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Ports in a Storm: The Library as Disaster Recovery Center

Event date(s): 
Monday, 8 April 2013, 8:30am - 4:30pm
Statewide (all New Jersey)
Event contact:

Ports in a Storm conference - click for detailsPresenting a Disaster Recovery Summit sponsored by the New Jersey State Library in partnership with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine - Middle Atlantic Region, LibraryLinkNJ, and New Jersey Library Association.

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, as well as respite from the storm. Unless under water or without power, our 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 primary goal of this summit is to bring public librarians together with the emergency planning community, first responders, public health workers and community-based and faith-based groups charged with disaster-related responsibilities and to provide a forum for discussing roles libraries and information professionals can play in supporting future disaster preparedness, response and recovery efforts. Other interested members of the New Jersey Library Network are welcome.

Date: Monday, April 8, 2013 at the Sheraton Eatonton, 8:30-4:30. A small block of rooms is available for those who wish to travel the night before at $109 each. Please make reservations with the Sheraton Eatontown directly at 732-542-6500.

Cost: $25 per person includes continental breakfast and buffet lunch. Make checks, purchase orders, vouchers payable to LibraryLinkNJ. Send attn.: Nanette Cox, Business Administrator, LibraryLinkNJ, 44 Stelton Road, Suite 330, Piscataway, NJ 08854.

Who should attend?: All public librarians, medical librarians, trustees, community partners and other interested colleagues. Since the goal of the summit is to build community partnerships, libraries that bring a potential community partner that includes disaster response and recovery in their mission (emergency manager or responder, faith-based group, elected official) will receive a FREE American Red Cross digital emergency radio/phone charger, the Heritage Preservation Field Guide to Emergency Response, Salvage Wheel, & Working with Emergency Responders poster, AND the Guide to Navigating FEMA and SBA: Disaster Aid for Cultural Institutions—a value of over $100!

Registration is now open. For further information contact Michele Stricker, Associate Director, Library Support Services, New Jersey State Library,

Event location: 
Sheraton Eatontown Hotel
6 Industrial Way East
Eatontown, NJ 07724
Phone: 732-542-6500
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