Emergency Policies and Procedures

Mississippi State University Libraries
Emergency Policies and Procedures
Revised October 2007


Following are the emergency policy statements for the Mississippi State University Libraries. All Library Faculty and Staff should read and follow these policies and procedures.

Table of Contents

Emergency Contacts

  Work Phone Cell Pager Home Phone
Coleman, Francis (Dean of Libraries) 325-7661 418-2222   323-2899
Cunetto, Stephen 325-8542 418-3870   323-1097
Mord, Summer 325-7664 312-5016   465-7485
Berry, Glenn 325-2029 418-2479 320-5858 263-5344
Fairbrother, Debra 325-0812 418-4472   323-1614

Note: Library Security Patrol will be on duty in the Library on a scheduled basis.

Procedures for Emergencies

  1. Assault/Battery, Rape or Harassment of Patron/Staff
    • Between 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
      • Call 911 immediately and fully explain the problem.
      • Call the Dean's Office (325-0813), if no answer, call the Access Services staff (325-7668) who will notify the Dean or, if unavailable, one of the Emergency Contacts.
    • Between 5:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m., or during Saturday and Sunday operating hours.
      • Call 911 immediately and fully explain the problem.
      • Call Access Services staff (325-7668) who will notify the Dean of Libraries (323-2899) or, if unavailable, one of the Emergency Contacts.
    • Staff responses to victim of rape/attempted rape.
      • Take victim to Administrative Offices (or quiet place) while waiting for response from telephone calls.
      • Show concern. Keep individual as calm as possible.
      • If no female staff member is present, have a female student assistant stay with victim until police/ambulance arrives.
    • BE SURE NOT TO DISTURB THE EVIDENCE, either at the scene or on the person. Do not allow victim to wash hands, etc. until police arrive. Post library staff or student assistant to watch the scene until police arrive.
  2. Bomb Threat
    • If a bomb threat is received, call 911 immediately. Access Services will turn up PA system to the highest volume level and make an announcement for the building to be evacuated. Assist patrons as needed.
    • All Library Faculty, Staff, and Student Assistants should meet at the center of the drill field, by the flagpole, for a head count. Each department is responsible for the head count of their staff and students.
  3. Electrical Failure
    • Between 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, the Dean's Office will contact Facilities Management. Each department will use flashlights and wait for emergency lighting. Depending on circumstances, patrons may be asked to leave the building. The Stack Maintenance Department will position personnel at each entrance to ensure that materials have been properly checked out.
    • Between 5:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m., or during Saturday and Sunday operating hours.
    • If it is necessary to close the Library due to electrical failure, follow normal closing procedures. The Dean of Libraries will determine if electrical failure warrants building closure.
    • Have wheelchair patrons use the elevators (on emergency power) located in Main Lobby to exit the building.
  4. Fire
    • The person who sights a fire should pull the nearest fire alarm. If the blaze is small, attempt to extinguish it using the nearest fire extinguisher (check map page 21). If unable to do so, continue with other duties as outlined below and then leave the building.

      If the alarm sounds before fire is sighted, be sure all patrons, including wheelchair patrons, are sent to the nearest exit.

      Do not allow patrons to return to the building until an authorized person, such as the Fire Chief or Security, declares all areas safe. An Access Services staff member will be stationed outside each door to keep patrons from re-entering the building until it is declared safe.

      BE SURE YOU KNOW THE LOCATION OF FIRE EXTINGUISHERS AND FIRE ALARMS IN YOUR AREA.
      • Between 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
        • Call 911 immediately and fully explain the problem.
        • Call Dean's Office (325-0813), if no answer call Access Services staff (325-7668), who will notify the Dean of Libraries (323-2899) or, if unavailable, one of the Emergency Contact members.
        • Access Services staff will make an announcement on the PA system to evacuate the building.
          • Each department will see that all patrons and staff are out of the building by checking their areas. All Library Faculty, Staff, and Student Assistants should meet at the center of the drill field, by the flagpole, for a head count. Each department is responsible for the head count of their staff and students.
          • Areas to be checked by each department between 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
            • Administrative Office (325-0813) - Check circulating collection area P-S, group studies, and restrooms located in the reading room.
            • Access Services (325-7668) - Monitor the doors and Main Lobby. Make announcements.
            • Library Instruction (325-0810) - Check staff lounge and restrooms in elevator lobby.
            • Computer Commons (325-8119) - Check entire area including bathrooms.
            • Government Document/Microforms/Current Journals (325-0008) - Check entire area and stairways located on the east side of the building.
            • Grisham Room Staff (325-2559) - Check the Grisham Room.
            • Templeton Room Staff (325-6634) - Check the Templeton Room.
            • Instructional Media Center (325-7676) - Check area, Food For Thought area, bathrooms in elevator lobby and second floor lobby area.
            • Reference (325-7667) - Check Reference Room and restrooms in area.
            • Special Collections-(325-7679) - Check entire Special Collections area, circulating collection area A-N and restrooms in elevator lobby.
            • Congressional & Political Research Center - (325-7663) - Check area, service entrance, hallways, Presentation Room and Copy Center.
            • Stack Maintenance (325-7675) - Check 4th floor, including the stack area T-Z and restrooms, and the 5th floor, including restrooms and the stairways located in the south wing.
            • Systems (325-2842) - Check the auditorium, IHL center, and restrooms in the hall.
            • Technical Services (325-7665 or 325-9685)– Check area – Check 1st floor bounds journals area, group studies, electronic classrooms, far restrooms in the south wing and restrooms behind elevators.
            • Note: Be sure to assist wheelchair patrons in the use of the elevators to exit the building as quickly as possible.
      • Between 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., or during Saturday and Sunday operating hours.
        • Call 911 immediately and fully explain the problem. Call Access Services staff on duty (325-7668) who will notify the Dean of Libraries (323-2899) or, if unavailable, one of the Emergency Contacts
          • Access Services will make an announcement on the PA system to evacuate the building. Each department will ensure that all patrons and staff are out of the building by checking assigned areas.
          • All Library Faculty, Staff, and Student Assistants should meet at the center of the drill field, by the flagpole, for a head count. Each department is responsible for the head count of their staff and students.
          • Areas to be checked by departments between 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.
            • Access Services (325-7668) - Check 4th and 5th floor, restrooms, and T-Z stack areas.
            • Computer Commons (325-8119) - Check area including restrooms.
            • Government Documents/Microforms/Current Journals (325-0008) -Check area, check restrooms in elevator lobby on 2nd floor. Check 1st floor auditorium, computer room and restrooms in hallway and restrooms behind elevators, 3rd floor circulating collection A-N, and restrooms in elevator lobby.
            • Instructional Media Center (325-7676) - Check area, check 1st floor area to include bound journals, group studies, electronic classrooms, Presentation Room and far restroom in south wing, and IHL center. Check 1st floor restroom and restrooms in elevator lobby.
            • Reference (325-7667) - Check Reference Room, and restrooms in area, check 3rd floor circulating collection P-S, group studies, and restrooms.
            • Note: Be sure to assist wheelchair patrons in the use of the elevators to exit the building as quickly as possible.
      • Between 10 p.m. and Midnight.
        • Call 911 immediately. Call Access Services staff on duty (325-7668) who will notify the Dean of Libraries (323-2899) or, if unavailable, one of the Emergency Contacts.
          • Access Services will make an announcement on the PA system to evacuate the building. Each department will ensure that all patrons and staff are out of the building by checking assigned areas.
          • All Library Faculty, Staff, and Student Assistants should meet at the center of the drill field, by the flagpole, for a head count. Each department is responsible for the head count of their staff and students.
          • Areas to be checked by departments between 10:00 p.m. and Midnight.
            • Access Services (325-7668) - Check 4th and 5th floor restrooms and T-Z stack areas. Check 3rd floor circulating collection, A-N, and restrooms in elevator lobby.
            • Computer Commons (325-8119) - Check area including restrooms.
            • Government Documents/Microforms/Current Journals (325-0008) - Check area, check restrooms in elevator lobby on 2nd floor. Check IHL center, group studies near IHL center, 1st floor auditorium, computer room and restrooms in hallway and behind elevator. Check 1st floor restrooms in elevator lobby.
            • Reference (325-7667) - Check Reference Room, and restrooms in area, check 3rd floor circulating collection P-S, group studies, and restrooms.
            • Note: Be sure to assist wheelchair patrons in the use of the elevators to exit the building as quickly as possible.
      • Between Midnight and 2:00 a.m.
        • Call 911 immediately. Call Access Services staff on duty (325-7668) who will notify the Dean of Libraries (323-2899) or, if unavailable, one of the Emergency Contacts (see page 2). Access Services will make announcement on the PA system to evacuate the building.
        • All Library Faculty, Staff, and Student Assistants should meet at the center of the drill field, by the flagpole, for a head count. Each department is responsible for the head count for their staff and students.
        • Note: Be sure to assist wheelchair patrons in the use of the elevators to exit the building as quickly as possible.
  5. Flooding
    • Between 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, call Dean's Office (325-0813).
    • After 5:00 p.m. and on weekends, call Access Services (325-7668) who will call Facilities Management (325-3469).
    • Access Services will call the Dean of Libraries (323-2899), or if unavailable, Glen Berry (263-5344 or page him at 320-5858), or one of the Emergency Contacts (see page 2).
  6. Illness/Injury
    • Between 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
      • Call 911 and fully explain the problem.
      • Call the Dean's Office (325-0813).
      • Tell the ambulance to park on Hardy Road.
    • Between 5:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m., or during Saturday and Sunday operating hours.
      • Call 911 immediately and fully explain the problem.
      • Call Access Services (325-7668), who will notify the Dean of Libraries (323-2899), or, if unavailable, one of the Emergency Contacts (see page 2).
      • Tell the ambulance to park on Hardy Road.
    • DO NOT MOVE THE INJURED PERSON. Show concern. Keep individual calm.
      If a seizure is suspected, do not attempt to assist and move everything out of person's path.
  7. Severe Weather (tornado or severe thunderstorms, etc., siren sounds)
    • Between 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
      • Access Services will make an immediate announcement on the PA system for everyone to proceed to the 1st floor hallways by the Auditorium or Technical Services.
      • In case of tornado warning, all patrons and staff will proceed to the 1st floor hallways until an all-clear signal is sounded.
      • Areas checked by departments between 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
        • Administrative Office (325-0813) - Check circulating collection area P-S, group studies, and restrooms located in the reading room.
        • Access Services (325-7668) - Monitor the doors and main lobby. Make announcements.
        • Library Instruction (325-0810) - Check staff lounge and restrooms in elevator lobby.
        • Computer Commons (325-8119) - Check entire area including bathrooms.
        • Government Document/Microforms/Current Journals (325-0008) – Check entire area and stairways located on the east side of the building.
        • Grisham Room Staff (325-2559) - Check the Grisham Room.
        • Templeton Room Staff (325-6634) – Check the Templeton Room.
        • Instructional Media Center (325-7676) - Check area, Food For Thought area, bathrooms in elevator lobby and second floor lobby area.
        • Reference (325-7667) - Check Reference Room and restrooms in area.
        • Special Collections (325-7679) - Check entire Special Collections area, circulating collection area A-N and restrooms in elevator lobby.
        • Congressional & Political Research Center (325-7663) - Check area, service entrance, hallways, Copy Center and Presentation Room.
        • Stack Maintenance (325-7675) – Check 4th floor, including the stack area T-Z and restrooms, and the 5th floor, including restrooms and the stairways located in the south wing.
        • Systems (325-2842) – Check the auditorium, IHL center, restrooms in the hall.
        • Technical Services (325-7665 or 325-9685) – Check area – Check 1st floor bound journals area, group studies, electronic classrooms, far restroom in the south wing and restrooms behind elevators.
        • Note: Be sure to assist wheelchair patrons in the use of the elevators to move to first floor hallways as quickly as possible.
    • Between 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. or during Saturday and Sunday operating hours.
      • Access Services will make an immediate announcement on the PA system for everyone to proceed to the 1st floor hallways by the Auditorium or Technical Services.
      • Access Services will notify the Dean of Libraries (323-2899), or if unavailable, one of the Emergency Contacts.
      • Each department will ensure that all patrons and staff move to the safe areas on the 1st floor. If the department is responsible for checking more than one area, send one staff member to each area.
      • Areas to be checked by departments between 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.
        • Access Services (325-7668) - Check 4th and 5th floor, restrooms, and T-Z stacks areas.
        • Computer Commons (325-8119) - Check area including restrooms.
        • Government Documents/Microforms/Current Journals (325-0008) - Check area, check restrooms in elevator lobby on 2nd floor. Check 1st floor auditorium, computer room and restrooms in hallway and restrooms behind elevators, 3rd floor circulating collection A-N, and restrooms in elevator lobby.
        • Instructional Media Center (325-7676) - Check area, check 1st floor area to include bound journals, group studies, electronic classrooms, presentation room and far restroom in south wing, and IHL center. Check 1st floor restroom and restrooms in elevator lobby.
        • Reference (325-7667) - Check Reference Room, and restrooms in area, check 3rd floor circulating collection P-S, group studies, and restrooms.
        • Note: Be sure to assist wheelchair patrons in the use of the elevators to move to first floor hallways as quickly as possible.
    • Between 10 p.m. and Midnight.
      • Access Services will make an immediate announcement on the PA system for everyone to proceed to the 1st floor hallways by the Auditorium or Technical Services.
      • Access Services will notify the Dean of Libraries (323-2899), or if unavailable, one of the Emergency Contacts.
      • Each department will ensure that all patrons and staff move to the safe areas on the 1st floor. If the department is responsible for checking more than one area, send one staff member to each area.
      • Areas to be checked by departments between 10:00 p.m. and Midnight.
        • Access Services (325-7668) - Check 4th and 5th floor restrooms and T-Z stack areas. Check 3rd floor circulating collection, A-N, and restrooms in elevator lobby.
        • Computer Commons (325-8119) - Check area including restrooms.
        • Government Documents/Microforms/Current Journals (325-0008) - Check area, check restrooms in elevator lobby on 2nd floor. Check IHL center, group studies near IHL center, 1st floor auditorium, computer room and restrooms in hallway and behind elevator. Check 1st floor restrooms in elevator lobby. check 1st floor bound journals area, group studies, electronic classrooms, Presentation Room and far restroom in south wing on 1st floor.
        • Reference (325-7667) - Check Reference Room, and restrooms in area, check 3rd floor circulating collection P-S, group studies, and restrooms.
        • Note: Be sure to assist wheelchair patrons in the use of the elevators to move to first floor hallways as quickly as possible.
    • Between Midnight and 2:00 a.m.
      • Access Services will make an immediate announcement on the PA system for everyone to proceed to the 1st floor hallways by Auditorium or Technical Services. Access Services will notify the Dean of Libraries (323-2899), or if unavailable, call one of the Emergency Contacts.
      • Each department will ensure that all patrons and staff move to the safe areas on the first floor.
      • Note: Be sure to assist wheelchair patrons in the use of the elevators to move to first floor hallways as quickly as possible.
  8. Biological Agent Threats
    • HOW TO HANDLE ANTHRAX AND OTHER BIOLOGICAL AGENT THREATS

      The purpose of these guidelines is to recommend procedures for handling ANTHRAX AND OTHER BIOLOGICAL AGENT THREATS.
      • DO NOT PANIC
        • Anthrax organisms can cause infection in the skin, gastrointestinal system, or the lungs. To do so, the organism must be rubbed into abraded skin, swallowed, or inhaled as a fine, aerosolized mist. Disease can be prevented after exposure to the anthrax spores by early treatment with the appropriate antibiotics. Anthrax is not spread from one person to another person.
        • For anthrax to be effective as a covert agent, it must be aerosolized into very small particles. This is difficult to do, and requires a great deal of technical skill and special equipment. If these small particles are inhaled, life-threatening lung infection can occur, but prompt recognition and treatment are effective.
      • Suspicious Unopened letter or PACKAGE MARKED WITH THREATENING MESSAGE SUCH AS "ANTHRAX":
        • Do not shake or empty the contents of any suspicious envelope or package.
        • PLACE the envelope or package in a plastic bag or some other type of container to prevent leakage of contents.
        • If you do not have any container, then COVER the envelope or package with anything (e.g., clothing, paper, trash can, etc.) and do not remove this cover.
        • Then LEAVE the room and CLOSE the door, or section off the area to prevent others from entering (i.e., keep others away).
        • WASH your hands with soap and water to prevent spreading any powder to your face.
        • Call 911 immediately and fully explain the problem.
        • LIST all people who were in the room or area when this suspicious letter or package was recognized. Give this list to both the local public health authorities and law enforcement officials for follow-up investigations and advice.
      • Envelope with powder and powder spills out onto surface:
        • DO NOT try to CLEAN UP the powder. COVER the spilled contents immediately with anything (e.g., clothing, paper, trash can, etc.) and do not remove this cover!
        • Then LEAVE the room and CLOSE the door, or section off the area to prevent others from entering (i.e., keep others away).
        • WASH your hands with SOAP AND WATER to prevent spreading any powder to your face.
        • Call 911 immediately and fully explain the problem.
        • REMOVE heavily contaminated clothing as soon as possible and place in a plastic bag, or some other container that can be sealed. This clothing bag should be given to the emergency responders for proper handling.
        • SHOWER with soap and water as soon as possible. Do Not Use Bleach Or Other Disinfectant On Your Skin.
        • If possible, list all people who were in the room or area, especially those who had actual contact with the powder.
      • QUESTION OF ROOM CONTAMINATION BY AEROSOLIZATION:

        For example: small device triggered, warning that air-handling system is contaminated or warning that a biological agent was released in a public space.
        • Turn off local fans.
        • LEAVE area immediately.
        • CLOSE the door, or section off the area to prevent others from entering (i.e., keep others away).
        • Call 911 immediately and fully explain the problem.
        • If possible, list all people who were in the room or area.
      • HOW TO IDENTIFY SUSPICIOUS PACKAGES AND LETTERS
        • Some characteristics of suspicious packages and letters include the following…
        • Excessive postage
        • Handwritten or poorly typed addresses
        • Incorrect titles
        • Title, but no name
        • Misspellings of common words
        • Oily stains, discolorations or odor
        • No return address
        • Excessive weight
        • Lopsided or uneven envelope
        • Protruding wires or aluminum foil
        • Excessive security material such as masking tape, string, etc.
        • Visual distractions
        • Ticking sound
        • Marked with restrictive endorsements, such as "Personal" or "Confidential"
        • Shows a city or state in the postmark that does not match the return address
  9. Paging for Emergencies
    • No one will be paged except for a medical or police emergency. All phone calls concerning the paging of Library patrons in the Mitchell Memorial Library should be directed to the Access Services Desk.
  10. Panic Device System
    • POLICY
      • The telephone should be the FIRST source of communication should a Library staff member or student assistant require assistance in an emergency situation. The telephone will allow for an exchange of information, questions may be asked and answers received and the situation assessed.
      • Should the panic device unit be activated, a follow-up phone call to the University Police (325-2121) is necessary to inform them as to the reason the system was activated.
      • The panic device system should be used ONLY if it is NOT safe to use the telephone or the staff member or student assistant cannot access the telephone because a life-threatening situation exists.
    • UNATTENDED BOOK BAGS POLICY
      • Between 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
        • Call the Dean's Office (325-0813) when book bags are left unattended.
        • Dean's Office will notify University Police (325-2121).
      • Between 5:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m., or during Saturday and Sunday operating hours.

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