Wellington had a 6.5 earthquake yesterday. I was watching a DVD at the time. While I was pushing the chairs out of the way to get under the table the DVD kept playing. I figured if the DVD was still playing then the quake couldn’t be too bad. There weren’t any jolts which I am grateful for. There were several reports from around Wellington saying that on Monday the Universities and the CBD would be closed. This is due to the need for building inspections to make sure they were still sound. My work posted on FB that apart from some minor damage, everything was okay.
I’m pleased for a couple of reasons. First – FB is part of our official communication strategy for emergencies. Second – a couple years ago we did a bit of work to make the library as earthquake proof as possible and it worked. Only a handful of things ended up on the ground. The rest of the items just needed straightening. Our building is not very tall and it’s on solid ground so that probably helped. After the earthquakes in Christchurch the librarians down there were very generous about sharing their knowledge. These are the three things we’ve implemented.
1. Shelve anything heavy close to the ground.
2. Secure the shelves, preferably to each other. (That way they are supported without being pulled about as the walls and floor go in different directions during a quake.)
3. Push the items 2-3cm back from the edge of the shelves. This gives things space to move.
Our shelves are fairly full so while we haven’t added those black clip-on shelf dividers (recommended by Christchurch librarians) there’s not a lot of space for the items to wriggle around which is also helpful in keeping things on the shelf.
Finally, the thing I remember best is the advice that if your work is dragging its feet because of budget, play the Christchurch card to get the money. The librarian was desperate to prevent her experience becoming our experience.