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New Orleans flood“The repository must have a written plan with some approval process for what happens in specific types of disaster (fire, flood, system compromise, etc.) and for who has responsibility for actions.”

So reads An Audit Checklist for the Certification of Trusted Digital Repositories, from RLG and NAARA. Summed up here. Spotted by Dorothea Salo. Comments sought.

The warning that Washington’s pea-brains ignored

Don’t just digest the RLG report. In a library context, read the splendid series from June 2002 where the New Orleans Times-Picayne predicted a Katrina-style disaster.

What if you’d been a librarian in New Orleans–or, still better, a politician with control over the library budget?

Also check out a September NPR series from Daniel Zwerdling, as well as a U.S. News & World Report article from July 2005. Has the press been writing about, say, earthquake or flood risks in your area? If you’re a librarian, think the worst and within the limits of budget prepare accordingly. Ideally librarians can do a better job of anticipating risks than the White House did in advocating reductions in flood-control money.

Nuclear risks for LOC

Here in the Washington, D.C., area, how about a nuke from al-Qaeda? If terrorists take out the Capitol and surroundings, the Library of Congress most likely would be hit as well, at least if the bomb is more than a mere “dirty nuke.” A risk assessment document from LOC is hardly reassuring. Remember, Warren Buffett says nuclear terorism is a very real threat.

The Bono angle

Not to be morbid, but that’s one more argument for digitizing our cultural treasures–and also for rolling back the Hollywood-bought Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act to aid preservation. Both major political parties are Bono villains, but, as those positioning themselves as champions of The Long Term, “populist” Democrats have special reason to stop wimping out.

 
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