Disaster management in libraries: the role of a disaster plan

G. Morgan, J. G. Smith

Abstract


It is contended that disaster management and planning should be one of the most important aspects of library management, but in practice it has been found to be a neglected field in librarianship, particularly in South Africa. This article explores the main disaster management issues and reports on a study that investigated disaster planning in research, academic and public libraries in the Greater Cape Metropolitan Area. It was found that the majority of the libraries investigated were lacking in formal disaster plans and were generally under-prepared for any potential disasters which may occur. This was attributed to inadequate resources and also to the apathetic attitude of library staff. The authors suggest that it is important that all libraries institute disaster management procedures and a formal disaster plan as this would assist in preventing disasters. Such a plan further provides step-by-step instructions that help to eliminate panic, it ensures that proper decisions are taken, it reduces damage to collections and limits recovery costs should a disaster occur. A framework for a model disaster plan is therefore proposed to serve as a guideline for libraries in the development of disaster plans.

Daar word aangevoer dat noodbestuur en sodanige beplanning een van die mees belangrike aspekte van biblioteekbestuur behoort te wees, maar in die praktyk is gevind dat dit in Suid-Afrika 'n verwaarloosde terrein is. Die vernaamste aspek omtrent noodbestuur word ondersoek, en navorsing wat noodbeplanning in akademiese, navorsings- en openbare biblioteke ondersoek het in die groter Kaapse Metrpolitaanse Gebied word bespreek. Die meerderheid biblioteke wat ondersoek is, het tekortkominge getoon in hul formele noodplanne en hulle was oor die algemeen onvoorbereid op potenside rampe. Dit word toegeskryf aan onvoldoende hulpbronne asook die apatiese houding van die biblioteekpersoneel. Die skrywers stel voor dat dit belangrik is dat alle biblioteke noodbestuurprosedures in 'n formele noodplan moet formuleer en daarstel, aangesien dit sal bydra om rampe te voorkom. So 'n noodplan verskaf stap-vir-stap-instruksies om paniek te elimineer en te verseker dat behoorlike besluite geneem word. Dit verminder ook die beskadiging van versamelings en beperk herstelkostes as 'n ramp sou plaasvind. 'n Raamwerk vir 'n modelnoodplan word voorgestel om as voorbeeld te dien vir biblioteke in die ontwikkeling van noodplanne.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7553/65-1-1502

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