Archive for the ‘Meeting Reports’ Category
Sunday, September 20th, 2009
Thanks to a grant from the Southeastern/Atlantic Region of the NN/LM, an Emergency Preparedness & Service Continuity meeting was held before the annual meeting of the Alabama Health Libraries Association (ALHeLA) last week in Mobile, Alabama. Featured were Dr. Ronald Franks, Vice President for Health Sciences and Beverly Kellen, Practice Director, Student Health, University of South Alabama, who shared their thoughts on pandemic influenza planning. In addition, Dan Wilson, coordinator, NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative, presented “A 10-Step Approach to Service Continuity Planning,” and Beth Wescott, Network Access Coordinator for SE/A, spoke about services and support offered by the RML.
Much progress was made at the meeting. All participants agreed to complete a service continuity PReP plan for their library and to participate in a future statewide table-top exercise. Thanks to Jie Li, Assistant Director for Collection Management, University of South Alabama Biomedical Library, for organizing the event!
Tuesday, September 1st, 2009
Many thanks to Jim Honour at the University of Wyoming in Laramie for sending us this report (quoting from Jim below…). We hope to hear more details about the meeting soon, and are sorry to have missed it ourselves!
“Librarians from all six states in the MidContinental Region attended the Sixth Annual Wyoming Symposium for Health Information Professionals, July 15-17, 2009 at the Coe Library on the University of Wyoming campus in Laramie. This year’s theme was “Plowing Through Pandemonium: Proactive Librarians.” Most sessions focused on emergency preparedness for medical librarians. A highlight of the event was a half-day brainstorming session, using the Cafe-to-Go method, when attendees (20 librarians and eight representatives of Wyoming community-based organizations) met to find ways to partner to make biomedical information available during emergencies. Presentations during the Symposium included tips for using the WISER (Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders), continuity of library services during an emergency, funding available through the MidContinental Region for emergency planning projects, an eyewitness account from a colleague who was in New Orleans immediately after Hurricane Katrina hit, and a keynote presentation by the Director of the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security.”
Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
The Emergency Preparedness & Response Committee for the Southeastern/Atlantic Region (SE/A) of NN/LM met at the Embassy Suites near the University of South Florida, in Tampa, FL on July 14, amongst live oak trees with Spanish moss and crepe myrtle trees in full bloom–a Southern summer in full swing! To see the State Coordinators, check out the picture in the Photo Gallery (not pictured–the West Virginia Coordinator). In addition to the Region’s State Coordinators for emergency preparedness, the SE/A RML was represented by Executive Director Janice Kelly and Network Coordinator and Emergency Preparedness & Response Coordinator Beth Wescott. During the morning session, the group heard an overview and updates on the past year’s progress of the NN/LM National Emergency Preparedness & Response Plan from Dan Wilson, Coordinator of the National plan. Following Dan’s presentation, all state coordinators reported on the status of preparedness in their areas, which had all been fortunate during the past year, having escaped major damage or service disruption from hurricanes or tornadoes, two of the highest risks for the region. Following the state reports from Maryland, D.C., West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Puerto Rico, all the state coordinators participated in the ”train the trainer” session for the “10-Step Approach to Service Continuity Planning” for health sciences libraries and information centers, providing some excellent feedback on the new curriculum materials. SE/A representatives scored high, almost across the board, in the risk assessment exercise, due to the number of weather-related risks as well as port cities, and chemical and nuclear facilities.
During and after lunch, Dan facilitated a discussion about issues to be addressed in the region such as methods of communication, “buddy library” relationships, and the roles of the RML and the state coordinators. The consensus was that the group is well-positioned for continued progress with regard to promoting emergency preparedness in the states and across the region, and plans are underway for hosting and teaching classes and representing the initative within local and regional groups.
Monday, July 20th, 2009
Recently, Dan has made two presentations, as an invited speaker, that featured the importance of service continuity planning for libraries, and in both cases he used the scenario of social distancing in response to the H1N1 influenza virus (see info from the CDC) as a basis. Some experts are warning that H1N1 may re-surge in the northern hemisphere early this fall, well before the tradional flu season, so it’s important that we remain aware of the potential risks from a more widespread epidemic than we have seen so far, and that we keep the banner of service continuity moving forward.
On July 9, Dan addressed the monthly conference call hosted by NLM’s Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC), giving an overview of this year’s activities of the NN/LM’s emergency preparedness initiative, and featuring the Hospital Librarians Summit which was held in Chicago in April (click here to see the posting about this). Other highlights of this year have been conducting training meetings with NN/LM staff and state coordinators in the PNR, SCR, GMR, PSR and SE/A regions, enhancing the Toolkit, and developing promotional materials. Several participants on the call confirmed that the training has been very effective so far, and “buy-in” from NN/LM members has been excellent.
On July 17, Dan addressed the annual Interlibrary Loan Forum of the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) at Sweet Briar College in Lynchburg, VA. Working from the NN/LM’s emergency preparedness plan, which emphasizes service continuity, especially for Interlibrary Loan services, Dan presented the procedures that have been established through a partnership between the Health Sciences Libraries at the University of Virginia and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for providing back-up ILL services for each other in an emergency, and which are transparent to library users. While the audience represented all types of academic libraries in Virginia, it included several who are NN/LM members. Click ILL Backup Plan VIVA to see Dan’s slides from the VIVA Forum.
If you would like more information about the ILL backup plan between the two libraries or about training for service continuity, please contact one of us (see the “About Us” tab at the top of the page).
Tuesday, June 30th, 2009
We met last week (June 22) with NN/LM staff from the Pacific Southwest Region (PSR) in the Louise Darling Biomedical Library at UCLA, along with representatives from the states in their region (see the photo of state representatives in the gallery here on the site). Attending for the states were: Amy Knehans from Hawaii, Cinda McClain from Arizona, Triza Crittle from Nevada, and Chapter liaisons Peggy Tahir and Irene Lovas from California. After an overview of progress of the national plan and reports from the state representatives and NN/LM staff, we presented the recently developed curriculum for use by NN/LM staff in training members in the “10-Step Approach to Service Continuity,” which now includes a new risk assessment exercise and score sheet handout (thanks to the South Central Region for the encouragement to develop this idea!).
Judy Consales, Director, and Julie Kwan, Network Coordinator of the PSR taught a class called “Are You Ready?” in Hawaii, presenting both face-to-face and using AccessGrid, which was quite successful. In addition to outreach efforts, Heidi Sandstrom, Associate Director, noted that their library has also continued to develop emergency preparedness plans, having recently enhanced signage and room numbers/designations to help with evacuations and troubleshooting in their building. Jake Nadal, of the UCLA Library’s Preservation Department, spoke to the group about UCLA’s efforts to provide continuous access to digital resources as well as how to plan for preservation of print materials and other library resources. The day closed with a discussion of goals for the region during the coming year, as well as some questions and ideas to be addressed, as outlined by Heidi.
Once again, we were energized by the excellent collaborative spirit of the NN/LM staff and the state representatives from the PSR, and benefitted from hearing about their successes as well as ideas for improvement of the plan and the resources offered (e.g. the Toolkit and the training materials). The PSR training meeting was our last NN/LM staff meeting for this contract year, and we can say without reservation that NN/LM Directors, Associate Directors, all NN/LM staff, and the state representatives have been unfailingly enthusiastic, hospitable, creative, and committed to including emergency preparedness in their outreach to NN/LM members.
Tuesday, May 26th, 2009
Now that the dust has settled from the flurry of spring activities for the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Plan team, here is a brief summary of the Hospital Librarians Summit that was held in Chicago on April 21 with excellent results. Fourteen hospital librarians from across the country, half sponsored by the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Plan and half by the eight Regions of NN/LM, attended the day-long meeting at the Library of the Health Sciences at the University of Illinois/Chicago. The meeting was hosted by the Greater Midwest Region of the NN/LM, with arrangements provided by Ruth Holst, Associate Director. Each of the eight NN/LM Regions was represented, most by two hospital librarians and an emergency preparedness liaison from the NN/LM staff in each region. Participants received an overview of NN/LM’s Emergency Preparedness Plan, and the resources that exist for assisting librarians to develop and implement emergency preparedness plans, then heard presentations about the activities of NLM’s Disaster Information Research Center (DIMRC). In the afternoon, David Esterquest, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Ruth University Medical Center, spoke to the group about hospital emergency preparedness, how roles are established and how communication functions, as well as how hospital librarians can assist and develop roles with their hospitals for emergency preparedness.
As a result of break-out sessions that were part of the meeting, here are highlights of discussions about the roles hospital librarians can play in emergency preparedness and response:
• offer library space (e.g. community crisis center, communications center, day care)
• work in evacuation shelters, bringing books and needed reference materials
• aid other institutions in disaster area to help salvage damaged collections
• collection managers of disaster-related resources
• information facilitators to public and health care professionals/communicate with public library
• internal planners with hospital administration (let managers know what librarians can do in a disaster)
• government partners (e.g. internet access to fill out FEMA forms)
• bibliographic searches to public and health care professionals
• host sessions on emergency preparedness—invite speakers and bring in experts
• assist with grant writing
Friday, April 3rd, 2009
On Monday of this week, we met with NN/LM staff at the South Central Region’s office at the Houston Academy of Medicine at the Texas Medical Center. Michelle Malizia, Associate Director, and her capable staff made the meeting a big success. Also attending were SCR’s state coordinators for emergency preparedness (see photo below).
Following an outstanding breakfast, the group introduced themselves and then heard an update from Dan about the progress of the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Project since last year when we visited Houston. The remainder of the morning session contained the “train the trainer” session for the group about teaching the “10 Step Approach to Service Continuity Planning.” The afternoon session consisted of a lively discussion of other issues to be addressed during this year, with many helpful comments and suggestions from SCR staff as well as the state coordinators.
We enjoyed seeing the SCR staff as well as all the state coordinators and hearing about activities in their region. They maintain their close-knit network of information and support within the region, which is reinforced by the relative frequency of emergencies in the region due to hurricanes.
SCR Train the Trainer session