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A Seat at the Table: Working with Local Responders

Course Description
Course Developers
Course Resources
Materials for Instructors (Available on Request)
About the Disaster Information Specialization Certificate


Course Description

A Seat at the Table: Working with Local Responders

This class prepares librarians on how to work with local responders: public safety, fire/rescue, public health department, local health care facilities, and emergency planners.

Libraries have a critical role to play in disaster preparation and recovery (command centers, communication centers, Internet information centers for health information, government updates, etc.) but need a seat at the table with the right people, and they need to have something to offer. During and after a disaster is not the time for libraries to learn how to work with local, state, and federal responders. The time to build and develop these relationships is before a disaster strikes. It is critical to have a seat at the table before, during, and after a disaster. This session will cover the basics of initiating and developing relationships with all relevant local, state, and federal officials and agencies as well as with emergency responders.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:
  • Identify and understand the different roles played by local, state, and federal government and associated entities;
  • Confidently and competently develop relationships that will lead to a seat at the table before, during, and after a disaster;
  • Understand the non traditional critical roles that a library should play during a disaster; and
  • Use the toolkit provided to identify library competencies and stakeholder needs in order to get a seat at the table.
Course Developers

Rebecca Hamilton, MLIS
State Librarian
State Library of Louisiana
Baton Rouge, LA

Diane Brown, MLIS
Deputy State Librarian
State Library of Louisiana
Baton Rouge, LA

For questions or concerns about a course, please contact the Disaster Information Management Research Center at dimrc@nlm.nih.gov

This class is offered at no cost. Completing this class earns four Medical Library Association (MLA) continuing education (CE) credits. CE hours from this class may be used toward the MLA Disaster Information Specialization Program document of completion at the Advanced Level.

To obtain a certificate showing that you have completed this class, please register using the registration form and select the class you have completed from the dropdown menu. You will receive an email with a link to the Continuing Education survey from the Medical Library Association. After completing the survey, you will be able to print or download your class certificate. This certificate is the only record of your class completion. You will need to retain a copy of the certificate to include in your application for the MLA Disaster Information Specialization Advanced Level document of completion.
Course Resources

You may find it helpful to review the handouts and presentation materials before watching the course.

Videocast Recording
PowerPoint Slides
Transcript of Live-Captioning of Videocast
Course Handout
Homework Exercises
Putting it all together
On page 23 of the Tool Kit, you will find links and citations to several case studies showing how organizations coped with a disaster.
Pick one of the case studies and answer the 5 questions below.

What services did the responders need?
What role(s) did the organization play?
List specific steps the successful people took prior to/during/after the disaster.
How might things have ended differently (i.e. How might things have gone wrong)?
What made the difference?
Email your completed exercise to mlapd3@mlahq.org

Enter the email subject line as your last name_LOCAL_Homework (e.g., Brown_LOCAL_Homework).

Materials for Instructors

Online Course Materials
Materials for presenting this course in a classroom setting are available upon request from dimrc@nlm.nih.gov
About the Disaster Information Specialization Certificate

The Medical Library Association (MLA) awards a Basic or Advanced certificate for completion of courses and other activities as part of the Disaster Information Specialization Program. Courses and activities that meet the requirements for a certificate are outlined in the Disaster Information Model Curriculum. Completing the course A Seat at the Table: Working with Local Responders earns four hours of MLA continuing education credit which may be used towards the Advanced certificate. See Registration for details on documenting your completion of this class.
This course was first developed in 2012 as part of a Medical Library Association project (contract HHS-N-276-2010-00782-P) funded by the National Library of Medicine.