Prepared by the Alabama Public Library Service Disaster Preparedness Committee


Every public library in the state should take time to assess the dangers that might befall their facility, meet with local emergency response officials, and plan for how each library and community will respond to specific issues. Each Alabama public library should have a disaster plan in place that details responsibilities and tasks to be undertaken after any type of emergency.


Developing Library Disaster Plans

dPLAN - a free web-based fill-in-the-blank program for writing institutional disaster plans

Library of Virginia Disaster Planning Workbook
Disaster Planning for Libraries and Archives (Australia/IFLA)
Disaster Preparedness: An Essential Function for Libraries and Archives
Ohio State Disaster Preparedness Plan for Small Libraries
ALA Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Page
SOLINET Disaster Mitigation and Planning Resources


Sample Library Disaster Plans

University Library Disaster Plans (Provided by Stanford University)
SEFLIN Disaster Plans on the Internet site
Cullman County Public Library System Disaster Plan (Adobe PDF)
Orange Beach Public Library Disaster Plan (Adobe PDF)
University City (MO) Public Library Disaster Plan

In the event a disaster strikes your library which impedes or interrupts services, or damages facilities or collections, please notify the Alabama Public Library Service Director’s Office at 800-723-8459.


Alabama public libraries play a key role in helping their communities recover from disaster. Many public libraries may need to temporarily or permanently adopt policies and set strategies to provide services for disaster victims who both reside in their community, or who may be relocated to the library’s service area. Services may include setting aside specific computers for disaster relief registration, waiving of photocopy charges for documents necessary for recovery, development of web pages and pathfinders to support services, and the providing of special children’s and adult library/reading programs in shelters. Every public library has a role to play in supporting recovery from a disaster


Sample Policies for Public Libraries to Implement to Assist Disaster Victims

Cullman County Library System – Administrative Memo 2005-03 RE: Services for Refugees (Adobe PDF)

Jefferson Parish (LA) “Katrina Guest Cards”

Jefferson and Orleans Parishes (LA) Reciprocal Borrowing Agreements


Programs/Services/Activities for Disaster Victims

ALA Libraries and Hurricane Katrina page
WebJunction posts regarding Services for Hurricane Katrina Victims includes details about policies and services from all over the U.S.
Harford County Public Library (MD) “How to Get Help” Page for Katrina Victims
Jefferson Parish (LA) “Hurricane Resources” Page
Birmingham Public Library Katrina Resources Page includes their “Shelter From the Storm” Brochure and details about temporary cards.
Texas Grants to Public Libraries details activities several Texas libraries undertook to support shelter residents and others after the Gulf Coast hurricanes in 2005.
State Library of Louisiana Press release regarding services for children in hurricane shelters and in libraries.

The Alabama Public Library Service, SoliNET and other organizations offer a wealth of help and assistance to Alabama libraries in planning for and responding to disasters. Contact your APLS Library Development, Networking and Planning Consultant at 800-723-8459 for additional information.

Alabama Public Library Service
Disaster Preparedness Task Force

Rebecca Mitchell, State Librarian/Director
John Paul Myrick, Chairman, Cullman County Public Library System
Mark Barlow, Orange Beach Public Library
Sue Royer, Huntsville-Madison County Public Library
Bob Hodge, Alabama Public Library Service Executive Board
Julie Hare, APLS Staff
Spencer Watts, Mobile Public Library
Burke McFerrin, Greenville-Butler County Public Library

This page hosted by the Cullman County Public Library System for the Alabama Public Library Service.

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