Advancing the Standard for Service Continuity

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).

Emergency Preparedness in the Pacific Southwest Region

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.

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Hospital Librarians Summit in Chicago–April 21

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

Great meeting with SCR

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

SCR Train the Trainer session

Progress in the PNR

On Monday, Feb. 9, Dan and I had the pleasure of meeting with the NN/LM Pacific Northwest Region’s (PNR) staff, as well as the State Emergency Preparedness (EP) Coordinators for the region, and several members of the University of Washington’s Health Sciences Library staff. The meeting at the South Campus Center began with a review by Dan about the progress made with regard to the roll-out and implementation of the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response plan since last spring, when we visited PNR on March 17. The PNR State EP Coordinators contributed information about the status of emergency planning in their states, some of the risks they face (tsunamis, volcanoes, earthquakes), some challenges in their areas (remote areas in Alaska, sparsely populated areas in Montana) as well as several incidents that have occurred in the past year. Following the updates, Dan facilitated a discussion of current initiatives and issues including MOUs and MAAs, service continuity training, NLM’s Emergency Access Initiative, use of the online toolkit, DOCLINE issues, and others. The afternoon session included a “train-the-trainer” session, in which Dan presented the Instructional Guide for training NN/LM Network members in service continuity, as outlined in the “10 Step Approach to Service Continuity” class. After the class, the State EP Coordinators and Gail Kouame, Consumer Health Coordinator and Chair of the EP Committee, met to plan initiatives for the coming year.

Following the meeting, a group of us went to dinner and were able to follow-up about the day’s activities. Gail reported that the EP Committee is energized, and had come up with lots of good ideas for promoting the Plan in their states. We look forward to hearing about their activities and the ways they will engage their Network members in emergency preparedness!

PNR State Coordinators: Bob Pringle, Washington; Kathy Murray, Alaska; Marcia Francis, Idaho; Dolores Judkins, Oregon; Laurel Egan, Montana

PNR State Coordinators: Bob Pringle, Washington; Kathy Murray, Alaska; Marcia Francis, Idaho; Dolores Judkins, Oregon; Laurel Egan, Montana

South Campus Center, University of Washington

South Campus Center, University of Washington

Off to the great Pacific Northwest

Dan Wilson and I will be in Seattle on Monday, February 9, to meet with Cathy Burroughs, her NN/LM staff, regional representatives and others at the Pacific Northwest Regional (PNR) office of NN/LM at the University of Washington.  In the morning, we will be reporting on recent developments of the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response (EP&RP) initiative and facilitating discussion of regional issues.  In the afternoon, we will facilitate a “train-the-trainer” session for NN/LM staff and regional representatives to enable them to teach the “10-Step Approach to Service Continuity ” to their Network members. 

Other training sessions scheduled for this spring include the South Central Region in Houston in March and the Greater Midwest Region in Chicago in April.   Stay tuned to hear when the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Plan will be playing at a site near you!

Dragonfly Image“Dragonfly” image from PNR’s newsletter.

THSL workshop in Newport News, VA

Yesterday, Dan and I presented a workshop on the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Plan, including an overview of the plan and training in the “10 Steps to Service Continuity” to the Tidewater Health Sciences Librarians (THSL).  The group that gathered at the Health Sciences Library at Riverside School of Health Careers in Newport News, VA, was very interactive, sharing difficulties experienced in the past and asking some great questions about how to be best prepared for possible future emergencies.  Since their area of the state is in the floodplain for storm surge and wind damage from hurricanes, as well being exposed to other risks, they have good reason to focus on service continuity to their patrons.  See a picture of the group in the Picture Gallery here on the Toolkit.