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Film & Video Student Assistant Information: Emergency Procedures

Library Film & Video Collection Student Assistant Manual

Emergency Procedures

The Library has procedures in place for almost any emergency you may face while at work.  Please familiarize yourself with these procedures and know where the unit flashlights / lanterns are located.

Evacuation of Library users with disabilities

Library users with disabilities are NOT TO USE THE ELEVATORS during a building evacuation. Instead, Library users who are not able to use the stairs should use a red emergency telephone located near elevators and stairways to contact Public Safety. The disabled user should then move into a stairway to await evacuation by fire fighters or Department of Public Safety personnel. When using the red telephone, the caller should provide the number on the telephone so that Public Safety can determine the location of the caller. Library users with disabilities may ask persons exiting the building to assist them to move into a stairway.

Medical Emergency

In the event of a medical emergency, dial 911 from an office phone. The Library has two Semi-Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) for use by trained library staff or users to assist someone who has experienced cardiac arrest. One AED is located on the first floor next to the elevator adjacent to the hallway leading to the Reserve Room. A second AED is located on the Lower Level next to the elevator by the Student Multimedia Design Center studios, just outside the Film & Video Collection's double doors.

Inclement Weather

In case of extreme weather conditions, such as snow or ice, listen to a Delaware radio station, check the UD webpage, check the Library homepage, receive a notice if you have the “LiveSafe” app or call 831-2000 to see if the University is officially closed.  If the University is closed, students do not need to report, even if the Library is open “with skeleton staff”. Every effort will be made by supervisors to call students scheduled during the closing. If in doubt, call your supervisor. PLEASE NOTE: Even if the University is open, do not report to work if you feel that it is unsafe to do so.  Call staff if you feel your safety is at risk. This would be considered an excused absence.

Bomb Threat

Take all calls seriously and report them to Public Safety at 911 immediately.  Notify your supervisor or any nearby Library staff. Try to obtain as much information from the caller as possible such as location of the bomb; detonation time; reason for threat; information about the caller, age, affiliation with any organization, etc.  Do not try to locate the bomb and never touch suspicious objects. Do not use portable radios or cell phones in the facility where the bomb may be located.

Fire Alarm

The sounding of the fire alarms should always treated as an emergency. All Library staff and users are expected to leave the building as quickly as possible. Users can be told that they need to leave, but staff are not responsible for clearing the building. Public Safety Officers will respond to the facility to assist with the evacuation.


When the fire alarm sounds or when the order to evacuate the building is given, all office doors should be closed and outside doors to the unit should be locked as staff and students leave.

* Evacuate the building using the nearest exit that provides an opportunity for safe egress. DO NOT use an elevator. In addition to the front doors, you may exit the building by using any emergency exit


* Move away from the building at least 200 feet. It is critical that the walkway immediately adjacent to the front steps of the Morris Library be kept clear for fire trucks and emergency vehicles.


* Multimedia Collections and Services staff will report by unit and meet up in the shade near Allison Hall (see red star, below).  Student assistants should let F&V staff (or SMDC staff if no F&V staff is available) know that they are out of the building.


ariel picture of area in front of Morris Library


* A full-time staff member should check in with the staff member from the Circulation Unit who will have a clipboard and be in the center walkway perpendicular to the Library entrance and east of the fire lane. The Circulation Staff member will inform Public Safety of anyone thought to be missing.


* Staff and users are NOT to re-enter the building until a Public Safety Officer indicates that it is "ALL CLEAR." The cessation of the audible evacuation alarm DOES NOT necessarily mean that the emergency is over.


* When the "ALL CLEAR" is given, staff should enter the Library through the front or Commons terrace doors.


Discovering a fire or other life-threatening emergency (for example: abnormal heating of material, gas leaks, hazardous materials or flammable liquid spill, smoke or odor of burning).  Staff are to:


* Sound the nearest FIRE ALARM to evacuate entire facility.


* Notify Public Safety by dialing 911 or by picking up one of the red emergency telephones located near the elevators and stair towers.


* Use a portable fire extinguisher if necessary to assist yourself or another to evacuate the building.


* If possible and with regard to your personal safety, use a portable fire extinguisher to control a small contained fire.


Otherwise, leave the building.


Emergency exits on the Lower Level (link to Library maps)

    map of Morris Library Lower Level


Power Outages


Retrieve the flashlights and set up the lanterns at strategic points in the carrel/service desk area.  Wait for instructions. If the power will be out for more than an hour, or if the back-up generator does not work, the Library will be evacuated, but wait for the official word.  Until then, wait near the lit areas of the unit. If users opt to leave the library, leave the equipment flags in the carrel box so the equipment can be turned off once the power is restored.

General Library Procedures in a power outage:
  1. Work units distribute flashlights to Library staff and set up lanterns where they are needed.
  2. Staff should remain at service desks (as they will eventually be able to answer questions from library users about the power outage).
  3. Circulation will contact the University of Delaware Police Department (UD PD) by calling 911 to let them know about the power outage.
  4. On weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Communication and Space Planning Team will assess the situation and communicate any further instructions. On weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends, the staff member in charge of each work unit that is staffed should go to the Circulation Desk to share or obtain information about the power outage, checking back at an agreed upon time for further updates.
  5. If the emergency generator lights are working, but lights have not turned on after one hour, a member of the Library Executive Council in consultation with UD PD, will give directions to the staff to evacuate the building following the Procedure for Emergency Evacuation of the Morris Library
  6. If the emergency generator lights have not turned on, staff will evacuate the building following the Procedure for Emergency Evacuation of the Morris Library.


Leaks / Floods

Film & Video has had its share of leaks and floods in the past so we keep our eyes and ears open for fresh stains on the ceiling tiles above the collection and for any sounds of dripping.  


If you see a new water stain on the ceiling or you hear liquid dripping, NOTIFY F&V STAFF immediately. F&V staff will contact the appropriate responders:


8am - 5pm: Library Facilities (6940), Public Safety (2222)

5pm - 9pm: Public Safety (2222), Circulation (2455)


* Student Assistants:  If any leak (either small or active) is noticed during times when staff are not present, call Public Safety (2222) and Library Circulation (2455).  Once you have contacted Public Safety and Circulation and reported the leak, note in the log book the time and what the response was.


* Do not attempt to clean up a leak or spill. If water is leaking onto electronic equipment, DO NOT touch the equipment.

Duress Alarm

To use the duress alarm (located underneath the service desk):

Press the button mounted on the side of the desk closest to you. Hold the button until it clicks.  A silent alarm will be transmitted to the University 911 center and a uniformed police officer will respond.


When to use the duress alarm:

When immediate police assistance is needed and you do not feel it is safe to place a phonecall, for example:


* Your physical safety is in danger

* In the event of a medical emergency (e.g., collapse, heart attack, seizure, etc.) 

* A potentially dangerous person is in your presence and you need the police


When you depress the duress alarm, there is no delay in the signal being transmitted to the University 911 Center. The first available police officer will then be dispatched.


Please remember that the primary means of requesting police, fire or paramedics is to DIAL 911. The duress alarm is to be considered a secondary notification device for circumstances where using the telephone to dial 911 cannot be safely accomplished. 

In a medical emergency, please follow-up with a phonecall to 911 and have another person stay with the person with the medical problem. Use a campus phone so that you reach the campus dispatcher.  They will send a police officer with an AED immediately and get the closest emergency medical team (EMT) to respond and send a police officer who may be able to assist until the EMT arrives.  Calling on a cell phone will reach the New Castle Call Center and result in a possibly slower response to the problem as units outside campus will be asked to respond.


If it is safe to do so, call 911 at your first opportunity to provide additional details that may be helpful to a dispatcher in directing a response to the situation.


If you inadvertently depress the duress alarm, immediately let staff know or dial 911 to inform the dispatcher who will cancel any response and reset the alarm.