Ports in a Storm: the Library as Disaster Recovery Center

Disaster Recovery Summit sponsored by the New Jersey State Library in partnership with the Mid-Atlantic Region of the Nation Network of Libraries of Medicine, Library Link NJ, and New Jersey Library Association

Date: Monday, April 8, 2013 at the Sheraton Eatontown

When disaster strikes, where do you go? After Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey and New York in late October 2012, people went to their local library. Many community libraries were pressed into service as ad hoc Disaster Response Centers. Even though they may have sustained great damage to their own buildings, librarians rallied and were in the forefront of providing services and information to those in need, and respite from the storm. Unless under water or without power, New Jersey and New York libraries were open, and were the place residents flocked to the morning after Sandy passed, accessing computers and free wireless to conduct business; to work from home; to contact relatives or their insurance companies; find tree removal specialists; fill out FEMA forms; or just to power up their devices and warm up.  Libraries truly served their communities as ports in a storm, even though many were not prepared so serve in this capacity as unofficial community Disaster Recovery Centers. 

The goal of this summit is to bring medical and public librarians together with the emergency planning community, first responders, public health workers and community-based and  faith-based groups with disaster-related responsibilities and provide a forum for discussing roles  libraries and information professionals can play in supporting future disaster preparedness, response and recovery efforts.

Registration will take place online and will open soon. For further information contact Michele Stricker, Associate Director, Library Support Services, New Jersey State Library, mstricker@njstatelib.org