UC Berkeley Library

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Disaster Response and Salvage

Feb 24 - Mar 2
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Localized Emergency

The UC Library Collections Salvage Plan provides instructions to designated Library Managers for response to a localized non-catastrophic emergency affecting the collections of one unit. The plan is maintained and updated annually by the Preservation Department and is intended to be used for salvaging the collections when water damage has occurred. It is presumed that the buildings housing the affected collections have been inspected and are safe for entry at the beginning of salvage operations. The current Collections Salvage Plan includes:

  • instructions for immediate response
  • designated response personnel
  • instructions for salvage of materials and the procurement of needed supplies
  • salvage priorities for Main and Subject Libraries with color coded floor plans
  • listing of UC and external resources available to provide assistance

Catastrophic Emergency

In the event of a widespread catastrophic emergency, priority will be given to human safety and support. Collection salvage operations will not commence until the buildings housing the collections have been assessed and declared "safe for entry" by a Campus Inspection Team. An individual Building Emergency Plan (BEP) exists for each building housing library collections and interfaces with the overall Campus Recovery Plan. Designated Preservation personnel are included in the Library Administrative Recovery Team which will manage and coordinate recovery efforts, and are included in the list of designated emergency staff charged with assisting recovery efforts.

In a catastrophic emergency, it is unlikely there will be adequate staff to recover all collections. Damage in multiple locations will result in competing demands for salvage. Collection salvage priorities therefore change from the priorities listed by the unit to the following criteria established by the Library Collections Advisory Group:

  • UCB created bibliographic tools existing only in paper copy
  • Library business records in paper, e.g., records of donations of gifts or records of legal documents essential to operation and not duplicated elsewhere
  • Unique and other irreplaceable materials
  • High-use materials essential to the recovery of services

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