BEST PRACTICES: Tech Checklist for Your Library Closure

If your library is closing completely, just to the public, or moving to an emergency operations status, there are several tech-related items that would be helpful to check before shutting off the lights:

  • Backup Strategy: hopefully you already have a full data backup plan in place, but now is a good time to test it. If your backup solution involves rotating physical media, like backup tapes, develop a staff plan for safely accessing the backup media.  Remember, a backup solution is only a "solution" if you've tested it to CONFIRM that it works!
  • Security Updates: don't leave public servers unattended for the duration of the crisis -- ensure that you have a plan to continue updating and patching servers and services in your network, remotely if necessary.  If you'll be leaving staff or public workstations on, ensure they are set to automatic update with unattended reboot if necessary.
  • Domain and Certificate Registrations: now would be a horrible time for your library's website to go offline!  Check your domain registration expiration dates and renew if necessary.  Also check the dates on your SSL certificates and begin the renewal process, especially if you'll need a purchase order to buy updated certificates.
  • Password and Remote Access Policies and Training: Many library workers haven't traditionally been able to work from home on a regular basis -- does your Help Desk have secure and effective password and remote access policies to support library workers?  Have your library workers been trained on safe, secure, and effective remote work solutions?
  • Online/cloud services and associated payment methods: Using online or cloud services for critical functionality?  Make sure your accounts are pre-paid for at least three months, or confirm that the credit card used for payment won't expire while your entire accounting department is unreachable!
  • Keep an eye on everything: If you haven't already, consider implementing a network monitoring and alerting tool to help keep an eye on potential problems before they interfere with operations.  Alerts should go to multiple staff members and/or managers to ensure that a single sick colleague isn't a bottleneck for restoring service after an outage.
  • Updated contact info: Make sure that your staff contact lists - and vendor contacts - are up-to-date.  You'll want to be able to file support tickets or reach out to any vendor experiencing service interruptions, even if you don't have access to the Post-It notes hanging on your cubicle wall!