Click on the link below to see the report of the NN/LM/New England Region Extreme Weather Disaster Summit that took place on November 22, 2013, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Special thanks to Meredith Solomon, Siobhan Champ-Blackwell, Cindy Hahn, Liz Foley, Chris Montiverdi, and Susan Yowell, for all their contributions.
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