Greater Midwest Region (NN/LM GMR) Training

Ruth Holst, Associate Director of the GMR RML, convened the Resource Library Directors from the GMR at the Club Quarters in Chicago on April 14 and 15, and reserved the program on the 15th for Dan’s presentation on NN/LM’s Emergency Preparedness & Response Plan.  The 23 Directors viewed Dan’s overview of the development and implementation of the plan, and discussed some of the implications for the resource libraries, including what preparedness measures are already in place in their institutions, communicating with publishers and vendors, roles of “buddy” libraries, and others.  The consensus was that communication is key, and flexibility is needed because of the variety of situations and circumstances that will be encountered.

On Wednesday, the 16th, the Emergency Preparedness Working Group for the GMR met to learn about the plan and to discuss regional issues, as well as to conduct a table-top exercise.  There is a Regional Coordinator for each state in the GMR, and all were present except for two.  The GMR staff was also well-represented.  The table-top exercise followed the morning break, with much helpful discussion about how the process might best play out.  Key aspects identified were that communication needed to be kept open, and follow-up will be very important.  The roles for Regional Coordinators for each state were identified:  know the state resources, promote the plan at state meetings and within existing networks, and find out about training opportunities. 

The meeting concluded with a discussion of regional issues and ideas for promoting the plan and obtaining training for members.  Several of the Coordinators plan to start with MOU development in their states and to encourage use of the toolkit for developing plans and finding out about resources available.  Ruth will also explore opportunities that may be available within the networks in their region, and will also promote the idea of an MLA webcast as a possible “awareness raising” and training tool.  Ruth and the Coordinators will assist in developing back-up library relationships, and they discussed some possible criteria to consider in the “matchmaking” process.  Dan emphasized that keeping the processes simple and maintaining flexibility within the development of the plan will generate the best success.  The meeting concluded with a brief summary of what the focus will be for rolling out the plan:  promote the toolkit, identify and promote training opportunities, help with assessing needs for network members, and report on progress within the states at the RAC meetings.

We enjoyed meeting with both groups in Chicago, and believe they are off to a great start.  Many thanks to Ruth and her staff for their hospitality and for the productive discussions, questions, and ideas that emerged from the meetings.  The detailed report of the meeting will be sent to Ruth, and the PowerPoint presentations are available on Slideshare at http://www.slideshare.net/dtw2t/.  See the photos section of the toolkit for a picture of the Emergency Preparedness Working Group!

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