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Archive for the ‘Business Continuity’ Category

Severe Weather Sample Situation Report

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Communicating with your staff is essential before a severe weather event .  Here is a sample situation report that you can adapt for your workplace:

Please remember to dial _______ tomorrow morning before heading out to work. If the library is closed, all non-essential staff should not report to work. Essential staff will communicate with ________, who will be communicating with ____________.

Due to the many uncertainties of this storm, it’s hard to tell at this time what conditions will be like during the morning commute. Most of the forecasts I’ve seen show snow throughout the day, so even if we can open the library we may be in an early closing scenario. However, we’ll have to let it play out and make adjustments along the way.

The Service Continuity Team (SCT) and essential services staff are now on stand-by. Essential services staff from the standpoint of staffing the library and the SCT from the standpoint of keeping our core services available from their homes. Since there is the potential for power outages, _____ will coordinate the SCT.  If you are on the SCT and you lose power during business hours, please contact _____. ______ will then notify a backup, if one is available.

________ will be handling messages on the library’s website, and will be in communication with ___________ who will be handling social media.

Questions?  Please let me know.

Service in the Storm

Monday, January 10th, 2011

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Library has their “Inclement Weather” page up on their website today, due to the winter weather sweeping across the South.  Check it out here:  http://www.library.uams.edu/inclement-weather.aspx.   The page is a great example of how a library can be closed, yet still interact with its patrons and continue to provide the services they need.  Note the variety of services that are still available, from self-service options like their 24 hour study spaces and Interlibrary Loan to direct research help by a librarian via email, and updates via FaceBook and Twitter. 

Bethesda EP group celebrates its third birthday

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Cara Breeden has let us know that the Bethesda Medical Libraries Emergency Preparedness Partnership (BMLEPP) held its third annual meeting on August 20 at Suburban Hospital.  Quoting from Cara’s message:  “At this yearly meeting, which is the extent of time required, members make any needed updates to the procedural and contact information contained in their BMLEPP reference binders.  The Partnership is intended as an agile solution to problems member libraries might encounter, such as extended power outages.  Even though it has not been necessary to acticvate the BMLEPP memorandum of understanding (MOU) to date, the Partnership has proved to be a valuable, and a low-maintenance effort.”

Cara also notes that the Bethesda, MD area “is unique in that it boasts five medical libraries within walking distance of each other:  the National Library of Medicine, the National Institues of Health Library, the Suburban Hospital Medical Library, the National Naval Medical Center Stitt Library, and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Learning Resource Center.  The five libraries initiated the Bethesda Medical Libraries Emergency Preparedness Partnership (BMLEPP) on February 14, 2008.”

Cara has sent us the current version of the MOU  which these five libraries have enacted, and it will be available for use as an example on the “Model MAA/MOU” page here in the Toolkit.  Many thanks, Cara!

BMLEPP Members

Library Table-Top Exercise in the Snowy South

Monday, February 15th, 2010

We have heard from Jie Li, Assistant Director for Collection Management at the Biomedical Library, University of South Alabama in Mobile, that her library held a very successful table-top exercise prior to a predicted snow storm recently.  While a few inches of snow is not an emergency in the northern states where there’s snow removal equipment and snow tires on people’s cars, it can be paralyzing in a state that has not historically needed to be prepared for it.  Jie is the State Coordinator for Alabama on NN/LM’s Southeast Atlantic (SE/A) Region’s Emergency Preparedness & Response Committee, and she used her experience as an emergency preparedness planner to apply the service continuity techniques promoted by NN/LM to her library’s exercise, with very positive results.

  1. they made sure that a librarian working from home would have vendor information and the usernames and passwords necessary to trouble-shoot any access issues for their electronic resources
  2. their Technology Librarian would be able to upload messages to the library’s home page about changes to hours and service provision from home, and also sent instructions about using chat, email, etc. for providing reference services
  3. the ILL librarian shut down ILL lending and would access DOCLINE from home for borrowing.  Access to ILLiad was also enabled from the librarian’s home.
  4. they made plans for scheduling virtual reference desk hours, to be provided from librarians’ homes
  5. they sent their completed Pocket Plans (PReP) and current telephone tree lists to everyone via email

Jie reported that the exercise helped them be prepared for the storm, which did close the library for part of the next day.  They were ready and able to provide virtual reference help and continued access to their electronic resources, as well as communicating to their patrons what the library’s hours would be and how to get help.  Many thanks to Jie for sharing their experience with us.  Hearing such great success stories is an inspiration to all of us involved in emergency preparedness and response, and reminds us that it takes only a bit of planning and communication to turn a potential emergency into a win-win situation for the library and its patrons.

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