Disaster Recovery Info from Heritage Emergency

Heritage Emergency National Task Force, the folks who brought us the “Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel” and lots of other helpful advice and information, has a new page up on their site called Current Disaster Information , which gathers together many resources aimed specifically at dealing with damage from hurricanes and other powerful weather events and natural disasters.  The page also has a section where cultural institutions can submit damage reports and request assistance, along with the capability to view reports/requests already submitted.  Also, look for the free, downloadable “Guide to Navigating FEMA and SBA Disaster Aid for Cultural Institutions,” a little farther down the page.  This is a rich site, and deserves a close look at the many resources they have provided.  Thanks, Heritage Emergency TF!

Free video from Heritage Preservation

Heritage Preservation has produced a video that you can view free of charge from its web site, which demonstrates the basics of salvaging water-damaged materials.  They are providing the video in response to the recent flooding in the midwest, and in addition to describing and showing salvaging processes, it notes the things we need to be cautious about before wading in to try and save our collections.  Check out their online Bookstore–they offer a “disaster combo” of their Field Guide to Emergency Response and their Salvage Wheel, both of which are valuable assets to our preparedness resources (see the link to their site in the right side menu).  The DVD which comes with the Field Guide includes the content of the free video plus much other information, even giving tips on how to deal with wildlife which may find its way into your building after a disaster (probe with a long stick before reaching into a dark area…!).  While most of us probably don’t think of ourselves as conservators, the information from Heritage Preservation might at least help us know what NOT to do until the professionals arrive!

Hardin Library Update

From Hardin’s website ...

The Hardin Library reopened at 7:30am on Monday, June 23.   The Main Library remains closed, so some services are currently interrupted:

Interlibrary Loan requests cannot be processed because the server is down.

Smart Search is down because campus utitilites are strained.

Delivery requests for Main Library materials will not be filled as staff do not have access to the building yet.

Information Commons West is temporarily closed to the public.  Evacuated employees are using it as office space.

Message from the State Librarian of Iowa

This message from Mary Wegner, State Librarian of Iowa, was just sent to me by Kathel Dunn, Associate Director, NN/LM Middle Atlantic Region …

Some of you have asked about the effects of the flooding in Iowa on Iowa libraries. Thanks so much for your concern.

What we know so far is that three libraries have been seriously damaged:

Cedar Rapids Public Library’s main building in downtown Cedar Rapids; the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library located in the Czech Village in Cedar Rapids; and the New Hartford Public Library.

Cedar Rapids is the second largest city in Iowa, with a population of 120,000. Their entire downtown was completely flooded – hundreds of blocks – by the Cedar River which rose 19 feet above flood level. A photo of the public library standing in what looked to be at least 5 feet of water was heartbreaking.

Details are not yet known about the extent of the damage to the Cedar Rapids Public Library building, or how much of the collection has been lost. Unfortunately, we expect the damage to be significant – the building is only a block away from the river. The Czech-Slovak Museum and Library was able to load significant items from both the library and museum collections into two semi trailers, although many materials had to be left behind. The public library in New Hartford, population 659, lost 80% of its books and almost all of their computers.

Flooding in Iowa City, just 15 miles downstream from Cedar Rapids, was also severe. The University of Iowa campus runs along both sides of the river; at least 15 buildings were flooded. We had a report of two inches of water in parts of the basement of the University of Iowa Main Library in Iowa City, but fortunately flood waters from the river did not reach the library. As you may have seen in the news, there was a “book brigade” established in Iowa City to move books out of the lower level of the main university library building.

About seven additional public libraries (in Chelsea, Creston, Elkader, Iowa Falls, Rockford, St. Charles, and Waterloo) have had water damage ranging from mild to fairly serious. We believe that all of these libraries are now open, and that none of their collections were damaged.

We’ve been in touch with libraries along the Mississippi in southeast Iowa, and so far all report that they are safe.

We were fortunate in Des Moines – the levees mostly held in the two rivers which meet in downtown DM.

We have received many heartwarming stories about current heavy use of public libraries in and near the flooded areas. Several libraries have made special arrangements to add more computer terminals for public use.

This is yet another illustration that people turn to their libraries in a time of crisis – for information, for computers and internet access, and as a community gathering place.

The financial impact of the flooding, which occurred in scores of communities all across Iowa, is expected to be in the billions. 16 percent of Iowa’s 25 million tillable acres of farmland are or have been under water.

We’re posting updates about the flood situation on our Web site at www.statelibraryofiowa.org

Flooding in the Midwest

Jacqueline Leskovec, Outreach and Evaluation Coordinator, NN/LM Greater Midwest Region, reports the following:

Hardin Library, University of Iowa, remains open but is off DOCLINE.  (See http://uiflood.blogspot.com/.)

Mercy Hospital in Cedar Rapids is off DOCLINE and is experiencing serious flooding.

St. Lukes Medical Center in Milwaukee has water damage and their DOCLINE membership has been suspended as a result.

County Hospital in Franklin, Indiana, also had some evacuation.

Columbus Regional Hospital (Indiana) has closed indefinitely.