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Disaster response and salvage training

Preservation Advisory Centre/ RLUK half-day courses were held at Oxford University Library Services on 21 June 2010.

This half-day course is led by Emma Dadson of Harwell Document Restoration Services. The course includes a number of short case studies, strategies for dealing with damage, an emergency decision-making exercise and a hands-on salvage exercise.


Why did you attend this training day?

  • To prepare disaster plans and planning strategies. To increase preparedness for dealing with incidents within our collections.
  • To learn how to manage my collections in case of an emergency.
  • Refresher for disaster preparedness and recovery.
  • To hone skills necessary for disaster management, specifically salvage.

What did you learn?

  • Triage principles - useful to get idea of how to prioritise salvage.
  • Good opportunity to practise skills rather than just talk about them.
  • Good and clear explanation of initial phase once disaster discovered and useful in planning/explaining to librarians/curators.
  • What to include in our plan - thinking about out of hours response - how to handle salvage of photographic materials - off-site preservation.
  • How much space needed - lots. Physical air drying. Lots of tips for improving disaster plan.

What will you do differently as a result of attending this training day?

  • Review emergency plan and procedures.
  • Look at our disaster plan - introduce other precautionary measures.
  • Train others more effectively.
  • Follow up on existing gaps in our plan.


09.45/13.30 Registration
10.00/13.45 Introduction to disaster response in libraries and archives
10.30/14.15 Immediate response to small incidents: effective decision-making
11.00/14.45 Handling and salvage techniques for library and archive collections
11.45/15.30 Break
12.00/15.45 Salvage equipment and disaster kits Salvage exercise
13.00/16.45 End