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Government Law Libraries Special Interest Section

Disaster Planning

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This page collects information to assist law librarians in disaster planning. Thanks to all those who are willing to share their work.


Dauphin County Law Library

King County Law Library


American Library Association Disaster Recovery Toolkit

Council of State Archivists Pocket Response Plan
Template for creating a list of essential emergency contact information.

Library of Congress Emergency Preparedness

Northeast Document Conservation Center
Free disaster planning template.

AALL SCCLL Standards

AALL County Public Law Library Standards 
Section VI. C. Collection Management says "The library should establish a preservation and disaster preparedness program ..."

Standards for Appellate Court Libraries & State Law Libraries 
Section VI. C. Collection Management says "The library should establish preservation and disaster control programs."

The full Standards are available at:

Selected Law Library Articles

Some of these articles, while quite old, are still worth reviewing.

AALL Special Committee on Preservation Needs of Law Libraries, Preservation Treatment Options for Law Libraries, 84 Law. Libr. J. 259 (1992)

Christopher Anglim, The Worst Thing That Could Happen - Law Library Disasters and Preparing for the Unimaginable, 1 AALL Spectrum 8 (1996-1997)

Katherine Coolidge, Program Outlines Elements of an Effective Disaster Plan - Communication, Role Assignments Key to Disaster Preparedness, 8 AALL Spectrum 22 (2003-2004)

George M. Cunha, Preservation and Conservation of Legal Materials, 69 Law Libr. J. 300 (1976)

Paul S. Fu, Handling Water Damage in a Law Library, 79 Law. Libr. J. 667 (1987)

Guarding against Disaster, 66 Law Libr. J. 419 (1973) 
Transcript of a panel discussion moderated by Erwin C. Surrency

Brian Huddleston, After the Storm - New Orleans Law Libraries' Long and Continuing Recovery from Hurricane Katrina, 11 AALL Spectrum 12 (2006-2007)

Robert A. Mead & Brian J. Baird, Preservation Concerns for Law Libraries: Results from the Condition Survey of the University of Kansas Law Library, 95 Law Libr. J. 69 (2003)

Rita Millican & Susan Morrison, Decapitalization of Discards in a Law Library, 86 Law Libr. J. 817 (1994)

Francis X. Norton, Jr., Communication Breakdown - How to Avoid the Real Barrier to Disaster Recovery, 12 AALL Spectrum 12 (2007-2008)

Preservation of Law Library Materials & Disaster Planning, 73 Law Libr. J. 831 (1980) Transcript of a panel discussion moderated by Julius S. Marke.

Lawrence H. Schmehl, Insuring Your Law Library, 39 Law Libr. J. 45 (1946)

Edward M. Searls & Eileen H. Searls, The Demise and Fall of Library Fungus, 57 Law Libr. J. 209 (1964)

Hilary T. Seo, Preserving Print Legal Information, 96 Law Libr. J. 581 (2004)

Oscar M. Trelles, Protection of Libraries, 66 Law Libr. J. 241 (1973)

Patricia K. Turpening, Essential Elements for Starting a Library Preservation Program, 6 AALL Spectrum 10 (2001-2002)

Patricia K. Turpening, From Sheepskin Binding to Born Digital: One Hundred Years of Preservation in Law Library Journal, 101 Law Libr. J. 71 (2009)

Patricia K. Turpening, Survey of Preservation Efforts in Law Libraries, 94 Law Libr. J. 363 (2002)

Books & Audio

Maximize your Library's Survival: Elements of an Effective Disaster Plan (2003). Sound recording from the AALL 2003 Annual Meeting.

William Miller & Rita Pellen, ed., Dealing with Natural Disasters in Libraries (2008)

Natural and Unnatural Disasters: Plans and Recovery for the Unexpected (2003). Sound recording from the AALL 2003 Annual Meeting.

Deborah D. Halsted, Disaster Planning: a How-to-do-it Manual for Librarians, with Planning Templates on CD-ROM (2005).

Miriam B. Kahn, Protecting Your Library's Digital Sources: the Essential Guide to Planning and Preservation (2004).

Jan Thenell, The Library's Crisis Communications Planner: a PR Guide for Handling Every Emergency (2004).

Marcia Thomas, ed., Emergency Response Planning in College Libraries (2009)

Johanna Wellheiser & Jude Scott, An Ounce of Prevention, 2d. ed., Integrated Disaster Planning for Archives, Libraries, and Record Centres (2002)