CPR for wet books

As our airconditioning systems are cranking away in the summer heat and humidity, creating condensation build-up on some interior pipes and ducts, as the 2010 hurricane season gets into full swing off the southern/southeastern coasts of the continental U.S., and as many parts of the country experience weekly thunderstorms, here’s some helpful information from Heritage Preservation about how to try to save the lives of books that get wet.

The Summer newsletter from Heritage Preservation highlights their “How to Save Wet Books” page, which has short videos and text about how to treat wet books, as well as some very helpful tips at the bottom of the page about how to prioritize and how to stay safe during the process.  Who’d have thought that sometimes part of saving a wet book is to get it even wetter?

On the same page

It’s good to be “on the same page” with an organization like Heritage Preservation!  Check out their “Do One Thing” initiative for May Day (May 1) this year.  They encourage all libraries and cultural institutions to take some of the same actions the NN/LM is recommending to its members in its “10-Step Approach to Service Continuity,” such as prioritizing collections for rescue, establishing relationships with “buddy” institutions, etc.  They also mention that their Disaster Wheel and accompanying Field Guide are on sale at a special price for May Day.  These materials have been highly recommended to NN/LM members throughout the training sessions in emergency preparedness and response that have been offered over the past year and a half.

The Heritage site also notes that even though hurricane “season” doesn’t start until June 1, our continent is already experiencing severe weather and flooding, noting that a disaster can happen at any time and in any place.  If you visit their site, you might enjoy looking around a bit while you are there.  Heritage Preservation (a partner with FEMA) is an excellent resource for all things preservation and recovery for collections.  Where the NN/LM emergency preparedness initiative complements Heritage is its focus on service continuity to patrons in terms of providing health related information.

Preparedness in the PNR

Many thanks to Gail Kouame, Consumer Health Coordinator and lead Emergency Preparedness person for the Pacific Northwest Region (PNR) of NN/LM for the updates about what’s going on there in terms of promoting the NN/LM plan!

  • PNR had developed an Emergency Preparedness page on the region’s NN/LM site some time ago, (located at http://nnlm.gov/pnr/services/emergency_preparedness.html.) It is still being updated, and has worked well for their region, while being adapted by others as well.
  • Gail attended the “Connecting to Collections” conference for Washington State recently. It is a grant- funded initiative that includes collaborative disaster planning among cultural institutions (libraries, museums, tribal centers, etc.) Gail says she was the only medical librarian in the room, so we are happy to have been so well-represented!
  • institutions in Alaska and Oregon are also applying for funding to organize similar initiatives
  • Gail convened a meeting of 4 of the region’s 5 state coordinators in the EP&RP on October 22, 2008 as their “kick off” meeting. This meeting followed a teleconference earlier in the year.
  • the state coordinators have devised a “talking points” list for use in promoting the plan in their states (contact Gail for more info if you’re interested)
  • Gail provided each of the state coordinators with one of the Salvage Wheels from Heritage Preservation (see the “Ready Reference” page on the toolkit), and made sure they knew how to order more if needed
  • all the states in PNR are signed up for the MLA webcast on November 12, “Survival Tips and Stories,” and there are plans to purchase DVDs for future use within the states. The host sites are also planning to build in some discussion time around the webcast.
  • state coordinators will begin doing phone consultations about the plan soon, using the talking points developed by the group
  • Gail will be creating an emergency preparedness “column” in the region’s newsletter, Dragonfly, featuring “guest bloggers” recruited from her state coordinators’ group
  • Gail will re-convene the state coordinators in February to follow-up and assess progress

Great work, Gail and PNR state coordinators!