Live from Responding to a Disaster in Your Community Innovative Users Group 2015

Daniel April 15, 20152:27 pm

Presenters for this session:

Carolyn Bly – Circulation Manager

Jeanne Crips – Director of Facilities

Son-Isle Libraries

Daniel April 15, 20152:29 pm

Couple of minutes to start. For the curious, I was sitting on my ankle and I can no longer feel it.

Added bonus: Can’t feel my foot either.

Daniel April 15, 20152:29 pm

Jeanne Crisp starting us off.

Sno-Isle is a Polaris library but this is not a Polaris specific topic at all.

Daniel April 15, 20152:30 pm

When a disaster occurs, libraries can help.

Daniel April 15, 20152:31 pm

Carolyn, the Circ Manager has years of experience with the local Search and Rescue.

Daniel April 15, 20152:32 pm

Sno-Isle is a two county system. 21 community libraries. 450+ staff. Administrative Centre located in Marysville, WA.

Daniel April 15, 20152:32 pm

Let’s talk about the Oso Mudslide.

Daniel April 15, 20152:33 pm

Mudslide engulfed 49 homes. Took out Highway 530, cutting off Darrington, WA.

Daniel April 15, 20152:34 pm

Normal delivery route, 50 minutes from Service Centre

Post slide detour: 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 and a half hours.

Daniel April 15, 20152:35 pm

Darrington is about 1,400 people. Windy mountainous road and hard to reach.

But they’re still our customers so we need to help.

Daniel April 15, 20152:35 pm


Re-established Internet access for the library and the community

Provided additional computers for public use

Daniel April 15, 20152:36 pm

IT took up personal hotspot devices with the best carrier for the area.

Daniel April 15, 20152:37 pm

IT also took up additional computers (half a dozen) for community use.

Daniel April 15, 20152:38 pm

They also set up a large antenna outside the library to pump up the wireless to several blocks around the library itself.

Daniel April 15, 20152:38 pm

Additional service hours implemented – to open up seven days a week.

Additional collection provided

DVDs and OverDrive donations

Daniel April 15, 20152:39 pm

New materials were not allowed to float from Darrington.

Daniel April 15, 20152:42 pm

They also set up an informational website

News and media

Links to help

Photo gallery

Communication resources

OverDrive also offered a donated collection surrounding “coping with grief.”

Daniel April 15, 20152:43 pm

Branch Manager lived in Snohomish and drove to Darrington. 

His route was quite affected by the highway cut off. Instead, he drove from home to Admin Centre then picked up a van full of stuff for Darrington.

That way he managed deliveries while getting to work

Daniel April 15, 20152:43 pm

Bypass road opened up. Traffic following a lead car at about 20 MPH.

Daniel April 15, 20152:44 pm

Two spare library trucks were pressed into service. So the library loaned the trucks and courier bins to the County for recovery efforts.

Daniel April 15, 20152:46 pm

And now Carolyn will discuss the adjustments she made to the ILS to respond to the disaster.

Daniel April 15, 20152:47 pm

Items lost in the slide or due to the slide were waived. No fines and fees.

Customers couldn’t get to their homes in some cases. All related charges waived with message “Landslide damage.”

Daniel April 15, 20152:47 pm

Carolyn: pulled maps and created record sets for patrons affected by the slide

Daniel April 15, 20152:48 pm

Record sets were set to bulk change to exclude from overdue, exclude from notice.

Contacted Unique to stop collection efforts on all of these accounts.

Daniel April 15, 20152:49 pm

Carolyn did this of her own initiative. No one was contacted to let them know this was happening as it was happening. Sometimes, you just need to do the thing and tell people later.

Daniel April 15, 20152:50 pm

Because they realized that services can be offered in a crisis, Sno-Isle is now involved in Emergency Planning and Management at the county level.

Daniel April 15, 20152:51 pm

Remembering Linda McPherson – former Branch Manager

She lived in the Oso area and was killed in the slide. The Darrington Community Room was named after her.

Daniel April 15, 20152:53 pm

Playing the video from the dedication of the room. 

Daniel April 15, 20152:54 pm

Bit of an audio issue but when you’ve dealt with a mudslide like this, then this isn’t an issue.

Daniel April 15, 20152:56 pm

No response was planned ahead of time. There was no emergency preparation plan in place for something of this nature.

Daniel April 15, 20152:58 pm

Comment: Not sure people understand how traumatic the event was. People were searching for bodies and possessions for months. (From a resident of Washington in the audience.)

Daniel April 15, 20153:00 pm

Question: Was a list created to replace materials?

Probably didn’t. Son-Isle is a popular materials library. And it wasn’t a large volume that was missing so it wasn’t a big concern.

Daniel April 15, 20153:01 pm

Question: Hurricane disaster in Florida – One county over was very hard hit. Their staff handled phone calls, communications, story times, and help for those affected.

Daniel April 15, 20153:03 pm

When the hot spots were brought in, was that one person per use? 

The hotspot is just a wireless router on the cell network. So more than one person can use it at a time. They took a bunch of them up, figured which one worked best for which carrier, and then loaded up the library with those.

Daniel April 15, 20153:04 pm

Similar situation: Hurricane Sandy and Queens Library –

Queens provided power as they were able to get their hands on generators. So they got generators and plug strips. People wanted power and diapers.

Daniel April 15, 20153:05 pm

There’s a plan in place now to have generators delivered to locations in the event of an emergency.

Daniel April 15, 20153:08 pm

Looks like we’re wrapping up! Keep in mind, even in a disaster, the library can help.

Watch the Twitter stream for up to date info from IUG 2015 and stick with Cyberpunk Librarian for more live blogging tomorrow!

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