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Emergency information for Newman Library patrons

The Emergency Preparedness Team has designated two types of emergencies which require procedures specific to Newman Library: shelter-in-place and evacuation.

This is a simple procedure to keep patrons safe indoors. Each threat will determine the kind of shelter you should seek. In case of Newman Library, shelter-in-place for the most likely instances have been determined. Shelter-in-place map (PDF | 112KB)

Reasons to shelter-in-place include

  • Severe weather
  • Hazardous materials,
  • Intruder on campus,
  • Hostage situations,
  • Any situation where it is best for you to stay where you are to avoid an outside threat.

How do I shelter-in-place at Newman Library?

  • Severe weather: The first floor microforms area and the old circulation area have been identified as areas of shelter for most severe weather incidents.
    • Immediately seek shelter inside.
    • Resist the temptation to go outside and check the weather conditions.
    • Stay away from windows and glass doors.
    • Do not enter book stacks.
    • Do not use elevators
  • Intruder/hostage situation
    • Remain calm
    • The library staff will secure all exit doors. Help will be available; look for library staff in orange emergency vests. They will be in radio contact with each other so they can tell you any new emergency information.
    • Patrons should seek concealment (out of sight) away from doors and windows. Place large/sturdy obstacles between yourself and the perceived direction of the threat.
    • To minimize vulnerability, silence phones and move away from windows.
    • For further information, visit VT Alerts.

How long should I remain sheltered?

Remain in the sheltered area until you receive the "All Clear" by emergency personnel. Do not leave until you are sure of the identity or source of the person making the announcement. If you have concerns or questions, please find one of the library personnel and they will answer your questions to the best of their ability.

Evacuation is the immediate removal of people away from the threat, or actual occurrence, of a hazard. 

Hazards include

  • Fire or smoke,
  • Bomb threat,
  • Chemical spill,
  • Structural failure,
  • Explosions,
  • Building air contamination,
  • Some instances of severe weather.

If you have to evacuate

  • Stay calm, do not rush, and do not panic.
  • Safely stop your work.
  • Gather your personal belongings if it is safe to do so. Reminder: take prescription medications out with you if at all possible; it may be hours before you are allowed back in the building.
  • If you are physically unable to use the stairs, ask another patron to notify staff of your situation and if possible seek shelter in stairwell E (stairwell closest to cafe elevators).
  • Use the nearest safe stairs and proceed to the the nearest exit. Do not use the elevator.
  • If you want to re-enter the library, wait for any instructions from emergency responders outside the main entrance.
  • DO NOT RE-ENTER building or work area until you have been instructed to do so by the emergency responders.


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