If there is a lesson to be learned from life-changing storms like the one that devastated Greensburg and Chapman, it’s the lesson of preparedness. Thanks to the State Library of Kansas and seven partner organizations, Kansas libraries and museums will be better prepared for the worst disaster.
In late February, the State Library learned that Kansas is the recipient of a $34,983 grant for a project titled, “Sustaining Kansans’ Commitment to Collections by a Focus on Emergency Planning.” Joining the State Library of Kansas as institutional partners are: Kansas State Historical Society, Kansas Library Association, Kansas Humanities Council, Kansas Arts Commission, Kansas Museums Association, University of Kansas Libraries and K-State Libraries.
In its second year of awarding State Planning Grants, the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded 23 grants to provide safe conditions for collections, develop emergency plans, assign responsibility for collections care, marshal public and private support for, and raise awareness for collections care.
The Statewide Planning Grants are an important component of the IMLS initiative, Connecting to Collections: A Call to Action, a multi-year, multi-faceted national plan to raise public awareness of the importance of caring for our treasures and to underscore the fact that these collections are essential to the American story.
In Kansas, this grant will support a planning process that establishes an online Statewide Resource Guide for library, archives and museum emergency planning, along with producing a template for local institutions to customize as they develop their own emergency plans. Three regional workshops led by preservation experts will train participants in how to adapt the guide to their use, as well as obtain feedback on the utility of the guide for meeting local needs. These workshops will include a presentation by a well-known expert in preservation and a moderated group discussion on how to sustain preservation efforts for the state’s collections.
The goal of the institutional partners was to focus on the emergency planning needs of small to medium-sized institutions as well as large ones, and to establish sustainable networks of local-to-regional emergency assistance through collaboration across professional associations.