Innovative programming ideas support learning and connection

Amid the immense challenges posed by COVID-19, libraries throughout the country are finding innovative ways to bring people together and to encourage safe, enriching activities. Here in California, libraries have responded with a diverse array of new programs and found creative ways to adapt existing services to online, outdoor and physically distanced formats. Take-home activity […]

Quarantine Confusion: Safety guidance during COVID-19

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, two of the most pressing questions for libraries have been how to safely handle materials and reopen library facilities. Over the past several months, however, evolving safety guidelines, seemingly contradictory scientific studies and public disagreement between scientists have created confusion for libraries and patrons alike. As Teri Sforza […]

Statewide panel shares wildfire preparedness insights

Amid a devastating 2020 fire season, the NorthNet Library System (NLS) hosted a statewide panel discussion on Oct. 21 to share lessons learned about libraries and wildfire preparedness. During the meeting, panelists shared guidance about how libraries can increase community resilience, provide services during a disaster and better coordinate with city, county and community partners. […]

Training & Exercises

Disaster plans are only as good as the people that implement them. The following trainings and exercises can help your library prepare before the next disaster. If you have a resource to share on, please email William Cooley at Emergency & Disaster Response Training Listos California: Emergency Preparedness CourseListos, an initiative of the […]

Develop a disaster response plan

While disaster plans should be based on a library’s unique needs, all plans should address the following core topics. Immediate emergency response Consider what should happen in the seconds and minutes after a disaster strikes. How should staff members and volunteers respond? Start by planning for the hazards you identified as being most likely to […]

Cultivate community partnerships

Whether it’s through after-school programs, summer reading, family literacy or Lunch at the Library, community partnerships play a vital role in many library-based programs. Disaster preparedness is no exception. Since 2015, the Sonoma County Library has partnered with the Redwood Empire Food Bank to bring free summer lunches to local students. “We’re always working with […]

Engage the library community

Once your team has had a chance to identify likely risks and review existing disaster plans, invite a broader range of staff, volunteers and community members into the conversation. Engaging the library community in planning can be done informally or through a community meeting. Encourage people to share their ideas on table sheets, post-it notes […]

Review existing disaster response plans

Library disaster response efforts do not take place in a vacuum. Make sure to review existing plans in place for your county or city and to coordinate planning efforts with local government partners. Solano County staff in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) support response efforts during the 2017 Northern California wildfires. Familiarize yourself with city […]