Disasters and Librarian Response: Home

This page is designed to offer librarians access to quality disaster response information.

Role of Libraries and Librarians During Disasters: A Webinar

DisasterWhy Should Librarians be Involved ?
1.  We are a service based profession.
2.  Quality information is critical and we are information specialists.
3.  Librarians understand the importance of locating authoritative information
4.  Libraries are considered essential services along with police and fire.
5.  Library Facilities are valuable during a disaster and serve as a place to rest, use sanitary facilities, recharge devices, use meeting rooms, and be safe.
New Roles for Librarians
1.   Answer questions and provide information to our primary group and others
      (QuestionPoint users could ask us disaster-related questions at any time.)
2.   Develop FAQs, LibGuides, & other digital resources and make them easy to access.
3.   Support incident command center within our community.

Stafford Act Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act:
Libraries are considered essential facilities and will be open during disasters.  This act provides the funding and authorization.

Webinar: Lib2Gov

Lib2Gov Lib2Gov    Connecting Your Library to Online Government Services
Lib2Gov.org is an engagement platform for library and government agency collaboration.
1. Provide resources to help librarians think about how best to engage in e-government services.
2. Provide communication tools to build & deepen relationships between librarians and govt agencies.
3. Provide communication tools to facilitate the building of a community of practice among & between librarians to share best practice e-government engagement programs and services.
4. Identify key government agency information, resources and services to assist librarians in meeting patron needs.

A Partial and Beginning List of Disaster-Related Links

Why not Google? In responding to disaster questions, there is not time to evaluate the sites that appear through Google.  Instead it is recommended that you go directly to the DIMRIC.
Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRIC)

  • To use, go directly to A-Z index of Resources
  • Links are credible, authorative, and vetted through a series of guidelines
  • Leads to grey literature: Guidelines, training, planning documents, reports

DIMRIC's Disaster Medicine and Public Health Literature

  • Includes disaster journal titles
  • MeSH headings on disaster topics
  • Lists of digitized medical libraries) 

Emergency Access Intiative: 

  • When activated, Publishers will provide temporary free access to journals and medical reference books
  • Page is only activated when a disaster as occurred (such as earthquake in Haiti and Tsamani in Japan)
  • Access provided to needed medical journal articles and medical reference books through this page

Disaster Apps and Mobile Optimized Web Pages Disaster Apps

  • downloadable apps, produced by National Library of Medicine
  • such as:
    Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER)
    Chemical Hazards Medical Management (CHEMM)
    Radiation Emergency Medical Management (REMM)
  • Internet can be unreliable in emergencies
  • Information portability
  • Space saver; nearly unlimited capacity
  • Information literary at your fingertips

Next Steps

volunteer1.  Role of Libraries and Librarians During Disasters
Sound is poor at first and improves
Webinar presented by:
           Elizabeth Norton and Siobham Champ-Blackwell
           National Library of Medicine

2. Become familar with the above links and how information is organized within

3. Consider volunteering within your community at the Incident Response Command Center
     DIMRIC: Disaster Information Specialist Program: 
     Information on becoming a disaster specialist, primarly volunteer http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/dimrc/disasterinfospecialist.html

4. Regional Medical Library (California is region 7) offers additional training

5. List serve http://disasterinfo.nlm.nih.gov/dimrc/dimrclistserv.html

Subject Guide