For staying open during the recent unrest because the “community needs us.”
The NN/LM Disaster Ready Summit for public libraries in Northeastern Pennsylvania was a great success. Over 40 participants were introduced to the NN/LM Disaster Ready Initiative and heard lessons learned advice from fellow NE PA librarians who dealt with flooding, frozen pipes, and fires.
In the afternoon, participants began writing their one page service continuity plan and learned ways to build a disaster readiness culture in their library.
The two summits in North Carolina on April 6th and 7th were fantastic! In Durham, Kevin Cherry, Deputy Secretary from the Office of Archive and History, offered welcoming remarks, followed by a panel session with two local emergency planners, Mark Schell and Pat Gentry. Mark and Pat talked about many ways libraries can help them with getting out their message and building community resiliency. Mark and Pat encouraged participants to include emergency planners and responders in planning events, such as National Library Week. In the afternoon, Lyn Triplett spoke about the Cultural Resources Emergency Support Team (CREST).
In Asheville, Kelly Brannock, welcomed attendees. Following her remarks, Kevin Turner, an emergency planner from Buncombe County, spoke about partnership possibilities. He was particularly interested in exploring the possibility of using the Asheville Public Library as a Family Unification Center and he suggested that libraries provide training in self-reliance, such as gardening and weaving.
Attendees at both summits were quite engaged and I look forward to seeing great outcomes in North Carolina libraries.
Update: 11:28 3/6
I closed the library last night at 6pm, and everyone affiliated with the Health System that wanted to stay, moved to our large after-hours space. The snow stopped falling around 16:00, and road conditions had begun to improve when I headed out. Charlottesville’s bus system was operating on limited service, but I lucked out and found a bus waiting at the bus stop.
This morning, UVA announced that classes would start at 11am and that all non-designated staff should also report to work at 11. The Charlottesville buses were operating on schedule, so I was able to get in and open the library at our regular time. By 10:30 I had backup, and we now have our full service desk team.
Thirty minutes ago I sent out an After Action Review request to staff. So far, I’m getting positive feedback and I’m hearing about ways that staff helped patrons from home by answering the library’s email account.
Update: 11:32 3/5
Our area is now under a Winter Storm Warning. Rain is currently changing to snow and we are expecting 4 to 8 inches by evening. UVA has cancelled classes today; however, we opened at our normal time (7:30am) and we have decided to close at 6pm. UVA Health System affiliates will have access to our large after-hours space at closing.
Because UVA cancelled classes, all non-designated library staff were asked not to report to work. I’m faculty, and since the weather was not bad this morning, I came in and opened, after consulting with library leadership, which includes me, another associate director, and the library director. Our Service Continuity plan is active until 5pm today, meaning that many of our core services are being maintained from home.
Of the 12 libraries on Grounds, the Health Sciences Library and the main library, Alderman Library, are the only libraries open. Alderman is open from 10am to 10pm.
It has been a very busy morning. Many students are studying and two major certification exams are taking place in our classrooms. The afternoon exam lasts until 5:30, which is why we are closing the library at 6pm.
The worst of the snow is suppose to hit between 1pm and 4pm. I’m hoping that conditions will begin to improve at 6pm. We’ll see.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for Central Virginia, beginning late tonight and lasting into Thursday. In response to the Watch, I just sent this Situation Update to library staff:
According to the National Weather Service, our area is currently under a Winter Storm Watch, beginning late tonight and into late Thursday. Right now, the NWS is predicting 3-5 inches, but, as is usually the case around here, totals can fluctuate due to the track of the storm.
Please be sure to call the 924-SNOW line (or check virginia.edu) before heading out tomorrow morning, and follow instructions for non-designated academic side staff.
Service Continuity Team: Please let me know if anyone is not available tomorrow, so I can make any necessary adjustments in the event that the university closes.
Winter Storm Watch
URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
451 AM EST WED MAR 4 2015
ST. MARYS-NELSON-ALBEMARLE-SPOTSYLVANIA-KING GEORGE-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…ST MARYS CITY…CHARLOTTESVILLE…
451 AM EST WED MAR 4 2015
…WINTER STORM WATCH NOW IN EFFECT FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH
* LOCATIONS…LOWER SOUTHERN MARYLAND AND PORTIONS OF NORTH-
CENTRAL AND CENTRAL VIRGINIA.
* HAZARD TYPES…WINTRY MIX…THEN SNOW…POTENTIALLY HEAVY AT
* TIMING…RAIN CHANGING TO SNOW AND SLEET LATE TONIGHT. SNOW AND
SLEET MAY BE HEAVY AT TIMES THURSDAY.
* IMPACTS…ROADS WILL BE SNOW COVERED…MAKING TRAVEL
* WINDS…NORTH 5 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 25 MPH.
* TEMPERATURES…IN THE LOWER 30S.