Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Join in MayDay ~ Make a Difference for Your Library or Archives

On May 1, you can do something simple that will make a difference for your library or archives. Join in MayDay , a grassroots effort whose goal is to save our libraries and archives!

INDIVIDUALS can do many things on their own:

* Quickly survey collections areas to ensure that nothing is stored directly on the floor, where it would be especially vulnerable to water damage.
* Note the location of fire exits and fire extinguishers.
* Encourage your repository to participate in MayDay.

REPOSITORIES may engage in activities involving all staff:

* Conduct an evacuation drill to acquaint staff members with the evacuation plan and to test its effectiveness.
* Update the contact information in your existing emergency preparedness plan and create a wallet-size emergency contact roster to facilitate communication and rapid response.

Here are some tips on how to get started...

* Visit a website. Check out SAA's MayDay website!

* Find tools to expand your disaster planning resources

* Create a quick-and-dirty disaster plan from a free template.

* Find disaster planning classes near you and more in the Annotated MayDay Resources .

* See examples of what others have done for MayDay in the past or what they're doing this year

* Read a book.
* For practical information about what to do first in an emergency and how to prevent further damage, view Heritage Preservation's Field Guide to Emergency Response .
* The Council of State Archivists publishes Emergency Preparedness Initiative and Rescuing Family Records: A Disaster Planning Guide to help point you in the right direction.

* Enter a contest.
* Heritage Preservation National Task Force is hosting a MayDay incentive contest featuring four prizes donated by Gaylord Brothers.

* Share.
* What did you do for MayDay? SAA would love to hear from you - even if you just changed a battery! Send us an email:
* Send a paragraph or a photo and caption about how you made a difference for your archives on MayDay. We'll feature your information in the next issue of Archival Outlook. Send to Helen Janousek at

~ Gregor Trinkaus-Randall, M.A.L.S., C.A., Preservation Specialist, Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners

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