Monday, April 07, 2014

#CILDC : Weathering the Virtual Library - Adriana Edwards-Johnson

Description: On May 19, 20, and 31, 2013, tornadoes tore through central Oklahoma, tearing a path of destruction through urban and rural Cleveland, McClain, and Pottawatomie counties. This three county area is also the service area of the Pioneer Library System. The PLS physical buildings escaped the path of the storms by a matter of blocks. But the PLS services, such as electricity and internet, were impacted for several days after the storms hit. This session looks at the virtual library's immediate response to the storms, steps taken in the following days, and finally what steps were implemented to address future severe weather the system could face.With these lessons and those of your colleagues, spend some time discussing disruption and disaster plans!

Session Notes

Adriana Edwards-Johnson,@adriej,

11 branches and 7 information stations.  They cover three counties.  Their virtual library has 3 librarians, who do online library services and social media.

Three days in May 2013 - 19, 20 & 31.  Tornadoes went through their service area.  The first tornado went through rural communities.  Impacted library staff (personal property damage) and some information stations. Three libraries did close early.  After checking on staff, they got the word out that they would waive fines on damage and lost materials.

On the 20th, the weather service was on high alert.  Cancellations began at 10:30 a.m. All libraries closed at 2:19 p.m. They had two libraries within one mile of the tornado path.  This one hit during the day, which is unusual.

In the moment responses - cell services were down, due to the amount of traffic.  Uses Twitter with the public and SMS with staff. With severe disaster, know what the relevant hashtags are.  Librarians shared, retweeted and responded (when possible).  People want to get in touch with loved one.  Libraries angels with that.  Libraries have to have a structure in place in order to that.

A lot of the power structure went down, so the web site went down, which was a problem.

Challenges afterwards:
Phone service was unreliable
Electricity failures
Fiber network went down to one library
Library voice lost in the noise? - Created a web site and vetted information, and shared it.  Used the Google crisis maps (open data) and put it in text format, which people can understand better.  Other agencies copied and shared their info.

While part of the community is in crisis, some of the community is unaffected, which means that you're dealing with two really different needs.

They did a lot of communication. Provided a way for people to give and support affected staff. Afterward they also gave feedback to the Google team that supports the google crisis maps.

The disabled the terms of service for their wifi.  People did not come to the library to recharge things, likely because of other resources available.

She went through the library records of children that were killed and got rid of the books in their library records, so that the parents would not be faced with fines. Didn't want people to have that extra impact on their lives.  (The library uses a collection agency.)

Closed early on May 30 due to the threat of tornadoes.  Tornadoes hit on May 31.

Moved to a lot of remote hosting, so get services out of Tornado Alley.
Have a permanent wifi hotspot in their Moore location.
High end laptops that can used as service.
Claimed their FB check-in pages and redirect to their main FB page.

Off site backups of virtual services.
Master plan for the system.

Have a plan
Figure out how to use social media so that people will see your information. How do you get around limitations?  Some media are adjusting their algorithms.

1 comment:

Adri said...

Thanks for blogging my presentation!