[Editor’s note: Read the full text of this very instructive article to learn more about the development and role of a disaster plan, initial responses for disaster recovery, and ongoing actions following a disaster. See http://llamonline.org/2012/03/30/my-disastrous-new-job/.]
In May of 2011, after seventeen years at the Thurgood Marshall Law Library at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, I moved to a new position as the Assistant Librarian for Technical Services and Special Collections at the Supreme Court of the United States. While I was sad to be leaving so many friends and talented colleagues at Maryland, it was not possible to pass up the opportunity to be a part of the Supreme Court. Little did I know that my first six months on the job would be such a disaster or, more accurately, a series of disasters. These incidents helped to focus my understanding of how a library disaster plays out in real time and just how very necessary a disaster response plan is. In this article, I hope to share some of this hard earned knowledge with the LLAM community while encouraging those who do not yet have a plan to prepare a disaster response plan.
Bill Sleeman Asst. Librarian for Technical Services and Special Collections Supreme Court of the United States