Skip to Main Content

Continuing Education and Events: 05/21 - After the Big One: Navigating Disaster Recovery for Cultural Organizations

This guide contains current and upcoming events of interest to librarians, archivist, library staff, and others in Capital District Region.

After the Big One: Navigating Disaster Recovery for Cultural Organizations

Many cultural institutions have a disaster plan and can quickly respond to minor problems, but it is difficult for even well-prepared institutions to deal with widescale disasters. The speakers at this program will talk about how to navigate the recovery process should a large disaster occur. 

The keynote speaker will be Janet Gertz, Columbia University (retired), followed by experts in the field.

Topics will include working with vendors, volunteers, and others at the time of crisis; health implications and safety risks; coordinating with SEMA/FEMA, county emergency coordinators, and the New York State Library and Archives. Speakers representing the Village of Sidney, New York will recount their recovery from recent flooding.

Cost is $10. No charge for University at Albany students. Students can contact Karen Kiorpes to register.

Full agenda:

8:30 to 9:00 Registration Coffee and tea, light refreshments will be provided

9:00 to 9:10 Opening Remarks Karen Kiorpes, Head of Preservation, University Libraries

9:10 to 9:15 Welcome  Rebecca Mugridge, Dean of Libraries, University at Albany

9:15 to 9:45 Keynote: Surviving the Big One, Janet Gertz, Columbia University

Dealing with 50 wet books is a challenge, but a good disaster plan can lead even inexperienced staff through a successful response.  “Surviving the Big One” presents the realities of dealing with a large disaster, with an emphasis on the unexpected administrative and logistical hurdles a large-scale event can bring.

9:45 to 10:15 Disaster Declared: DHSES & FEMA Maria Holden, NYSED Office of Cultural Education; Rick Lord, NYS Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation

Now what? Learn how the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) and FEMA operate, the role of county emergency coordinators when there’s a disaster, and what the NYSL and Archives can do to assist cultural organizations.

10:15 to 10:45 Sidney, NY: Cataclysmic Flooding Shelly Johnson-Bennett, Delaware County Planning Board;  John Redente, Village of Sidney

Three major flooding events affecting the Village of Sidney – what happened, community impacts, and how the Village and the Delaware County Planning Board worked together for effective recovery and rebuilding.

10:45 to 11:15 Break

11:15 to 11:45 Safety First, Ask Questions Later John VanRaalte, Occupational and Environmental Health Center of New York

Protecting the health and welfare of workers responding to an emergency is always a priority. Do what you can to avoid injury by understanding the importance of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) against hazards such as mold, toxins, and other chemicals.

11:45 to 12:30 Panel Discussion: Go Big! All Speakers, moderated by Barbara Lilley, NYSED Division of Library Development

12:30 to 12:45 Wrap-up and Evaluation Karen Kiorpes

QUESTIONS??? Contact Karen E. Kiorpes, Head, Alice Hastings Murphy Preservation Department, University at Albany Libraries at, or call (518) 437-3923.

Tickets: Please note that you do not need an actual ticket to get into the event, and you do not need to log into Eventbrite. You will receive a confirmation email, and we will have a list of registrants at the door.

What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?

  • Directions to the University at Albany, Uptown Campus, by car are available at htps://  Scroll down for a pdf map of the campus.
  • We recommend that you park in the "X" Visitors lot, accessed by Central Drive East off of University Drive East. The cost is $5.40 a day.
  • It is possible to pre-purchase a parking pass, but this pass can NOT be used in the Visitors Lot. It can only be used in Student Gold Lots. To pre-purchase a pass online, visit
  • The Science Library is Building #21 on the campus map. The Standish Room is located on the third floor.
  • University at Albany is on several CDTA bus lines: Routes 12, 114 and 190 stop at Collins Circle; Route 11 stops at the Campus Center, Route 10 stops on Western Ave in front of the University, about a half mile walk to the Science Library. Visit for more information on bus routes and times. 

University at Albany Libraries, Preservation Department is the organizer of this event with support from the Capital District Library Council and the New York State Library Conservation/Preservation Grant Program.

Related LibGuide: Preservation Interest Group

Tuesday, May 21, 2019
8:30am - 12:45pm
Science Library, University at Albany Uptown Campus
  Continuing Education     Preservation  


© 2024 | Capital District Library Council
800 Troy Schenectady Rd, Latham New York 12110
Phone: 518-438-2500