Thursday, June 20 • 10:45am - 12:15pm
Climate Change Changes Us: Collections Security in the Context of Natural Disasters

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Climate change increases the probability of natural disasters even in areas previously deemed safe for special collections storage. As library staff, we need to be prepared not only to adequately respond to a disaster, but also to recover from it and restore access to our collections as quickly as possible. In the face of floods, fires, and earthquakes, strict adherence to normal security protocols can actually put our collections in danger, yet adopting special security practices in a moment of crisis can also bring new, unknown challenges to the forefront. How do we respond while still keeping ourselves and our collections safe, both in the moment of a disaster, and in the long aftermath? In this panel session, three speakers will present on the following topics:

Greg Prickman, currently of the Folger Shakespeare Library, will discuss his experiences dealing with a devastating flood that tore through the University of Iowa campus in 2008. While the Libraries escaped with only minimal damage, preparations in the weeks leading up to the flood were initially careful and ultimately frantic, as the nature of the threat grew and became better understood. This paper will consider lessons learned from planning under pressure, and how our notions of collection security evolve as circumstances change rapidly.

Ashley Jones of the Linda Hall Library will describe her work creating and executing disaster preparedness plans at multiple institutions. A good disaster preparedness plan is general, flexible, and scalable, with contingencies for specific actions and actors where necessary. That said, our collections are most secure when we make and follow carefully-tailored plans for the movement and care of our materials. This paper will explore ways special collections libraries can address the expectations and realities of security in environmentally compromised spaces, balancing the priorities of library staff, first responders, facility personnel, outside vendors, and even the media.

Natalia Sciarini, of Yale University’s Beinecke Library, will describe a flood in the Beinecke stacks which happened in April 2018, covering why and how it happened; how Access Services, Security, and Preservation responded; what we have done for disaster recovery, and what lessons library staff has learned from it.

avatar for Carly Sentieri

Carly Sentieri

Research Services Librarian for Special Collections, University of Wisconsin-Madison

avatar for Ashley Jones

Ashley Jones

Preservation & Conservation Librarian, The Linda Hall Library
I joined the Linda Hall Library in February of 2018 as their first preservation librarian in almost a decade. Previously I spent ten years as Preservation Librarian at Miami University Libraries. At Linda Hall, I am responsible for all preservation planning and activities, including... Read More →
avatar for Natalia Sciarini

Natalia Sciarini

Librarian for Collection management, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale
avatar for Greg Prickman

Greg Prickman

Eric Weinmann Librarian and Director of Collections, Folger Shakespeare Library
I joined the Folger Shakespeare Library in July, 2018 after 12 years at the University of Iowa Libraries. At the Folger I manage all aspects of the library and collection, including curation, acquisitions, cataloging, digitization, conservation, and public service.

Thursday June 20, 2019 10:45am - 12:15pm EDT
University Ballroom 1-2