Zen and the art of disaster planning: Collaboration challenges in library disaster plan design and execution

Document Type


Publication Date



This chapter outlines the process through which an original disaster preparedness and recovery plan document was created at a mid-sized academic library with no dedicated preservation staff. A particular emphasis is placed on collaboration and advocacy with the library's parent institution in the formulation of the disaster plan, including the many challenges that arise when institutional communication is flawed and support for the library's goals is lacking. This chapter utilizes concepts adapted from Zen Buddhism to illustratively describe the ways in which the numerous pitfalls and challenges faced through the disaster-planning process were overcome. Taking lessons learned from one library's experience, recommendations are offered for garnering support and successfully completing a disaster plan document amid various pitfalls and constraints. This chapter is aimed at an audience of library professionals and cultural collections stakeholders in need of disaster preparedness documentation but who do not possess the requisite expertise and experience in writing such policies.

This document is currently not available here.