Participants in MayDay 2012

Please tell us how you helped to spread the word or participated at some level in MayDay 2012 activities by posting a note below or sending an email to Thanks for helping to save our archives!

Illinois State Archives
Springfield, IL

Director Dave Joens reported that the Illinois State Archives annually conducts MayDay activities. This year, the Archives brought in Michael Grim, Chief of Emergency Operations for the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, to discuss emergency preparedness at both work and home. Mr. Grim gave two fifteen-minute presentations to staff and distributed handouts. The state archives’ MayDay activities are always highlighted in the newsletter of the Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board.

Denver Public Library
Denver, CO

Abby Hoverstock reported that the Denver Public Library celebrated MayDay by distributing Pocket Emergency Contact Lists and Emergency Quick Reference Guides to each of the library's 25 branches and to over 20 offices and departments in the system's Central branch!

James Rogers and Abby Hoverstock, Senior Librarians in the Western History/Genealogy Department, have been working on creating a disaster plan for the department for over a year. After they created guides for their department, they decided to encourage colleagues throughout the library system to adapt the Pocket Guide template (courtesy of Heritage Preservation's Alliance for Response) to their departments and branches. They also designed and created colorful, spiral-bound Emergency Quick Reference Guides for staff at the Central building and modified a version for use at all the library's branches. (See image.)

Dr. Jo Ann Rayfield Archives, Illinois State University
Normal, IL

University Archivist April Anderson writes about planned MayDay exercises trumped by a real mini-disaster on her archives blog: Instead of identifying "treasures" at the ISU Archives and storing them to ensure survival should a tornato strike, she had to handle a leak in the stacks.

National Snow and Ice Data Center, Univeristy of Colorado
Boulder, CO

According to Allaina Wallace, Librarian and Analog Data Archivist, the Data Center reviewed and updated their emergency manual and inventoried their two emergency grab buckets. The archives collections were recently consolidated from three different spaces into one repurposed space. Thus, changes in location needed to be made this year. They also discovered that one of their emergency grab buckets had a crack in the bottom and needed to be replaced. They also changed the batteries in the flashlights.

National Archives and Records Administration
College Park, MD

Jane Long, NARA National Preservation Program Officer, and Aimée Primeaux, NARA Preservation Programs Officer, reported that Preservation Programs at the National Archives created a poster to hang near doors and telephones in the stacks at its 44 locations. "Records Emergency! What Should I Do?" lists the four critical steps to take if records are at risk. The sign has been sent to all facilities as an e-poster and can be customized for contact information and printed in two sizes. NARA celebrates MayDay every year.

C. Benton Kline, Jr. Special Collections and Archives
Decatur, Georgia

Archivist Chris Paton reported that the special collections and archives "checked the server room to be sure that our servers were housed off the floor, and used a modular pallet to raise one of our regular staff computers off the floor. It was a timely thing to do, given that the room adjacent to the server room experienced a minor flood on April 30. (All is now well in both rooms)." As a small archives with little space and challenged to find pallets that fit and store easily, Paton happily discovered - during 2011 MayDay efforts - that Hi & Dri modular storage pallets were "affordable, easily stored because they break down into their components, and very functional." The archives uses them to to keep a very large portrait from contact with the floor and have used them for temporary storage of incoming and outgoing collections.

The Archiphotovist
Washington, DC

Anne McDonough, of Anne McDonough Photography, publicized MayDay on her blog, The Archiphotovist, noting a few simple steps personal collectors can take to preserve their vital records as well as family heritage. Direct link:

Heritage Preservation
Washington, DC

Every year Heritage Preservation encourages libraries, museums, archives, historical societies, and preservation organizations to set aside May 1 to participate in MayDay. This year, make sure your institution is prepared!

Heritage Preservation is collecting examples of the simple preparedness steps that cultural organizations are undertaking this spring. It's easy to be a part of MayDay. Last year participants held fire safety sessions, stockpiled emergency supplies, and updated disaster plans. Any cultural institution submitting a brief description of its 2012 MayDay plans or accomplishments by May 31, 2012, will be entered in a drawing for disaster supplies donated by Gaylord Brothers.

Heritage Preservation will also offer its award-winning Field Guide to Emergency Response and Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel at special MayDay prices from April 1 through May 31. In addition, each week in May, Heritage Preservation will post disaster preparedness tips on its Facebook page.

Visit Heritage Preservation’s MayDay site for project ideas, information on prizes, and the book sale. All activities hosted by Heritage Preservation for MayDay 2012 are sponsored by Rapid Refile.

NEW! Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel: Now a Mobile Application Heritage Preservation's Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel is now available free of charge on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad as the "ERS: Emergency Response and Salvage" app. Apple users can download this free app from the App Store by searching for "ERS: Emergency Response and Salvage" or clicking here. To download, your device must run iOS 5.1 or later. Complete technical requirements are available on the ERS page at the App Store.

Blue Shield Australia
Melbourne, Victoria

For its MayDay 2012 campaign, Blue Shield Australia is organising a series of free regional workshops around Australia, to promote local co-operative agreements around disaster preparedness, planning, response and recovery. The aim of these workshops is to build networks, including emergency response personnel, where they do not exist presently and to examine existing network models so that they may be adapted for adoption in other regions. Workshop details. Press release.