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).

“10-Step Approach…” class now available as MLA CE course

The “10-Step Approach to Service Continuity Planning” class, created by the Coordinator and Project Assistant for the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Plan, has been approved by the Medical Library Association (MLA) for 2 hours of Continuing Education credit, awarded at the conclusion of the class.  To view information about the class, check here on the MLA Educational Clearinghouse site.  (You can find the class by using “emergency” as the keyword in the search box on the first page of the site.)   If you are interested in arranging a ”10-Step Approach…” class for yourself or a group, contact your NN/LM regional office at 1-800-338-7657.  Classes are offered both face-to-face and virtually.

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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New Page for Promotional Materials

There are three new brochures available for use in promoting the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Plan.  There is one that presents an overview of the plan, one that features the Toolkit, and one about the “10-Step Approach to Service Continuity Planning” class.  Check out the new page, “Promotional Materials” here on the Toolkit (see above) for the PDFs of the brochures, and contact your NN/LM office for more information or to arrange a class.

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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

Tutorial now available for the Toolkit

Dan has created a tutorial page for the Toolkit (see above)!  The first tutorial is one he recorded today, which provides a tour of this site, pointing out the features much as he does when teaching a class about the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness initiative.  Just click on the “Tutorials” page above, then click the link to the tutorial.  Dan will update the tutorial as events unfold or as seasons change and warrant new current awareness situations or as new resources become available.  Let us know what you think!

Preparedness activities in the MCR

We heard from Claire Hamasu, Associate Director of the MidContinental Region (MCR) of NN/LM at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City about their emergency preparedness and response activities to date.  Claire notes that she and Javier Crespo, the Associate Director of the New England Region (NER) at the University of Massachusetts and the “buddy” RML for MCR, have reviewed MCR’s continuity of service plan.  Instructions were refined to clearly explain how the NER could use the MCR’s communication tools to inform those in the MCR how to contact the NER for assistance.

At the October Regional Advisory Board meeting, one of the discussion topics was Emergency Planning.  The question was, “Assuming that emergency planning is important, how do we, the RML, promote activities that result in emergency plans?  Three themes emerged from this discussion:

  1. Libraries need to be part of the institution’s emergency plan.  They must be at the table where it’s being formed.  Librarians need to insinuate the library into the discussion.
  2. Libraries should partner with other organizations outside their institution–public library, public health, and other hospitals.
  3. Libraries need to protect their core resources.

The NN/LM MCR has made funding available for emergency planning.  Network members can apply for up to $15,000 to fund projects designed to develop partnerships that enhance access to health information in preparation for and during emergencies.  MCR has established two liaisons with other libraries, the Dykes Library in Kansas and the McGoogan Library of Medicine in Nebraska, to create emergency preparedness plans for the libraries.