Presentation on theme: "Public Librarians’ Response to Hurricanes: Lessons, Issues and Strategies Rebecca Hamilton State Librarian State Library of Louisiana."— Presentation transcript:
Public Librarians’ Response to Hurricanes: Lessons, Issues and Strategies Rebecca Hamilton State Librarian State Library of Louisiana
Lessons Learned Existing emergency plans are inadequate; Business continuity was not a focus of library disaster planning; Traditional lists of staff home phone numbers are inadequate; and Library’s role is to be a communications hub and to provide information.
State Library Support & Direction Legislative auditor provided training in FEMA process; Hosted SOLINET disaster planning workshop; Established secure Extranet for public libraries to post disaster plans; and Compiled information for lawmakers on damages, costs of rebuilding, library needs and so forth.
State Library Response Serve as central clearinghouse for information about libraries, for libraries and for library staff; Act as spokesperson to the national media for information about libraries in the state; Coordinate donations and “adoption” services; Provide whatever is needed: technical support, staff, office space, website hosting, etc.; Provide support and direction.
Role of Public Libraries in their Communities Internet access, help with computer use; Food, phone, fax; Listen and offer support; Temporary cards; Story hours at shelters; Normalcy; Distribution point for other relief agencies.
“Libraries are not essential services” – FEMA, Cameron Parish, 2006
Public Libraries as First Responders Coordinate with local emergency management services; Be “at the table” in all local planning sessions before the disaster hits; Promote what the library can do to help; Portray yourself as a communications hub, not a book storehouse; Have your own records in order.
Basic Library Records Payroll, timesheets; Contact information, mobile and home numbers, PIN numbers, more numbers; Inventory of building, collections, etc.; Copies of insurance policies; Disaster recovery services contracts and agreements.
Gustav and Ike After Katrina and Rita Three Years Later
Everyone Better Prepared Contact information; Web site ready-to-go; Blog; Backup server in North Louisiana; New IT infrastructure.
State Library IT Preparations The State Library systems never lost power. We were up when the rest of state government was down for five days. We had other state agencies and state officials sitting in our parking lot with laptops using our wireless connection.
IT Preparations: Used Generator Power; Server Room; Backups; Backup server; Disaster website; and Wireless access.
IT Preparations: Not Used 1. Matching servers so hardware was interchangeable; 2. Secured non-essential servers in closet; 3. Core services backed up identically on all servers; 4. Tape backups stored in safe, in closet and off site; and 5. Inexpensive backup hard drive.
Next Steps Portable generator to run laptops; More functionality needed for backup server in North Louisiana; Set up command center with cable, Internet, computers, phones, printer, etc.; Develop pre-written press releases and media alerts for local media.