Preparing for the Worst: Disaster Planning for High Density Storage

While disaster planning in libraries is well established, very few libraries have plans specific to the challenging environment of high-density storage. Simple activities such as removal and tracking of materials become more complicated by barcoded storage trays on thirty-foot-high shelves. This program will focus on current disaster research ranging from fire protection and recovery to perspectives on recovery from water and fire related disasters.

An ALCTS webinar.

Originally presented on Wednesday, February 22, 2012.

Learning Outcomes

This webinar will present new research and developments in disaster response in library high density storage facilities; facilitate discussion and collaboration between institutions; and allow attendees to share different viewpoints, concerns and experiences.

Who Should Attend

This webinar will be of interest to library staff and administrators whose institutions currently have, or are considering construction of, high-density library storage facilities.


Jennifer Hain Teper, Associate Professor and Head, Preservation and Conservation, University of Illinois Libraries.

Jennifer Hain Teper has served as Head of the Conservation Unit for the University Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 2001 and since 2009 has is also interim head of Preservation. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in August of 2000 with a MLIS and Certificate of Advanced Study in the Conservation and Preservation of Library and Archival Materials. Before her appointment at the University of Illinois she has worked at the University of Texas' Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, the University of Pittsburgh Library, the New York Botanical Gardens Library, and the University of Kentucky Audio-visual archives. She has had the (un)fortunate experience of being involved in disaster recovery from a fire, several floods or pipe bursts, and two large mold outbreaks.

Roberta Pilette, Director, Preservation Department, Yale University Library

Roberta Pilette has been in library preservation for 25 years. Pilette has been head of conservation labs at Columbia University Libraries and the New-York Historical Society Library. She taught conservation courses at the University of Texas at Austin’s Preservation and Conservation Studies program and has been an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University and Palmer School of Library & Information Science, C. W. Post Campus of Long Island University. She co-edited Preservation: issues & planning with Paul Banks. She has been director of preservation at Yale University Library for more than eight years.




How to Register

Recording (YouTube)

Recording (.wmv)

Slides from Teper (.pptx)

Slides from Pilette (.pptx)


Tech Requirements

Computer with Internet access (high-speed connection is best) and media player software. Headphones recommended.

If you receive a Codec error when playing the recorded file with Windows Media Player, download the gotowebinar codec file from: The Codec acts as a patch that allows the recording, which is created with a higher version of Media Player, to play in version 7. For more information on playing the recording, see the FAQ.




For questions or comments related to the webinars, contact Julie Reese, ALCTS Events Manager at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5034 or