Emergency Planning and Response for Libraries, Archives and Museums

Aug 2012 | 192pp

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Emergency Planning and Response for Libraries, Archives and Museums

Emma Dadson

Are you prepared?
Whether you work with a special collection in a local archive or museum, in a large national library or managing records for a healthcare agency, an emergency plan is critical to your organisation’s future. 
Dadson draws on a decade of experience and award-winning training in this essential practical toolkit, enabling you to respond quickly and effectively to flood, fire and other emergencies. Expert advice is interwoven with cross-sectoral and international case studies drawn from high profile and smaller and medium-sized organisations offering a breadth of relevant experience and advice. Regardless of your time or cost constraints this text will outline exactly how to minimise risk, tackle real emergencies and ensure business continuity. 
Each chapter guides you through the essentials including:
  • an introduction to emergency planning in the information and heritage sectors
  • getting started on your plan
  • alarm raising and incident containment
  • the recovery operation
  • salvaging collections
  • critical documents such as priority lists, floorplans and disaster kits
  • business continuity and IT recovery
  • ensuring the plan’s efficacy
  • risk management and disaster prevention.  
Readership: This is the ultimate resource for all those who work with collections in libraries, archives, museums and historic houses internationally, whether large or small. It’s also an invaluable tool for records managers in companies, local authorities and healthcare agencies.  Lastly it offers a concise introduction to emergency planning and response for international library and information students. 

1. Introduction 
  • Why is a plan important? 
  • Definition and terminology 
  • Will your existing plan work in practice? 
  • Writing an effective plan – how to use this book   
2. Case studies 
  • Flood recovery at the State Library, Queensland, Australia 
  • The fire at the Royal Horticultural Society Lindley Library, London
  • The New Zealand earthquakes 
  • Wider recovery from a river flood at the University of Sussex, UK 
  • Fire and flood recovery at Norfolk County Record Office, UK 
  • Impact of power loss on an archive service in a UK local authority
  • Wider impacts after flooding to a university campus, including the archive 
  • Strategies for preparedness at the Library of Congress
  • The Tohoku Earthquake and subsequent tsunami of 11 March 2011 and its impact on library and archive collections   
3. Roles and responsibilities
  • Introduction 
  • Emergency response activities
  • Emergency Management Team roles 
  • Emergency Management Team additional roles
  • Ensuring your Emergency Management Team works effectively   
4. Incident control
  • Introduction 
  • Categorized response?
  • Uniform approach
  • Immediate responses to water damage
  • Immediate responses to fire
  • Immediate responses to flood or storm warning 
  • Immediate responses to other types of incident   
5. Planning the recovery operation 
  • Emergency Management Team meeting
  • Tactics – in-house or outsource? 
  • Triage assessment 
  • Involving insurers 
  • Health and safety 
  • Ending the emergency phase  
6. Collections salvage
  • Planning salvage 
  • Stabilization and salvage strategy 
  • Moving damaged items 
  • Assessing damaged items
  • Air-drying techniques 
  • Large-scale drying
  • Fire and smoke damage  
7. Supplementary content 
  • Personnel contact lists 
  • Priority lists
  • Floor plans
  • Emergency equipment 
  • External suppliers and utility companies
  • Additional appendices
  • Incident report forms   
8. Dealing with the building 
  • Water damage
  • Fire damage 
  • Preventative measures  
9. Business continuity
  • How to write a business continuity plan 
  • Effective communications  
10. Ensuring the plan’s efficacy
  • Making your plan user-friendly 
  • Plan distribution
  • Plan testing 
  • Training
  • Working with other sections of your organization 
  • Continuous improvement   
Bibliography and references

"The phrase ‘if you only buy one book on this subject, make sure it is this one’ is all too often over-used these days. However, in the case of Emergency Planning and Response for Libraries, Archives and Museums
- this statement is entirely justified. This book is a true pearl. It is a Masterclass that is a standard text in waiting. The question is not whether or not to buy this book but rather how many copies to buy? Should it be one? Or should it be one for each Disaster Box?"

- Meic Pierce Owen

"This book is a must for anyone working in the heritage sector! It’s a realistic and practical primer on all aspects of emergency planning. Emma Dadson is the perfect person to write it, because of her in-depth experience of helping all kinds of organisations in all kinds of emergency, from floods to power outages. There is plenty of useful advice on emergency roles, salvage procedures, service continuity, and forming effective relationships within the parent organisation. The book’s value is enhanced by candid case studies in which those involved share lessons learned."
- Alison Cullingford

"Emergencies happen regardless of whether we have a response plan. Everyone responsible for managing collections – not only in libraries but also in museums, archives, universities, cultural institutions, businesses, government agencies and local councils – will find this book an invaluable resource. Organisations with collections and resources at risk, from one-person libraries to huge institutions with multiple buildings, should keep a copy of Emergency Planning and Response for Libraries, Archives and Museums on the shelf beside their emergency plan, to consult when updating the plan or in case of an emergency."
- Australian Library Journal

"…a thorough overview of the steps of emergency response and the issues that need to be considered in planning for and responding to a disaster."
- Archival Issues

Emma Dadson is widely known in the library and heritage sectors as an expert in emergency recovery and response and has worked with the UK's leading document restoration service, Harwell, for 12 years training over 2,000 individuals. She has been the chairman of the British Damage Management Association and was named Business Continuity Consultant of the Year 2007.

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