Reminders of the need to implement service continuity plans are everywhere this year: snowstorms in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions, tornadoes in California and Texas, and even a minor earthquake in Illinois. Here’s a short list of services you may want to consider providing while your library is closed:
Communication: Make sure you have the ability to update your website from a remote location. Don’t forget your blog, Twitter and Facebook, if you have them. Update your library’s telephone greeting remotely. Designate another number in the library for staff information.
Chat: Answer chat (Ask a Librarian) questions remotely while the library is closed. This might be especially important during normal daytime business hours.
Interlibrary Loan: If possible, give someone from your ILL staff the tools to perform interlibrary loan duties from home. If this is not possible, look into partnering with another library who has the same ILL management system.
Online Access: Someone from your staff should have the tools available at home to resolve any access problems to online materials.
Back to Communication: If you can provide chat and/or ILL while the library is closed, be sure to announce that on your website and library messaging service.
Sample message on a website: The library is closed today. If you need assistance, or need to report a problem accessing our online materials, please contact us using our Ask a Librarian service. This service will be available today from 10am to 5pm. Interlibrary loan requests will be processed from a remote site. Interlibrary loan articles received from other libraries will be delivered electronically. Check back often for further updates.