The Role of Libraries and Librarians
in Disaster Risk Reduction and Response

John C. Scott
Founder, Center for Public Service Communications

July 13, 2011

Live Meeting Recording (WMV) This is a large file and requires Windows Media Player or Windows Media Components for QuickTime, or a similar product to view.
Transcript (HTML)
Transcript (MS Word)
Audio Podcast (MP3)

Related Websites:
National Library of Medicine (NLM) Disaster Information Management Research Center
NLM Disaster Information Outreach Symposium
NLM Emergency Access Initiative
American Library Association Disaster Preparedness and Recovery
National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) Emergency Preparedness & Response Toolkit
NN/LM Toolkit Archives for Mutual Aid Agreements
Medical Library Association (MLA) Disaster Information Specialization Program
MLA Librarians without Borders
Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER)
Radiation Emergency Medical Management (REMM)
Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management (CHEMM)

32 Ratings Submitted
4 (12.5%) Academia 10 (31%)
16 (50%) Business 2 (6%)
7 (22%) Government 12 (38%)
4 (12.5%) Volunteers 2 (6%)
1 (3%) Other 6 (19%)

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"Today's session has inspired me to want to get certified as a Disaster Information Specialist. Thanks! "

"The City of Toronto has an Emergency Human Services Policy, which guides our responses during declared and non-declared emergencies. This web link has the essential components of our policy: (

In addition to being part of our response, we are grateful to public libraries in Toronto that provide cooling centres in summer and warming spaces in winter. Unfortuntely, libraries aren't named in the policy report attached and this is a gap that needs to be addressed. I (a policy development officer in Emergency Planning and Management) have been giving some thought to the content for a letter of agreement. Your teleforum has given me a great deal to think about when framing the agreement.

Thanks for the opportunity to be involved today. If anyone wants to be in touch, here is my email address: [email protected]."
Rosemary Foulds
City of Toronto, Shelter, Support and Housing Administration Division, Emergency Planning and Management Unit

"I was asked by our Dean to compose our library's disaster plan. This presentation was the starting point I needed. I also found the forthcoming certification programs/offerings intriguing and will watch for that to come to fruition. Well done and thank you ever so much!"
Sharon A. Sample
Brenner Library-Quincy University

"Thank you for this opportunity ... most interesting and informative and in line with the heightening awareness on our campus, among our administrators, etc. of the need, (and indeed, with the San Andrea Fault virtually in our backyard here in Riverside, CA, and overdue for a major earthquake event along our part of this major fault) of the urgency and consciousness of this urgency on the part of our various governmental entities, both local and regional - regarding emergency preparedness. Thank you again, and particulary to the expertise and down-to-earth presentation style of Mr. Scott."
Steve Brewster
Riverside City College Library

"This is a cutting edge discussion in emergency management. Community education in environmental public health is still in it's infancy when you look at everything that still needs to be done. SOPHE (Society of Public Health Education) is just forming a public health education promotion network to address several issues included today. Well timed. Thank you."
Mike Hatch
Stephens Memorial Hospital

"The organized collection of links will really make further investigation into this area of knowledge so much easier. Thank you Mr. Scott."

"Heard it before from NLM."

"Many ideas to discuss with our local library board."
Gerry Beckner
Guernsey County EMA

"This topic is very relevant to our community as we have been working with our libraries to position them as hubs of information at the neighborhood level. The list of resources provided by the speaker will be very helpful in our planning process."
Amy Ramirez
San Francisco Dept. of Emergency Management

"Very informative! We look forward to the transcript and other follow-up to obtain copies of the slides with resource info. John's pace was excellent for introducing new info. Thanks so much for doing this!"
Patricia Hassan
Johnson County Library

"Useful web links."
Katrien Werner

"Will re-look at partnerships with libraries."

"Background information was most useful."

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Mr. Scott founded the Center for Public Service Communications in 1990 with the goal of providing guidance to communities, governments and public sector organizations in the specialized field of applying telecommunications and information technologies to reduce health disparities, to improve health services to underserved and disenfranchised individuals and communities and to improve the collection and sharing of scientific, technical and community knowledge to reduce human vulnerability to natural hazards. Since that time he has been a consultant to the private sector and numerous government agencies including the National Library of Medicine, NASA, Department of Veterans Health Affairs, Office for the Advancement of Telehealth/Office of Rural Health Policy, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Advanced Research Projects Agency, AID/Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, Department of Defense and State Department.

Mr. Scott's International working experience includes South East Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, China, Western Europe, the Pacific and the former Soviet Union. He is recognized as a world leader in the field of communications and information policy and programs for disaster management, humanitarian assistance and health and has extensive experience working with international organizations including the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization, the U.N. International Strategy for Disaster Reduction/International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs/Department for Humanitarian Affairs, U.N. Development Program, Office of Outer Space Affairs, International Telecommunication Union.

He has also served as Senior Consultant to the National Library of Medicine with its long range plan to develop a health information research center focused on disaster risk reduction and response.