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Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP) for Libraries Part 1: Why We Plan

Class Details

These two sessions (1/26, 2/10 starting at 1 PM ET/10 AM PT) are intended for members of the PNR & SEA regions: AK, AL, DC, GA, FL, ID, MD, MI, MT, NC, OR, PR, SC, TN, USVI, VA, WA, and WV. Participants from other regions are welcome to attend, however we may be less likely to be able to match you with a COOP partner.

We all hope that by the end of the summer of 2021 the COVID-19 pandemic will mainly be behind us and the large bandwidth that the pandemic has taken up over the past year can be used for pressing needs that may have taken a back seat. One of those needs is disaster planning. While there is a vaccine to assuage the impact of a pandemic, there is no antidote for the personal and economic devastation from events that disrupt the provision of core library services, such as an earthquake, hurricane, tornado, or civil unrest. It is essential for all libraries to resume planning for disasters, which includes knowing how to respond to a disaster, how to develop partnerships with local emergency planners, and how to find a backup library to mitigate the impact of a disaster. This two-part webinar series will provide attendees with the awareness and tools necessary to face disasters of any kind.

Part 1 will include a welcome from Cathy Burroughs and Tony Nguyen and a presentation from Dan Wilson, former coordinator for the NNLM Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative and other librarians who will provide first-hand accounts of how libraries responded to a disaster. Part 1 will conclude with the distribution and explanation of a template for attendees to use to begin creating their own one-page continuity of operations plan (COOP). This one-page template will be the primary focus of Part 2 of the webinar.

Speaker Information

Dan Wilson is the Associate Director for Collections & Library Services at the University of Virginia Health Sciences Library. He was the coordinator for the National Network of the National Library (NNLM) Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative from 2007 to 2016, when he facilitated training programs and engagement opportunities for libraries, communities, CBHOs, and emergency planners. Dan has worked with state library agencies in South Carolina, New Jersey, Montana, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maryland, and Virginia. Dan is a co-author of the book, Library as Safe Haven: Disaster Planning, Response and Recovery. Excerpts from one of his chapters was featured in the July 2020 issue of American Libraries. In addition, he is the creator of the Medical Library Association (MLA) CE course, In Case of Emergencies: Continuity of Operations (COP) Planning. The course was taken by over 800 people between March and June 2020.

Continuing Education Credits: 
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
1:00pm - 3:30pm
United States
This class is eligible for Disaster Information Specialization continuing education credit awarded by the Medical Library Association.

This freely available online course defines and describes continuity of operations (COOP) planning and why it is important for libraries to have a continuity plan in case of emergencies. This course also provides a one-page continuity plan template with instructions that librarians or information specialists can use to develop their own plan.


After completing this course, you will be able to:

  •     Describe the function of continuity of operations (COOP) planning
  •     Identify your library’s mission essential functions
  •     Create a one-page Continuity Plan