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The NN/LM National Emergency Preparedness Project Baseline Assessment

The purpose of the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan is to help mitigate the impact of disasters on healthcare providers and their patients by helping Network member libraries maintain their information services in the event of a disaster. We can only know to what degree the Plan will have been successfully implemented in the Network by assessing the current level of and barriers to preparedness. Also, by identifying what kind of NN/LM support might be helpful, we can then provide that support to increase a library’s preparedness and ability to respond to emergencies.

Some of you were part of a sample of regional DOCLINE health science or resource libraries that responded to the national baseline assessment survey (sample percentages were proportional to the regions). The survey had 352 returns, for an estimated 68% response rate and 5% margin of error. It was administered this spring by the NN/LM Outreach Evaluation Resource Center.

Highlights of the survey findings:

  • Of those who responded to the questions about whether components of an emergency preparedness and response plan are in place at their libraries, about 70% (the average percentage of responses to each of six questions) answered “No” or “Don’t Know.”
  • About 75% of the responses to questions about the existence of various roles for the library, library staff, or parent organization related to emergency response were “No” or “Don’t Know” (the average percentage of responses to each of four questions).
  • Barriers to developing emergency plans identified by respondents include limited time (61%), limited knowledge (52%), lack of funds (37%) and lack of need (19%).
  • About 86% of responses (the average percentage of responses to each of four questions) related to whether Network library staff had been trained in emergency preparedness, response and /or recovery were “No” or “Don’t Know.”
  • Respondents indicated that the types of NN/LM support needed by libraries include assistance with continuity of services/operation plans (66%), training for a role in institution/community (65%), emergency preparedness and response training (60%) and assistance with partnerships with other libraries (50%).

The Outreach Evaluation Resource Center (OERC), which managed the distribution of the baseline survey and the analysis of results, will conduct a follow-up assessment in 2-3 years. If you have specific questions about the survey please contact the OERC staff:

Susan Barnes, Assistant Director

Cindy Olney, Evaluation Specialist

Overall, the baseline assessment clearly demonstrates that Network member libraries can be better prepared to face an emergency or disaster, and the assessment identifies what support would be most helpful to make this happen. We look forward to working with you on this important initiative!

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