Protecting people and preventing damage to libraries or cultural collections are extremely important tasks for libraries, museums and archives. To help local administrators plan for disasters, a regional "Before Disaster Strikes" workshop was presented in Colby on Oct. 29.
Patty Nicholas, special collections librarian at Fort Hays State University's Forsyth Library, joined nearly 100 participants to learn the basics of creating and implementing a disaster preparedness plan. The workshop encouraged attendance from all cultural organizations regardless of where they might be in the planning process. There was a great deal of idea sharing for protecting statewide collections and the development of regional partnerships.
Disaster preparedness expert Tyra Grant, from the University of Kansas, presented a step-by-step plan at the all-day workshop to prevent emergencies from becoming disasters for cultural heritage collections.
The workshop was underwritten by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and coordinated by the State Library of Kansas. The workshop is part of a broader IMLS national initiative "Connecting to Collections: A Call to Action" to raise awareness and preserve shared cultural heritage collections.
In addition to the State Library, sponsors include the Kansas State Historical Society, the Kansas Library Association, the Kansas Humanities Council, the Kansas Arts Commission, the Kansas Museums Association, the University of Kansas Libraries, the Kansas State University Libraries and the Kansas City Area Archivists.