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Archive for the ‘Meeting Reports’ Category

A Report of the DC SLA Military Librarians Program: Disaster Response – How Information Professionals Can Help

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012
Elizabeth Norton, Dan Wilson, and Siobhan Champ-Blackwell

The DC SLA Military Librarians sponsored a program on disaster preparedness and response yesterday evening in the beautiful Charles Sumner School, Museum & Archives, in downtown Washington, DC.  Speakers included Elizabeth Norton, NLM Disaster Information Management & Research Center, Dan Wilson, Coordinator of the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative, and Siobhan Champ-Blackwell, Librarian, Aquilent, Inc, at NLM Disaster Information Management Research Center.

Ms. Norton kicked off the program with a presentation about the objectives of the Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC), which include 1) organize and provide access to disaster health literature and resources, 2) develop emergency response tools, 3) conduct outreach and develop partnerships, including the support of disaster information specialists, and 4) conduct health IT research and development.  She spoke of NLMs disaster-related topics pages and the Resource Guide for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, and covered free disaster tools, such as WISER, CHEMM, REMM, and TOXNET.  She ended her presentation with a description of the NLM/MLA Disaster Information Specialization program and courses.  Question: What are your priorities of new tools going forward?  Answer: Looking at providing CHEMM within WISER and integrating the updated 2012 Emergency Response Guide.  In addition, we’d like to keep up with apps development.  Question: Is there a topics page for mental health?  Answer: Not yet, but is on the list. (Person asking the question offered to help develop the page.)  Question: How are you getting information out to the emergency management community?  Answer: We exhibit at their conferences. (Person asking the question offered to help push out the information.)

Mr. Wilson introduced the audience to the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) and provided a background to the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Plan, which was activated in January 2008.  Following the background information, he spoke about the NN/LM EP&R Tookit, the one-page service continuity plan, the 10-Step Approach to Service Continuity Planning training program, and the newly created 15 Elements of a Library at a High State of Readiness.  He then talked about an outreach project with the Library of Virginia and spoke about the importance of getting at least two of the following elements for successful outcomes: 1) a strong network, 2) a motivated audience, and 3) a shared geography.  Mr. Wilson ended his presentation talking about the NN/LM summit meetings in Miami and San Francisco.  Question: What are your plans for the future?  Answer: Create a training program around the 15 Elements of a Library at a High State of Readiness and develop an NN/LM Tornado Summit.  Question: Talk a little more about how much training you’ve done with the 10-Step Approach to Service Continuity Planning and the type of response you have been getting.  Answer: The training program has been rolled out in all eight regions of NN/LM.  Training can be done by me, staff at NN/LM, or self-paced virtually.  (Most of the training is now being done by NN/LM staff.)  Response has been very positive from class participants.

Ms. Champ-Blackwell highlighted communication tools used by DIMRC, including their listserv, Twitter feed, and monthly teleconferences.  She then spoke about how NLM uses Hootsuite to manage their tweets.  She then spoke on “apps” and mobile optimized websites.  In addition, she explained what a native app is and briefly talked about the importance of gaining awareness about the different mobile platforms and operating systems.  Finally, she promoted the NLM Gallery of Mobile Apps and Sites (  Question: You do a great job tweeting.  Is it from experience?  Do you have guidelines?  Answer: It’s a team effort.  First of all, we have a list of over 100 resources that we follow our twitter streams.  We push out NLM resources two times a day.  On Hootsuite you can schedule when your tweets go out, which I sometimes do while commuting to work on the bus.  We developed a spreadsheet of every page on the DIMRC site that we have linked to and we use to shorten the URLs.  All of June’s two tweets per day are already scheduled.  We then focus time of doing the social part: the re-tweeting, and the thanks for tweeting our stuff.  Question: Where do you see Twitter two years from now?  How do you archive tweets?  Answer:  That’s a tough question and one that I’m working on, including exploring Twitter API.  Question: Some of us are not allowed to access Twitter or Facebook.  Any suggestions?  Participant response: We just got an exception.  It’s worth a try. Answer:  Develop a plan to present to your supervisors with a list of who you will follow, how you will use the account. I’ll share a list of approved DIMRC sources on the Disaster Outreach listserv that can be used to try to get exceptions.  Question: Following a disaster, if you see tweets from non-approved sources, can you do original reporting via Twitter?  Answer: Our job at NLM is to support other libraries who would like to send reports of resources during and following disasters.

NN/LM San Francisco Earthquake Summit Report

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Click on this URL ( to see the report from last month’s NN/LM San Francisco Earthquake Summit.  A special thanks to the speakers and to all attendees.  Thanks also to Susan Yowell for putting together this report.

Chicago Summit 2011 for NN/LM EP&R Initiative

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Representatives from all eight NN/LM regions met at the Library of the Health Sciences on the University of Illinois/Chicago (UIC) campus on Friday, April 8, to hear about progress of the NN/LM National Emergency Preparedness and Response Initiative to date, to share updates from all the regions, and to discuss possible future objectives.  In addition to NN/LM Associate Directors and State Emergency Preparedness Coordinators, Cindy Love of the Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC) and Cindy Olney, of NN/LM’s Outreach Evaluation Resource Center (OERC) attended and spoke to the group.

It was exciting to hear about the many accomplishments of the NN/LM regions in educating members in emergency preparedness;  great work everyone!  Cindy Olney presented the results of this year’s follow-up assessment conducted by OERC, which showed improvement in the levels of knowledge and preparedness for emergency response for members across the regions since the baseline assessment was done in 2008.  Many thanks to Cindy Olney and Susan Barnes, also of OERC, for their work in helping us see what has been done well and what still needs to be done!  Dan has added a couple of photos from the meeting to the “Photos” section here on the toolkit.  Many thanks also to Ruth Holst and her staff in the NN/LM Greater Midwest Region’s office at UIC, especially Rosalva Diaz and Max Anderson, for hosting the meeting and for facilitating food, handouts, wireless access, and dozens of other aspects of a successful meeting.

Disaster Information Outreach Symposium Re-cap

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011
Over two hundred people gathered last week in Bethesda, MD on the campus of the National Library of Medicine and at the Marriott Bethesda North hotel for two days of immersion in information service needs and provision in times of emergency or disaster.  “Disaster Information Outreach:  A Symposium for Information Professionals Meeting Disaster Health Information Needs,” was held on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 29-30, and provided by the Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC), Specialized Information Services, National Library of Medicine.
Stacey Arneson, Cindy Love and others at  DIMRC did an outstanding job of gathering well-qualified speakers from an array of backgrounds and experiences, all of whom presented valuable insights and lessons learned, and answered questions from the large crowd at each session.  Equally helpful were the great networking opportunities provided during breaks and at the evening session for catching up with colleagues, meeting new acquaintances in the world of emergency planning, and visiting with representatives from emergency management organizations from the area.  One of the groups was Girl Scout Troup 5127 of Potomac, MD, who shared with us their accomplishment of having been awarded the “Emergency Preparedness Patch”–and their motto for this activity:  “Don’t be scared; be prepared.”  Many thanks to everyone at DIMRC and NLM who contributed to the planning and execution of the symposium for these wonderful two days.  If you weren’t able to attend or to listen to the webcast “live,” check the symposium site at in the next few days to see the archived version.