Given the recent surge in natural disasters across the country and a change to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) policy that now designates libraries as temporary disaster facilities, this year’s Washington Office Saturday morning program tackled disaster preparedness.
Guest speakers discussed what libraries should do to be ready for all emergency situations — from hurricanes to library fires.
Rebecca Hamilton, state librarian of Louisiana, shared the lessons learned during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. View her presentation here.
Dan Barkley, with the University of Mexico, discussed his experience dealing with both flooding and a fire and offered tips for emergency plans. View his presentation here.
FEMA representative Katherine Zeringue also spoke, focusing on the importance of libraries establishing collaborations with groups in their communities and government entities before disasters strike. View her presentation here.
Exciting accessibility initiative also featured during the program
The Washington Office program also included a presentation by Jane-Berliss Vincent with the Accessible Technology Coalition. She played a demo of the Global Public Initiative Infrastructure (GPII), software that addresses accessibility issues for libraries. GPII allows users to invoke and use the access features they need anywhere, any time, and on any device. The video presentation shared during the Washington Office program and more information on GPII are available at www.gpii.net.