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Libraries Emergency Response Plan and Disaster Response and Recovery Plan for Library Materials

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Libraries Emergency Response Plan


1.1 Scope of the Plan

An emergency is any event that disrupts the normal library and/or campus routine, regardless of whether it is due to natural, manmade, or accidental causes.  Some emergencies also may threaten the lives or safety of library employees and users, or put library facilities and/or collections at risk of damage.

This plan gives instructions to the employees of the UC Irvine Libraries, for responding to all emergencies.  Each employee shall attempt to implement as much of the plan as is relevant and useful immediately after any emergency situation including but not limited to:

  • Activation of a building's fire alarm system.
  • An earthquake which causes injury to users or employees, or damage to the collections, the facility, or its contents.
  • A flood or water invasion which places the collections, users, or employees in danger.
  • A power outage which creates a safety hazard to users and employees or significantly affects normal operations.

 All employees (including student assistants), volunteers, and users of the UC Irvine Libraries' facilities are expected to comply with the plan.  Although individual library buildings may have building-specific plans, all affected libraries and departments shall work closely together in an emergency.

All library employees should study this plan now, prior to any emergency, in order to understand how it fits with their departmental emergency plans, their own personal emergency plans, and campus-wide emergency response procedures.  The Libraries Emergency Response Maintenance Group shall review the plan annually for accuracy and usefulness.

1.2 Emergency Response Priorities

The UC Irvine Libraries emergency response priorities are always as follows:

1st priority:                    Save lives and prevent injuries
2nd priority:                   Protect University property
3rd priority:                    Restore operations
4th priority:                    Meet community needs

1.3 Responsibilities for Emergency Response

Emergencies are by definition unplanned events.  This plan establishes a flexible approach to emergency response leadership and other roles in recognition of the fact that it is not possible to predict which employees will be present or absent during any particular emergency.

Responsibilities for emergency preparedness are assigned to particular employees on a permanent ongoing basis; these individuals also play important roles in emergency response if they are on-site at the time. 

Permanent ongoing responsibilities are held by Building Managers and Floor Wardens.  Each library facility has an on-site Building Manager who is responsible for liaison activities for all emergency planning matters, including training and evacuation drills.  In addition, each building has Floor Wardens who are responsible for ensuring that employees and users in their area evacuate the building promptly in any emergency situation.  The Building Managers and their responsibilities are listed in appendix B; the Floor Wardens and their responsibilities are in appendices C and D.

The Plan also makes the assumption that all library employees share responsibility for emergency response and shall assist actively and responsibly in whatever ways their skills are most useful.  Disaster preparedness is not somebody else’s job; all library employees share the responsibility to assist themselves, their families, and their co-workers.


All employees of the UC Irvine Libraries shall take the following steps in order to be prepared for emergencies that may occur in the future.  Each task shall be checked off as it is completed:

2.1 Become familiar with this Emergency Plan.

Print one copy of this Plan and be aware of its overall content and structure in order to use it efficiently in an emergency.  Copies can be obtained at  All supervisors should print one copy of this plan for newly hired employees.

2.2 Become familiar with your library building and know who your emergency preparedness leaders are. 

Know the locations within your building of emergency exits, fire alarm pull boxes, stairwells, and fire extinguishers, as well as designated evacuation routes (all of this information is given in Appendix A).  Know the identities and responsibilities of the Building Managers (Appendix B), Floor Wardens (Appendices C and D), and Emergency Contacts (Appendix E).

2.3 Become familiar with the location and use of first aid and emergency supplies.

An emergency supply cabinet is located on various floors of each library building for storage of first aid supplies; see Appendix F for a list of cabinet contents.
In addition, every region maintains its own first aid supplies, with a particular employee assigned responsibility for ensuring that the supplies are kept complete.  In the event of a building evacuation, employees of the region ensure that this supply kit is taken to the designated assembly area.
Note:  In most cases, the “region” referred to in the above paragraph and in the rest of this Plan consists of a library department(s).  However, in some cases it may be necessary to define a region as a section within a department or as a group of employees at a specified physical location.  See Appendix N for specific regions.

2.4 Become familiar with your departmental emergency plan.

Each library unit (see Note in 2.3 above) shall develop a specific unit emergency plan, coordinate its implementation with floor wardens and unit employees, and ensure its regular review and maintenance.  Refer to Appendix G for guidelines.

2.5 Prepare a personal emergency plan.

Appendix I offers guidance for developing an emergency plan for employees’ homes and families.

2.6 Become familiar with the Libraries’ Employee Release and Recall Process.

The Libraries’ Employee Release and Recall Process found in Appendix J, describes what happens when library employees are released from work and/or recalled back to work in the event of a major emergency.

2.7 Become familiar with campus-wide emergency instructions and resources.

Campus-wide emergency planning responsibilities reside with the Campus Police and the Emergency Management Coordinator.  The Libraries’ on-site Building Managers are responsible for liaison with the Police.  See the EH&S (Environmental Health & Safety) for additional information about emergency planning:


3.1 Initial Response

The timing and/or nature of an emergency dictates who shall be notified first.

3.1.1 First, it is essential for the initial responders to an emergency to determine whether people are in danger, and if they are, to notify the UCI Police Department by calling x911.

3.1.2 Second, initial responders call the appropriate Facilities offices:

• If the event takes place between 8am – 5pm, Monday through Friday, call Library Facilities, x45214,
• If the event takes place at any other time, call Campus Facilities Central Plant's emergency line, x45544,
• If no one answers x45520, call the UCI Police Department, x45223,
 In describing the situation to the person reached by phone, report the following information calmly and clearly:
• The nature of the incident
• The building name and specific location of the incident
• The name, location, and department of the employee reporting the incident, as well as the phone number where the reporting employee can be reached

3.1.3 Third, the initial responders inform the appropriate library managers:

• The Emergency Contact List found in APPENDIX E shall be used to inform appropriate library managers of relevant building problems
• The numbers shall be called sequentially as listed for the appropriate facility(ies)
• If an answering machine is reached, a brief message shall be left describing the situation
• Contact all managers listed sequentially, until a manager is reached and spoken to directly.  It is then that manager’s responsibility to make additional necessary contacts to address the emergency

3.2 Assessment

3.2.1. When any event threatens to disrupt normal operations or pose danger to employees, users, and/or property, supervisory employees determine what actions to initiate immediately, including whether to:

• Evacuate one or more library buildings (see Section 3.3)
• Establish an Emergency Command Center (see Section 3.4) and appoint  a General Coordinator to take charge (see Section 3.5)

3.2.2 Personal safety is always the top priority.  No one puts themselves or others in danger.

3.2.3 Consult Section 5 for actions relating to specific emergency events.
3.3 Evacuation

In many significant emergency situations, the fire alarm system activates automatically, and building evacuation then takes place immediately.  When the fire alarm system does not activate automatically, supervisory employees decide whether or not overall building evacuation is necessary and take the appropriate action (this is the responsibility of the Building Manager, if present).

3.3.1 Building evacuation can be initiated in the following ways:

• Automatic activation of fire alarm system
• Manual activation of fire alarm system
• Directed evacuation without fire alarm system activation (in the event of a power failure)

3.3.2 In assisting with building evacuation, consider the following:

• Assessment of danger
• Moving all evacuated building occupants beyond a safe perimeter
• Need for first aid treatment
• Building security

3.3.3 Follow Floor Wardens’ (APPENDIX D) directions and utilize designated evacuation routes (APPENDIX A).  In addition;

• If safe to do so, take emergency supplies with you
• Go directly to the designated assembly areas

3.3.4 Designated staff member takes coordinator information box to Emergency Command Center.

3.3.5 If an evacuation occurs Monday through Friday between 7:30 am and 5 pm, and it is determined that the building will be evacuated for a lengthy period of time, the General Coordinator will contact the appropriate Facilities Coordinator(s) and the Information Coordinator who will inform all staff what is going on. When it has been determined that it is safe to return to the building, all staff will be informed. If staff have been released, the Employee Release and Recall Process in Appendix J will be followed.

Langson Library or GML Evacuated:
Call the IT help desk (x48535)

All Libraries Call the Facilities desk (x45214)

3.3.6 No employee shall leave the assembly area until formally released by an emergency coordinator to:

• Return to work
• Assist with recovery efforts
• Leave campus until recalled to work after the emergency has concluded
• Leave campus with instructions for when to return to work.

3.4 Establish Emergency Command Center (ECC)

3.4.1 The initial responders to an emergency shall establish an Emergency Command Center at each affected library.  If the situation safely allows, locate the Emergency Command Centers: LL Loan Desk, ASL Loan Desk, and GML Loan Desk.  Staff the Emergency Command Center with personnel designated to take the Coordinator roles listed in Section 3.5. 

If total building evacuation is necessary, use the following locations for Emergency Command Center setup (See APPENDIX N for map of locations):

• Langson Library: On the inner ring to Aldrich Park adjacent to the Langson Library
• Ayala Science Library: Tree-and-gravel area west of the Ayala Science Library Bar
• Grunigen Medical Library: Parking lot outside main entrance to Library

3.4.2 The primary functions of the Emergency Command Center are to:

• Establish an authoritative presence
• Provide a point where decisions are made
• Provide a point where responsibilities are delegated
• Provide a point from which information is disseminated
• Work to restore normal operations

3.4.3 All library administrators Leadership Council members, supervisors, and those previously identified to be assigned coordinators shall report to their Libraries Emergency Command Center as soon as possible after becoming aware of an emergency.

3.4.4 A Library media spokesperson will be appointed, if needed, from the following positions in this order. The spokesperson is the only individual who will speak with any member of the media. If any staff member is approached or contacted by phone or other means, by the media, either at home or at work, they should direct the inquirer to the spokesperson.

• AUL, Public Services
• AUL, Collections
• University Librarian

3.5 Appointment of Coordinators

In any major emergency, the ranking library administrator who is first on the scene assumes overall leadership as the General Coordinator and appoints up to six coordinators for specific functions, as circumstances require.  Some of these roles may be combined depending on when the emergency occurs, the number of people available, and the type of emergency.  If multiple library buildings are affected, assignment of some specific Coordinators for each building may be warranted.

General training for all potential assignees of the following Coordinator positions will take place annually.  The Emergency Response Maintenance Group will coordinate these training sessions. 

The seven coordinators and their responsibilities are described below.

3.5.1 General Coordinator (GC)

A General Coordinator is in command of all emergency operations for the Libraries.  The highest ranking employee at the scene assumes the General Coordinator responsibilities; as appropriate, a higher ranking person will normally assume responsibility upon arrival.  The highest ranking employee present, among the following, shall normally assume the General Coordinator role:

• University Librarian
• Leadership Council members
•  Library Operations Manager/Building Manager

  The General Coordinator has nine responsibilities: Assume immediate control of the Libraries overall emergency response. Determine whether one or more library buildings shall close, as well as when the building(s) shall re-open following the conclusion of emergency recovery procedures. Assign and direct specific Coordinators based on the needs of the situation.  See APPENDIX M for assigned coordinator roles. Receive initial evacuation reports from Floor Wardens and assign the Floor Wardens to specific Coordinators for additional assignments. Authorize procurement of emergency supplies and resources as needed.  The library has open purchase orders with two vendors who can be contacted as necessary (See the UC Irvine Disaster Response and Recovery Plan for Library Materials in section 6 on page 22). Place in motion all necessary recovery procedures after completing the response phase of the emergency. In consultation with the AUL, Administrative Services, decide whether to release library employees who are not needed for emergency response activities, as well as when to recall employees to work following the conclusion of emergency recovery procedures (see the Release and Recall Policy in APPENDIX J). Stay in continuous communication with all appointed coordinators and the media spokesperson. Direct all Coordinators to produce a detailed report following the restoration of operations and hold debriefing sessions to evaluate the Libraries' response to the emergency.

3.5.2 Information Coordinator (IC)

The Information Coordinator reports to the General Coordinator and has six responsibilities: Coordinate telephone communications.  Use the cellular phones from the Facilities Department. Appoint team members to ascertain which campus phones and pay phones in and around the libraries are working.  Maintain written records regarding which phones are functioning. Appoint runners to go back and forth between the Langson and the Ayala Science Libraries. Communicate new information, via large easels and whiteboards or with chalk on the sidewalk, in central areas, if possible. Work with IT to verify whether email or wireless communications can be used for communication purposes. Convey all new information to the Media Spokesperson. Update the Libraries’ Emergency Status Hotline message as necessary (949.824.9088).

3.5.3 Facilities Coordinator (FC)

If available, the Building Manager for each affected facility (see APPENDIX B), or the Building Manager’s assigned backup, shall serve as its Facilities Coordinator.  The Facilities Coordinator reports to the General Coordinator and has six responsibilities: Assess damage and danger.  If safe to do so, quickly walk through and assess the facility, focusing on structural integrity, immediate safety concerns, utility disruptions, and potential areas for rescue response. Direct resources toward dangerous conditions having the potential to cause bodily injury, physical damage to the Libraries’ collections and property, and/or disruption of utilities. Assign pertinent tasks to available employees. Stay in close communication with the General Coordinator and continuously provide updates to the General Coordinator regarding building conditions. Contact emergency personnel and remain in communication with them as they provide assistance.  Provide them with information about building conditions, locations of potentially dangerous situations, and available personnel. Direct the First Aid Coordinator to the triage areas, providing, if possible, the locations and number of potential victims.

3.5.4 First Aid Coordinator (FAC)

The First Aid Coordinator reports to the Facilities Coordinator and has seven responsibilities: Meet with the Facilities Coordinator as soon as possible after the Facilities Coordinator has assessed building conditions. Designate first aid personnel, utilizing employees or user volunteers as appropriate. Provide resources for first aid efforts.  After receiving clearance from the Facilities Coordinator to enter the facility, retrieve the emergency first aid kits and supplies from emergency cabinets and/or regional/departmental supply kits. Direct assigned first aid personnel in the treatment of injured individuals. Lead injured individuals to the designated triage areas for treatment. Request that the Information Coordinator contact community response personnel if additional assistance is needed. Stay in close communication with the Facilities Coordinator via radio or designated runner.

3.5.5 Moral Support Coordinator (MSC)

The Moral Support Coordinator reports to the General Coordinator and has three responsibilities: Reduce anxiety.  Appoint team members to provide physical comfort and emotional support and to allow people to talk and express their feelings. Spread the word that the Libraries are well prepared for emergencies.  Appoint team members to communicate to employees and patrons that we can handle all aspects of emergency response. Keep written records on persons who receive significant assistance. Assist with first aid when needed.

3.5.6 Collections Coordinator (CC)

The Collections Coordinator reports to the General Coordinator and has eight responsibilities: Contact someone on the Preservation Emergency Contacts lists if they have not been notified yet. Also, contact someone on the Special Collections and/or South East Asian Archives Emergency Contacts lists if the emergency involves Special Collections (Appendix E). Assess damage to the Libraries’ collections as soon as the building is declared safe for entry.  Determine where recovery efforts need to be undertaken. Implement appropriate provisions of the UC Irvine Disaster Response and Recovery Plan for Library Materials and determine which level of response is appropriate as outlined in that plan. Establish and maintain close contact with the AUL for Collections, the Collection Development Department and appropriate bibliographers during all phases of assessment and recovery to ensure that the most important and/or at-risk parts of the collection receive attention first. Establish and maintain contact with outside disaster recovery vendors if necessary. Establish and maintain contact with on-campus personnel and/or off-campus vendors to ensure the availability of freezer facilities in case it is necessary to freeze damaged books. Maintain records of the damage assessment and recovery processes using photographs, written records, or whatever method is most effective. Assign runner if needed.

3.5.7 IT Coordinator (ITC)

The IT Coordinator reports to the General Coordinator and has nine responsibilities: Coordinate the IT Team, initiating procedures to locate and recall IT employees as necessary. Assess the Computer Server Room (in ASL) and the Academic Data Center (OIT) for damage and danger, and report its condition to the Facilities Coordinator. Evaluate the status of the Libraries' mission-critical systems and report status to the General Coordinator. Implement a plan to secure and/or relocate servers and to re-establish interrupted services, in the following priority order:

• Email
• Windows
• Web
• Unix Determine whether email can be used for communication purposes and inform the Information Coordinator. Evaluate networks and computing equipment (workstations, printers, etc.) in public and employee areas library wide. Coordinate the activities of non-IT Programmer/Analyst staff to assess the status of GML, ILC, TEC, and MRC. Initiate contact with other campus computing support groups such as OIT  for appropriate support and assistance in recovery efforts as needed. Initiate contact with Innovative Interfaces, Inc. and any other hardware or software vendors as needed. Initiate contact with the California Digital Library (CDL). Coordinate inventorying of computing equipment for damage assessment; reallocate equipment to high-need areas as needed.



When an emergency has resulted in the temporary closure of one or more library buildings, the General Coordinator decides when and how operations are to resume, including the recall of employees who were previously released from duty.  Employees must understand that they are subject to recall on an as needed basis.

4.1 Library employees are responsible for calling the Libraries’ Emergency Status Hotline at 949.824.9088 to receive updates following any emergency that activates this plan.  Employees shall assume that normal library operations will resume as soon as possible; they shall not wait for someone to contact them but rather shall call the Hotline and determine the status of the Libraries.

4.2 Supervisors will contact employees that are being recalled on an as-needed basis or if there is a need to change their work schedule.  Employees may be told to report to a work location other than their normal location in order to assist in disaster recovery before being allowed to return to their usual work place.

4.3 The following steps shall be completed, in the following order, before normal operations can resume and the General Coordinator can authorize the re-opening of any library facility to the public:

1. Facilities Coordinator, in conjunction with the Campus Structural Engineer, deems the building safe and authorizes re-entry.
2. AUL, Administrative Services authorizes employees to return to work.
3. Collections Coordinator deems the collection ready for access.
4. IT employees restore mission-critical computing systems.



See Sections 3.1 for initial emergency response and 3.3 for evacuation procedures.

If potential/actual damage threatens the Libraries' collections, refer to the UC Irvine Disaster Response and Recovery Plan for Library Materials in section 6 on page 23.

5.1 Fire

5.1.1    If employees discover a fire, first assess personal safety and then designate someone to calmly and quickly:

  • Alert and evacuate people in the area
  • Close doors after exiting
  • Exit via emergency stairwells.  Elevators shall not be used
  • Activate the nearest fire alarm
    • Place cloth around or under the door to prevent smoke from entering
    • Retreat and close as many doors as possible between the employees and the fire
    • Be prepared to signal from window, but the glass should not be broken unless absolutely necessary (outside smoke may be drawn in)
    • Hold one’s breath as much as possible
    • Breathe shallowly through nose and use blouse, shirt, or jacket as filter
    • Hold one’s breath
    • Move quickly
    • Cover tone’s heads
    • Keep one’s head down and eyes closed as much as possible
    1. Take the caller seriously, but remain calm.
    2. Ask a lot of questions.  Use the checklist below as a guide.
    3. Take notes on everything said and on your observations about background noise, voice characteristics, etc.
    4. If possible, get a co-worker to call UCI Police Emergency while you continue talking to the caller.
    5. Call UCI Police Emergency 9-1-1 immediately after the call.
    6. Notify Library Facilities at x45214.
    7. Campus police will determine if evacuation is necessary.  If you do evacuate, move to an evacuation assembly area.
    8. Do not re-enter the area until instructed to do so.
    1. When is the bomb going to explode?
    2. Where is it right now?
    3. What does it look like?
    4. What kind of bomb is it?
    5. What will cause it to explode?
    6. Did you place the bomb?  Why?
    7. What is your name?
    8. What is your address?
    • Use only if the fire is small and safe to approach.
  • 5.1.2    If trapped in a room: 

    5.1.3    If caught in smoke:

    Drop to hands and knees and crawl

    5.1.4    If forced to advance through flames: 

    5.1.5    If clothing catches fire: 

    Fire Extinguisher Instructions

    P     Pull safety pin from handle
    A     Aim (nozzle, cone, horn) at base of fire
    S     Squeeze the trigger handle
    S     Sweep from side to side (watch for re-flash)

    5.1.6    If fire alarm is activated: follow the evacuation procedures in Section 3.3.

    5.1.7    Fire extinguisher use:

    5.2 Flood

    During a flood:

    5.2.1         Assess personal safety and act accordingly.

    5.2.2    Do not enter standing water which may have contact with wiring and be electrified.


    5.3 Utility Failure


    During a utility failure:

    5.3.1 Assess personal safety and act accordingly.

    5.3.2 Assist in helping users remain calm. Evacuation may not be necessary during a partial utility failure, but if evacuation is ordered, follow the procedures in Section 3.3.

    5.3.3 Utility failures taking place at different times of the day require different responses, as follows: Power is out at scheduled opening time: The library shall not be opened and "Building Closed Due to Power Outage" signs shall be posted at all entry doors, while a decision is being sought from supervisors and/or Library Facilities.  Library Administration shall determine whether employees should report to work. Power is disrupted during daylight hours: Turn off equipment and relocate users light/safe areas.  Reading rooms with natural light can remain open. Power is disrupted after dark or remains disrupted for more than two hours: Close the library and post appropriate signage.  Library Administration determines whether employees shall be released to go home.

    5.4 Earthquake

    5.4.1 During an earthquake: If inside:

    • Stay there!
    • Drop, cover, and hold.  If possible, take cover under a sturdy desk or table
    • Stay away from windows and objects which could fall on them
    • Do not run outside; falling debris can cause injury
    • Do not use elevators
    • Follow instructions of emergency response personnel If in an elevator (if power fails, elevators will stop and lights may go off).  See APPENDIX L for information on elevator failures.

    • Utilize emergency phone located in each car
    • Remain calm.  Emergency response teams are trained to check elevator cars immediately after an earthquake, so help will arrive shortly If outside:

    • Quickly get to an open area away from trees, buildings, walls, and power lines
    • Drop to knees in a fetal position with head bending to touch the ground.
    • Close eyes and cross arms over back of head and neck for protection
    • Stay in that position until the shaking stops

    5.4.2 After an earthquake: After the shaking stops:

    • Notify Floor Warden of any injured persons
    • Replace telephone handsets which may have fallen off the hook.  Limit phone use to emergency use
    • Follow directions of Floor Warden and evacuate the building if so instructed (see Section 3.3) Follow up:

    • Be prepared to assess and report witnessed damage
    • Offer support services to persons in need
    • Await direction from emergency coordinator

    5.5 Explosion

    5.5.1 Follow these guidelines during any explosion (including a bomb blast, airplane crash, mechanical failure, etc.):

    • Seek protection from flying glass and debris under a desk, table, or other heavy furniture
    • Remain inside the building until directed to evacuate
    • Follow directions of Floor Wardens

    5.5.2 If employees have information about the incident which may be useful to investigators, call UCI Police at x45223 or give the officer at the scene a detailed report.

    5.6 Act of Violence

    If an employee is the victim of, is involved in, or witnesses any violation of the law such as assault, robbery, theft, overt sexual behavior, etc:

    5.6.1 Not do any of the following:

    • Take unnecessary risks
    • Interfere with persons committing a crime or creating a disturbance
    • Interfere with law enforcement authorities on the scene

    5.6.2 Note the perpetrator's appearance if the employee’s personal safety allows, including height, weight, sex, race, approximate age, clothing, method and direction of travel, and name (if known).  This only takes a few seconds, but can be of vital assistance to investigating police officers.  Should the perpetrator attempt a getaway in a vehicle or bicycle, the employee should note the make and model, license plate number, color, outstanding characteristics, etc.

    5.6.3 Call UCI Police Emergency x911 immediately with the following information:

    • Nature of the incident
    • Location
    • Description of person(s) involved
    • Location of person(s) involved
    • Caller’s name, location, department, and phone number

    5.6.4 As soon as the employee feels comfortable with his or her own safety, notify the supervisor and Library Facilities.

    5.7 Terrorist Attack

    5.7.1      Follow these guidelines during any terrorist attack including an explosion or fire (see sections 5.1 and 5.5 for what to do during a fire or explosion).

    5.7.2 If you are trapped in debris:
              If possible, use a flashlight or whistle to signal rescuers regarding your location. Stay in your area so that you do not kick up dust. Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing. Tap on a pipe or wall so that rescuers can hear where you are. Shout only as a last resort - shouting can cause a person to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.

    5.7.3  After the attack:

    Remain calm.
    Be aware of your surroundings.
    Stay informed. If an evacuation is ordered, follow the instructions of local officials regarding evacuation routes and the location of shelters. If shelter-in-place is recommended, local officials will provide instructions on necessary actions. Shelter-in-place means to stay indoors. This includes additional precautions such as turning off air-conditioning, ventilation systems and closing all windows and doors. Do not leave your sheltered location or return to the evacuated area until it is deemed safe to do so by local officials.

    5.8 Pandemics 

    A pandemic has the potential to disrupt library operations, both through staff absences and through campus wide actions in response to the emergency.   The impact on the Libraries’ operations will vary depending on the nature and severity of the pandemic, but a severe regional or local outbreak may result in the suspension of normal operations.   The Libraries will rely on advice and direction from campus administration regarding our roles and responsibilities in the event of a suspension of normal operations.   In cases where a pandemic has the potential to impact the campus, managers should periodically check news and information from campus administration to prepare for a potential disruption to library operations.  News and information on campus actions related to the situation will likely be available on UCI’s Environmental Health & Safety website (, and potentially on the UCI homepage (   If normal operations are suspended, campus administration will notify the UCI community through multiple methods, including the UCI homepage ( and ZotMail.

    5.8.1 Absence Reporting

    Rising employee absences are one factor that campus administration will consider when determining whether to suspend normal operations.   Therefore, the Libraries may be asked to track and report employee absences to campus administration.   A general model for an absence reporting procedure is available below:


    Pandemic Tree
    5.8.2 Suspension of Normal Operations

    In the event of a severe local/regional outbreak, campus administration may determine that a suspension of normal campus operations is necessary.  This may include implementation of a social distancing policy, which would suspend classes and other public gatherings and would place limitations on all other campus business activity.  The Libraries will look to campus administration for specific instructions, but social distancing will likely require closure of the physical library buildings to the public and possibly to staff. The Libraries will look to campus administration for instructions on whether staff should report to duty, or in the event of a campus closure, how to handle employment and payroll issues.

    5.8.3 Access to Libraries Resources and Services during a Suspension of Normal Operations
    The level of access and service provided by the Libraries will vary significantly depending on whether Libraries staff are allowed on campus. 
    Regardless of the presence of staff on campus, the Libraries’ digital resources will generally be available 24/7 through the Libraries website. 
    If asked to continue reference services while the campus is closed, some Libraries staff may be able to provide virtual reference services.
    If Libraries staff are allowed on campus, but library buildings are closed to the public, some   materials could be paged and delivered to users.   In such cases, the Libraries may determine that different types of users will receive different levels of service.  For example, priority may be given to requests for materials from government and emergency responders, health care professionals, or researchers engaged in pandemic research.

    5.9 Active Shooter

    Active Shooter incidents, where a suspect has started shooting, are highly unpredictable and volatile. They are also very rare. The actions below are recommended, but use common sense and follow the instructions of emergency personnel.

    5.9.1 If you are directly involved or you can hear gunshots in the immediate vicinity:

    • Go to the nearest room or office
    • Close and lock the room or office door
    • Turn off the interior lights
    • Silence mobile phones
    • Close the office blinds or curtains
    • Call UCI Police Emergency 911 from any telephone, including the "Blue Phone" immediately and provide the following information:
        Your name and exact location
    • Location of incident (be as specific as possible)
    • Number of suspect(s) and description
    • Number and location of injured victims
    • Remain quiet and DO NOT answer or open the door until assistance from emergency personnel arrives

    5.9.2  If you are not directly involved, you do not hear gunshots nearby, and it appears safe to exit:

     Evacuate the building if it is safe to do so

    • If it is reasonably safe, report to the designated building assembly area or another safe area
    • Call UCI Police Emergency 911 from any telephone, including the "Blue Phone" immediately and provide the following information:
    • Your name and exact location
        Location of incident (be as specific as possible)
        Number of suspect(s) and description
        Number and location of injured victims


    5.10 Bomb Threats

    Bomb threats usually come on the telephone and generally are made by individuals who want to create an atmosphere of general anxiety or panic.  All bomb threats should be assumed to pose a legitimate danger to the UCI campus and population.

     If you receive a bomb threat over the phone, follow these steps:         

     5.10.1  Bomb Threat Report – Questions to Ask

     Write down the exact wording of the threat and ask these questions:

    5.11 Fumes/Vapors

    If fumes or vapors are reported, contact Library Facilities at x4-5214. They will then determine if EH&S or Campus Facilities should be called.

    6. Disaster Response and Recovery Plan for Library Materials


    The following instructions are for the salvage of library materials in an emergency situation.  All references to “Preservation” refer to activities coordinated in Catalog Maintenance.  For materials and Special Collections consultation and treatment for those materials will be done in concert.

    Definitions of Emergency:

    a. Minor Water Problem - This is a situation in which 100 or so books have been damaged by water and dealing with them is a relatively simple matter.  It can be handled by internal Library staff, including Preservation and Library Facilities.  Response will usually include air drying the regular books, and/or freezing books with coated paper.

    b. Middle-level Fire or Water Disaster - This is a fire or water disaster affecting over 100 volumes, but which can still be addressed with local campus and Library resources, generally with the help of Campus Facilities Management.  A small amount of outside help for vacuum freeze drying may be necessary.

    c. Major Fire, Water Disaster or Earthquake - A disaster affecting many thousands of books and/or more than just the campus.  Collection salvage efforts in such a disaster will require resources and help beyond what is available internal to the Library and/or campus. Please refer to internal Preservation Disaster Response for Library Materials manual and call Libraries Facilities.

    6.1   Minor and Middle Level Water Problem:
    What to Do

    Notify your supervisor

    Notify Library Facilities 45214 (LL), 43678 (ASL)   Collections notify Dana Peterman 40607, Wanda Pittman Jazayeri 44982, Ron Matteson at 43409.

    Locate supplies for recovery in the Book Materials Recovery Supply Cabinets

    LL: 1st Floor- LL Reference room 115 (security code needed, ask reference staff)
    LL: 2nd Floor- Catalog Maintenance Satellite rm. 225
    ASL:  2nd floor - Freight elevator vestibule area, near room 254.
    ASL:  3rd floor - Non Freight elevator lobby area outside of room 369

    GML: ITC Lab Room 1102
    Special Collections: Room 500

    6.1.1 Materials in Supply Cabinets

    Plastic Sheeting
    Duct Tape
    Extension cord
    Paper Towels
    Cut Newsprint for interleaving
    Book Ends
    Folded boxes (for freezing)
    Surgical Masks
    Plastic Gloves
    Permanent Markers
    Caution Tape

    6.1.2 Room Locations for Drying UCI Libraries Materials
    LL: 1st Floor Meeting Room 101
    LL: 1st Floor Reference Staff Conference Room 110
    LL: 2nd Floor Seminar Room 229
    LL: 5th Floor Conference Room 570

    ASL: 1st Floor Room Conference Room 104
    ASL: 2nd Floor Room Conference Rooms 208, 244
    ASL: 3rd Floor In-house Binding/Repairs Room 365

    GML: Conference Room 1126

    6.1.3  Removal of Wet Books*

    Document damage by taking pictures using camera provided in supply cabinets or use personal digital camera.

    Get book carts and remove books from water source. If there are a few books that are exposed to water, it’s best to remove them first.  If there are many books onto which water is dripping, it’s best to cover them first to avoid further damage to all books.  After book removal they should be taken to treatment area for drying.

    *The collections contain other formats and damage to those materials will be handled in consultation with Special Collections and Archives.

    6.1.4  Cover Book Stacks in Affected Areas with Plastic Sheeting

    Cover the stack ranges under the dripping water with plastic sheeting to protect the dry books from further water damage. 

    Use rolls of plastic sheeting available in book materials recovery supply cabinets.  .

    The sheets must be long enough to cover the stack range from top to bottom on both sides.  Otherwise, water will run down to edge of plastic and get on the books.  Use scissors to cut plastic.

    It’s best to drape sheets to provide maximum air circulation. Use Duct Tape to secure plastic sheeting.

    6.1.5 Damp Books vs. Soaked Books

    Damp Books:  Are items that are not thoroughly soaked.  Its pages can easily be separated.  Any books with coated paper, such as art or photography books, should be considered soaked and likely have irreversible damage.

    Soaked books:  Are dripping wet or wet throughout most of the text block.  Soaked books need to be wrapped and then packed into boxes for removal to a facility for freezing.  If dried in house interleaving will be necessary as a first step.

    Some books may have to be discarded prior to drying. 

    6.1.6  Damp Book Drying Procedure:

    Start drying process ASAP. Books left damp can develop mold in a few days.

    Air Drying:

    No Interleaving required.

    Arrange for an area for books to be dried.

    The space should inside the building.  If you have to work outside, sun exposure can damage books and books should not be left out overnight.

    Find a large table or book truck.

    Stand the books on their heads and fan them open as much as possible.  Prop them up if necessary using book ends or Princeton files. 

    Allocate fans and direct air stream from fans onto the books. 

    Check the books regularly to see if they need to be readjusted or turned on their tails or to see if they are dry and can be taken away from the air.  Process can take up to 72 hours. 

    After books are dried, inspect them and open pages if necessary. 

    6.1.7  Soaked book Drying Procedure:

    Interleaving of Pages:

    Interleaving should be done for under 500 books.  A larger number  of books should be boxed up and frozen (See below).

    Arrange a large surface area and cover it with absorbent paper. Refer to “Room locations for drying UCI Libraries materials section” for possible drying locations.

    Place fans and if possible dehumidifiers around area in order to ensure air circulation.

    Drain excess water from books by placing them on absorbent papers such as paper towels and change the paper towels as they become wet.  (Do not try to press/squeeze water out of books)

    Once excess water has drained from the book, begin the interleaving process.

    Get plain newsprint sheets or paper towels from supplies cabinets.

    Place a sheet every 25-50 pages.  Too many interleaving sheets will make the books to bulky and cause the spine to break. 

    Place interleaved sheets evenly enabling the book to be placed in an upright position.

    Stand books on heads and fan them open as much as possible without damaging the spine..

    Place fans in the direction of open books. Make sure air flow does not blow over books. .

    Change the interleaved pages  as needed.  Place  new/dry interleaved sheets in different places in book.  Discard wet papers. 

    When changing interleaving, reverse direction of the book so that if it was on its head, it’s now on its tail. 

    Once book is nearly dry, stop interleaving and use fan to complete dryin(book is now considered damp not soaked).

    6.1.8  Coated Paper

    Preservation has found that books with coated paper such as art or photography books will suffer permanent damage. 

    If the decision is to dry coated paper books, separate and fan out pages, and then air dry. If a large number of pages of coated paper are affected, then interleave all pages. 

    6.1.9  Once All Books Are Dry:

                                          Follow bibliographer review of damaged materials procedure.

    After bibliographer review the Bindery Prep and Repair assistant will follow procedure for “Keep” and “Withdraw” of library damaged materials.


    6.1.10  Freezing

    If there are too books many for library staff to fan dry using in-house drying process within 48 hours, select these items for freezing.

    Freezing stops growth of mold.

    Freezing stops any further damage from moisture.

    Mold can grow on books in wet humid conditions after 48 hours.  Air dry if at all possible.

    6.1.11 Packing Books for Freezing:

    1. You will need 2 people per team, boxes, and freezer paper.

    2. Take boxes for packing located in supply cabinets and assemble.

    3. Cut strips of freezer paper.

    4. Wrap volumes in freezer paper, slick side toward the book. Do not fold in head and tail ends of wrapping paper.  The purpose is to keep volumes from sticking to each other

    5. Place wrapped books in boxes, spine edge down to minimize stress of the wet paper on the bindings.

    6. Place side by side, filling box one layer deep only.

    7. Using markers, write name of institution and building, number of items per box and box number. Mark the contents of each box on both sides identifying call number ranges, Use first three call number levels. 

    8. Make inventory sheet to record information from the boxes.

    9. Place lids on boxes, tape them shut, move them for loading and stack as they are filled.

    10. Load on to pallets, no more than three rows top and bottom to prevent crushing boxes, shrink wrap pallets.

    11. Contact these freezer facilities located on campus for temporary housing of materials.

    Director of Residential Dining ext. 48379
    Brandywine Commons ext. 48361
    Mesa Commons ext. 45497
    Pippin Commons 42521 ext.

    Preservation will notify Document Reprocessors at 1384 Rollins Rd. Burlingame, Ca 94010 phone 1.800.437.9464 and 1.888.437.9464 for shipping items to their facility for vacuum freeze drying.

    6.1.12  Collections Salvage Priorities:

    Rarity or uniqueness of the material
    Ease or difficulty of replacement
    Cost of replacement
    Ease or difficulty of salvage treatment

    First Priority
    1. Special Collections, 5th floor and Basement (2 cages)
    2. Orange County Collections Basement
    3. Southeast Asian Archive 3rd floor
    4. Reference collections 1st floor
    5. 16mm films  basement room b-60
    6. Video tape collections 1st floor-MRC
    7. Reserves 2nd floor

    Second Priority Materials
    1. General stacks  3rd, 4th, basement
    2. Microfilm collections 1st floor
    3. Current periodicals 2nd floor

    Ayala Science Library
    First Priority
    1. Special Collections, 1st floor (Bar)
    2. Reference 2nd floor
    3. Bound Journal collection 4th, 5th, 6th (Drum)

    Second Priority
    1. Monograph collections 4th, 5th, 6th (Bar)
    2. Interactive Learning Center (ILC) 1st  floor
    3. Current periodicals collections 2nd floor

    First Priority
    1. Indexes and Reference
    2.   New Book Shelves

    Second Priority
    1. Monographs
    2. Serials