


It is important that a library have a disaster plan because natural disasters are problematic. It is important to evaluate response procedures, revise disaster plan for future natural disaster prevention. Training for all library staff in their understanding and responsibilities of the library disaster plan. Conclusion

Helpful Website for Disaster Planning and Response:

American Library Association (ALA) http://www.ala.org/onlinelearning/preservation-disaster-preparedness American Red Cross Disaster Services Guide www.redcross.org Federal Management Agency Homepage (FEMA) www.fema.gov/ News & Resources Supporting the National Network of Libraries of Medicine’s Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative (NNLM) http://nnlm.gov/ep/ California Preservation Program (CCP) http://calpreservation.org/cpp/ Helpful Website for Disaster Planning and Response

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