Emergency Planning: Lessons from COVID-19

Tuesday, 8/11/2020 - Wednesday, 8/12/2020
  • 10:00 AM-6:00 PM (Eastern)
  • 9:00 AM-5:00 PM (Central)
  • 8:00 AM-4:00 PM (Mountain)
  • 7:00 AM-3:00 PM (Pacific)
ALA and ALCTS are committed to supporting our members, staff, and all librarians and library workers during these uncertain times. We will continue to offer online learning opportunities, including webinars and the Exchange 2020, and will do our best to accommodate the remote needs of our attendees. Please contact ALCTS with any questions or concerns.

This e-Forum will be an opportunity to reflect on what we learned from the COVID-19 situation, and how to use the information in planning a response to future emergencies. The impact and magnitude of the pandemic caught us off guard, leading to library closures and displaced staff. Many libraries struggled to pull together work at home plans for staff and provide the equipment and services necessary for them to do so. Issues faced by managers and staff faced included personnel policies regarding leave time to care for sick relatives or children with daycare centers and schools closed, engaging and managing staff working remotely, identifying projects, documenting work time and progress, addressing emotional and mental needs of staff, and preparing to return to work on-site. Additionally, ALA has produced a pandemic preparedness page, and this is an opportunity to promote it and other resources that participants can discuss and share.

Learning Outcomes

Attendees will discuss developing contingency plans, how to manage and engage staff who are working remotely, how to maintain productivity, and how to report to your manager regarding the work that’s being done.

Who Should Attend

Technical services librarians and staff, particularly managers and supervisors


Kristi Howe is the Executive Director of the Vigo County Public Library – an Indiana library system with 2 facilities and nearly 90 employees. Howe is an elected member of the Executive Board for the Indiana Library Federation where she leads legislative advocacy initiatives. Locally, Howe chairs the COVID Emergency Relief Fund grant committee and engages with organizations like the League of Women Voters, the Terre Haute Economic Development Corporation, and the Vigo County School Corporation.

Valentine Muyumba is Chair of Technical Services at Indiana State University’s Cunningham Memorial Library (ISU/CML). The department has 6 full-time employees, including one Metadata and cataloging librarian, and one part time processing support staff. Technical Services at ISU is composed of Acquisitions, Cataloging & Metadata, Government Documents, Inter-Library Loan, and Processing & Preservation/Mending.

Mary Beth Weber is the Head of Central Technical Services at Rutgers University Libraries. She oversees a department of twelve full-time employees, including librarians and staff, and two part-time catalogers, who provide MARC and non-MARC cataloging for libraries on four geographically separate campuses. 




How to Register

You must register your email address to subscribe to or access an electronic discussion list on ALA's Mailing List Service. Find instructions for subscribing online.

Once you have registered for one e-Forum, you do not need to register again, unless you choose to leave the list. Find instructions for unsubscribing.

ALCTS Code of Conduct

Please review the ALCTS Statement of Conduct before registering.

Tech Requirements

Internet connection with email address. You can manage your subscription to this list following the online instructions.




For questions about registration, contact ALA Registration by calling 1-800-545-2433 and press 5 or email registration@ala.org.

For all other questions or comments related to the webinars, please contact alctsce@ala.org.