The 10-Minute International Librarian #16: Review your risk-management plans

Libraries provide services to their communities that are as varied as they are essential.

This can be particularly true during times of crisis, when people need information – and comfort – more than ever.

But of course to be able to provide services, libraries themselves need to be ready to deal with the unexpected.

It is therefore valuable to have plans for how to deal with risks – for example something that libraries rely on no longer being available.

COVID-19 of course has forced many libraries to find ways to work when they cannot rely on in-person contacts, or even have staff together in person.

There are already great resources at the national level in many countries, while IFLA is working to provide more useful information and ideas through our renewed Risk Register.

So for our 16th 10-Minute International Librarian exercise, review your risk-management plan.

Clearly, carrying out a full review will take more than 10 minutes.

But you can look again at the plans you have in place, and think quickly about what may be missing. In particular faced with COVID-19, almost all libraries will have experience that you can use.

You may not have a single document, or indeed anything formally written down. In this case, it could be a great moment to think about how you could prepare one.

We’d love to hear which resources have been most useful for you in the comments below.

Good luck!


This idea relates to the IFLA Strategy! 2.3 Develop standards, guidelines, and other materials that foster best professional practice.

As we publish more ideas, you will be able to view these using the #10MinuteInternationalLibrarian tag on this blog, and of course on IFLA’s Ideas Store! Do also share your ideas in the comments box.