MayDay-Protecting our Archives in Ohio

MayDay is almost here!  SAA has designated May 1st as MayDay, a day for archivists to take personal and professional responsibility for doing something small, but significant to protect their collections in the event of a disaster.  Repositories in Ohio are being proactive and preparing for a potential disaster before it occurs.

MayDay Activities Across the State

Denison University will be celebrating MayDay by holding a viewing party for the Connecting to Collections webinar, “After Disasters.”  The hosting group is “DERT”, which stands for Disaster and Emergency Recovery Team.

Greene County has invited local firefighters to visit the Greene County Records Center and Archives on May 1st.  This visit will give the firefighters an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the facility, the types of records that are in the collection, as well as consider how they could most effectively fight a fire at this location.  Greene County is also planning to go through their Disaster Kit and inventory their emergency supplies and make sure that they are prepared for a potential disaster.

The National Museum of the United States Air Force (NMUSAF) recognizes MayDay each year by preparing and distributing two different wallet sized cards.  This project is led by the NMUSAF Disaster Response Team (DRT).  The wallet sized cards include phone tree cards for DRT members and Disaster Information Cards for all staff that includes names and phone numbers of DRT members to call in the event of an incident.

One of the ideas listed on the SAA website is to make sure that all collections are in boxes and up off of the floor.  Bowling Green University and the Akron Summit County Public Library are holding workshops on “Learning to Preserve Valuable Collections Using Basic Enclosures.”  Properly constructed enclosures can provide protection from a variety of threats.

Is your repository prepared for a potential disaster?  Use this opportunity to do something, no matter how simple, to protect your collections!  When is the last time you had a fire drill, updated your staff emergency contact information or inventoried your emergency supply kit?  Have you been putting off revising your Disaster Preparedness Plan?  The time to complete these projects is before a disaster occurs!!

 It’s not too late to get involved!  The SOA Advocacy & Outreach Committee would like to encourage all Ohio repositories to participate in MayDay, this Friday, May 1st.  Remember, even a simple activity can have a significant impact on the response to a disaster.  If you’re not sure what to do, SAA provides a list of potential MayDay activities.