The Disaster Planning Handbook for Libraries

ALA Editions. Oct. 2021. 168p. ISBN 9780838937990. pap. $54.99. PRO MEDIA
With contributions from Katherine R. Greene and Michelle Runyon, Flaherty (information and library science, Univ. of North Carolina; Great Library Events: From Planning to Promotion to Evaluation) has written an almost comprehensive guidebook for disaster planning in libraries, focusing on the integral role libraries can play in community recovery efforts. Chapters address the planning process, common types of disasters and their toll on services and facilities, and considerations for archives and special collections, as well a chapter emphasizing the importance of mitigating the effects of trauma on patrons and staff alike. Flaherty includes essays by library professionals who have shepherded their own libraries and communities through disasters, attesting to the confusion arising from fractured communications or the critical support offered by volunteers and community members. Although Flaherty touches on ransomware attacks and the necessity of protecting sensitive information during service disruptions, a more thorough exploration of cybersecurity issues would have been welcome. Nonetheless, the handbook is a valuable repository of resources and practical advice for libraries wishing to create or revamp disaster plans.
VERDICT Highly recommended for library professionals.
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