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Emergency Preparedness for Libraries


The class examines strategies to assist librarians with preparing for, responding to, and recovering from emergencies. Topics include learning how to conduct a basic risk assessment for their libraries and craft a basic emergency preparedness plan including strategies for continuing library services during the emergency; disaster planning models; types of resources available for emergency planning and recovery; relationships with first responders, vendors, and other libraries; and issues related to salvage. Class activities provide the opportunity to discuss and begin developing continuity of service plans and related processes.

Note: This course is a combination of two classes which are approved for MLA CE and may be taught separately:


  1. Identify risks to their regions and their institutions from natural and human-caused emergencies and disasters
  2. Develop a plan for continuation of core library services in the event of an emergency or disaster
  3. Identify advocacy possibilities within both the organization and the community
  4. Know how to obtain help within their regions or nationwide for assistance in providing continuity of services following an emergency or disaster
  5. Know where to obtain help and/or training in collection preservation where applicable

Course Materials

Continuing Education

This class has been approved by the Medical Library Association for 4 contact hours of CE credit. MLA Course Listing.


Created by Holly Ann Burt, National Network of Libraries of Medicine Greater Midwest Region.


Greater Midwest Region

Holly Ann Burt, Outreach and Exhibits Coordinator, ,

Midcontinental Region

Dana Abbey, Health Information Literacy Coordinator/Colorado, Health Information Literacy Coordinator/Colorado,

Southeastern Atlantic Region

Tony Nguyen, Emerging Technologies/Communications Coordinator, ,

Current Authors

Four Hour class: Dana Abbey, MLS, Colorado/Health Information Literacy Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine MidContinental Region (NN/LM MCR).

10-Step class: Dan Wilson, Coordinator, NN/LM National Emergency Preparedness & Response Plan/ Associate Director for Collection Management & Access Services, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, University of Virginia and Susan Yowell, Project Assistant, NN/LM National Emergency Preparedness & Response Plan/ Project Assistant, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, University of Virginia