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Scott Adair, Ellen Daugman and I attended a webinar on Tuesday, Oct. 27th from Lyrasis. The title of the class was Planning for a Service Disruption and was taught by Dan Wilson, Associate Director of Access Services and Collection Development at UVA Medical Sciences Library. The key concept of this class was protecting core resources and continuity of core services. Dan likened our work in disaster preparedness to a lighthouse-and said we should think of ourselves as theoretical lighthouses who protect our resources just like a real lighthouse protects ships from running aground.
We completed three risk assessment exercises to try to determine what our key services were in varying emergencies, such as flooding, a power outage and a cyber-terrorism attack. We also spent some time discussing H1N1 and it’s affect on libraries. Few libraries in our group have been affected to any degree either in staffing or services by H1N1.
Dan had several ideas for operating remotely during an emergency including using Skype to deal with patrons. His library uses Skype for this purpose as a remote service desk. The other good idea he offered was establishing a partnership with a fellow library who would serve as your backup. UVA has this relationship with UNC-CH. The way it works is if UVA must shut down, they can use Illiad as a transparent interface for ILL services and UNC-CH can just pick up this service for UVA without patrons realizing it. I think this idea of a “Back up Library” is excellent and one ZSR might consider implementing. Locating a remote server is another idea Mr. Wilson discussed. With a remote server in place, web based services can be continued and this service is “always on”. UVA Medical Science Library has a pocket sized response plan for emergencies- whatever form they take. This plan can be carried easily by library staff and referred to during emergencies.
Our Disaster Committee is in the midst of developing such a plan for service continuity and this webinar was helpful in helping us to realize where we are and giving us ideas we can add to our existing strategy.