OPAL (One Page All Libraries) Podcast Available

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On March 25th [New Jersey] State Librarian Mary Chute’s podcast discussion focused on One Page All Libraries (OPAL), a service continuity plan for libraries that helps you get your services up and running again, as quickly as possible, after a disaster. Mary was joined by Michele Stricker, NJSL’s Associate Director of Library Support Services, along with special guest, Dan Wilson, Coordinator for the National Network Libraries of Medicine Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative.

Click on the image above for the podcast.

A Busy Season for the American Red Cross

Since late March of this year, the American Red Cross (http://www.redcross.org/) has responded to 42 disasters in the U.S., from fires to floods and tornadoes.  They’ve opened 270 shelters, and handed out over 3 million meals.  Take a look at the map linked here  http://www.redcross.org/www-files/Documents/pdf/donation/HowWeAreHelping.pdf  to see the distribution by state of their activities as of June 15, 2011.  I’m struck by the fact that the American Red Cross functions as the good neighbor for the whole country.

Flooding in the Midwest

NASA has provided us with a couple of images that speak volumes about the extent of the flooding in the midwest, particularly where the Mississippi River joins the Ohio.  Take a look here:  http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=50475&src=eorss-iotd on their Earth Observatory site.  The article that follows the pictures is also interesting, and helps shed light on what has happened there in the past two weeks.

Closing Tweets

A quick review of the “NEPR Times” Twitter feed (see left side bar, “Library Closings & Related Tweets”), provides an interesting study of the kinds of events that can cause library closings.  Over the past ten days (January 18-January 27), here’s the distribution:

  • Inclement weather (8)
  • Flooding (5)
  • Air quality
  • Staff illness
  • Network upgrade
  • Power outage
  • Threat (bomb?)
  • Interior flood from a burst overhead pipe

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Libraries Vital in Emergencies

The American Library Association provided a press release yesterday, noting that Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) has succeeded in his efforts to have FEMA designate libraries as temporary relocation sites for their communities following an emergency or disaster.  See the details here:  http://connect.ala.org/node/127510.  Many thanks to Cheryl Rowan at NN/LM’s South Central Region for the heads up, via the DIMRC listserv (if you aren’t signed up for this listserv from NLM’s Disaster Information Management Research Center, go here to subscribe:  http://disaster.nlm.nih.gov/dimrc/dimrclistserv.html).  Quoting Sen. Reed:  

“It will help libraries in need relocate so they can keep serving the public in the wake of a flood or other emergency.  Libraries are vital information hubs, and in the aftermath of a disaster, libraries take on an even greater community role, providing free and easy access to technology and essential information.”

Top 5 Worst Summers

Seems like most of the nation has experienced an abnormal summer. Here in Charlottesville, it was a hot, but dry, so thunderstorms were rare. Our main event was the microburst in June that caused a lot of destruction around town and resulted our library being closed for a day-and-a-half. The Weather Channel compiled a list of the cities that endured the worst summer. Click on this link, http://www.weather.com/outlook/weather-news/news/articles/top-five-worst-summers_2010-09-22 to see what city made it to the top of the list.