The NN/LM EP&R Plan
To help mitigate the impact of disasters on healthcare providers and their patients, the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) implemented the following emergency preparedness and response plan in 2008 to help Network members maintain their information resources and services in the event of a disaster.
The effectiveness of the plan depends on the participation of a range of players, from individual Network members, through the eight Regional Medical Library (RML) offices, to the National Library of Medicine (NLM). The structure is designed to provide a game plan that starts with preparedness and continues through emergency response.
Local preparedness plan:
Each Network library should have a preparedness plan suitable to their environment. This includes developing a one page Service Continuity Plan and establishing a back-up relationship with a library [or libraries] who can help maintain your core services during and after a disaster.
Local emergency response plan:
Each Network library should have a strategy in place for communicating following a disaster. In addition, all Network libraries should be able to maintain their core services and resources following a disaster based on carrying out procedures detailed in their one page Service Continuity Plan.
RML offices provide information and assistance to Network members in assistance with service continuity planning. The NN/LM EP&R Toolkit is the primary source for readiness materials, training, and awareness.
NN/LM Emergency Response Action Plan
Green: No Assistance Required
Network member is able to handle the situation within its institution or locally, according to its level of preparedness and the viability of its existing disaster plan.
Yellow: Assistance Requested (Communication Channels Available)
- affected member contacts back-up library and RML Office
- RML Office contacts Regional/State Coordinator
- RML Office de-activates affected member’s DOCLINE lending, if necessary
- determination is made if additional services or resources are needed for service continuity
- affected Network member notifies RML Office when services have been restored, RML Office notifies Regional/State Coordinator
Red: Assistance Needed (No Communication)
In the event that there is no communication from either the affected Network member or its back-up library, the RML Office will de-activate DOCLINE lending for the affected Network member (if aware of the situation) and contact the Regional/State Coordinator, but no other response will be initiated pending re-establishment of communication.
Description of Roles
To mitigate the impact of a disaster, Network members are encouraged to maintain an up-to-date one page Service Continuity Plan. The plan should identify essential services and resources and should contain strategies for maintaining service continuity from a site away from the library, such as someone’s home. The plan should also include a prioritized list of essential or unique non-electronic resources (such as books, journals, manuscripts, and works of art) and a salvaging chart for responders to use to rescue these items in the event of a disaster. Each Network member is encouraged to partner with a back-up library and to develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), specifying services that would be provided by the back-up library to the affected Network member in the event of a disaster.
The RML Office is responsible for coordinating or overseeing a response when requested by a Network member. Specific coordinating responsibilities include, but are not limited to, re-routing DOCLINE when necessary, notifying the Regional/State Coordinator of the incident after being contacted by a Network member, and providing needed recovery resources, contingent upon available funding. The RML Office is also responsible for promoting the plan, providing training on service continuity planning, facilitating back-up library relationships, and assisting with MOU development.
The back-up library is the first responder to an affected Network member for communication and service continuity. Back-up libraries need to maintain a current list of contacts and should proactively work out the level of support (preferably through an MOU) that will be implemented in the event of a disaster.
Regional/State Coordinators are appointed by the RML Office and serve according to terms developed by each Network office. Regional/State Coordinators are encouraged to work with regional library groups to promote emergency preparedness in their region. When necessary, the Regional/State Coordinator is part of the team (RML Office, affected Network member, and back-up library) that helps ensure continuation of services to the affected Network member. Following a disaster, Regional/State Coordinators are responsible for follow-up and reporting to the RML Office.
When needed, participating resource libraries provide backup support to the affected Network member and its back-up library. In the case where there is no back-up library, a resource library can choose to become the de facto back-up library. This relationship would be coordinated through the RML Office.
Buddy RML Office:
The NN/LM regional offices have developed a buddy system in order to assist each other in the event of a large-scale disaster. The buddy RML Office may need to solicit additional assistance from resource libraries in its region.
NN/LM National Network Office (NNO):
The NNO facilitates the provision of resources for the plan and oversees its development.
National, regional, and local library organizations can help promote the plan and provide a forum for training and research. Regional library networks, such as SOLINET, WESTPAS, PALINET, and AMIGOS, will serve as the primary resource for comprehensive disaster training to Network members.
National Coordinator of the NN/LM National Emergency Preparedness & Recovery Plan:
The National Coordinator is responsible for overseeing the success of the plan throughout all eight regions, and for maintaining the Toolkit. In addition, the National Coordinator develops training tools and maintains and establishes partnerships with national groups and organizations that are connected to libraries and emergency preparedness.