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Archive for the ‘Severe Storm’ Category

Viewing Earl’s progress

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Check out to see a great map featuring Hurricane Earl, but with the ability to view other storms as well.  The maps are pulling in lots of data from many reputable sources (National Hurricane Center, NASA, NOAA, and others) to provide layered maps of weather patterns and major storms in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans as well as the contiguous 48 states (see top menu bar on the site to switch maps).  On the Atlantic map particularly, be sure to click the “ON” buttons for Forecast Models and Clouds in the box in the upper right of the map to enhance the view of Hurricane Earl with additional layers. 

Service Continuity at the University of Pittsburgh HSLS

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

In early February, the Mid-Atlantic region was hit with a major snowstorm.  Pittsburgh was hard hit, resulting in a 3-day closure of the University of Pittsburgh.  University of Pittsburgh’s Health Sciences Library System was closed during those three days, but core services were maintained from the homes of designated staff.  Barbara Epstein, library director, has shared the following notes from an Executive Committee debriefing session held soon after library staff returned to work:

1. The University of Pittsburgh’s HSLS relies on the university’s emergency notification system.  Therefore, all staff are to subscribe to the system and should also check the university’s web site.  If the message is “University is closed & essential personnel only” to report, then HSLS libraries will be closed.  Weekends are not considered workdays, so any closure decisions are made by library administration.
2.  Computer systems staff are considered “essential” to maintaining servers and the Web site.  They are responsible for keeping these services running from home or in-person if necessary.
3.  Systems staff will post information about library closure on their Web site, and will advise users to submit questions via Ask-a-Librarian (AAL).  Designated managers will check AAL regularly from home.
4.  Designated ILL/Document Delivery manager, working from home, will facilitate or forward any urgent patient care requests.  Some firewall problems were identified and resolved by systems staff.

Further reading: Director’s Reflection…a Blizzard of Online Services

New Service Continuity Brochure

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Severe weather in your forecast?  If so, now is the time to plan for a service disruption.  To help you with the planning, we have created a new brochure that will guide you on how to quickly switch provision of your core services from onsite to offsite.  Click on the image below to view the brochure, or visit the “Promotional Brochures” page listed above.

Snowy Winter in the Mid-Atlantic

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Winter snowstorms continue to disrupt services in the Mid-Atlantic.  Many libraries throughout the region have been closed since a major snowstorm hit the region Friday and Saturday.  The RML for the region, SE/A, has been closed since Friday at 1:30pm.  All service requests to the SE/A office are being handled by their backup RML in Seattle, Washington.

Here at the University of Virginia Health Sciences Library, we activated our service continuity plan on Friday morning in order to ensure continued access to online resources and interlibrary loan.  (We didn’t need to active chat offsite, as one of our reference librarians made it into work that day.)  Closing/opening information (we closed on Saturday) was maintained throughout the weekend on our website, Facebook, and Twitter.  Valuable lessons were learned along the way, which we will share with everyone in the near future.