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York College of Pennsylvania, Schmidt Library

Schmidt Library Policies


Effective Date: January 2020
Last Revised:
Review Period: 
Policy Owner: Library Director

In the event of an emergency situation, LTS personnel must assume responsibility for not only their own safety, but also for the safety of others in the building.

  • Although the Library contains valuable materials, the safety of individuals must take priority.
  • In an emergency the value of calm, rational reaction cannot be overstated. Remember that others will follow your example.
  • Staff members must assume responsibility for implementing emergency procedures and for reporting the emergency to the building supervisor.
  • The building supervisor is the Library Director; in the absence of the Director, the building supervisors are the staff members on duty at the LTS Help Desk at the time of the emergency. In the absence of the building supervisor responsibility follows the normal chain of command: Supervisor, Staff, Student Assistants. 

The emergency responsibilities include:

  1. Announcement of the emergency situation
  2. Notification of the proper authorities
  3. Organized evacuation of the area (when appropriate)
  4. Securing the area if time and safety permits
  5. Informing authorities at the scene.

Despite attempts to cover every possibility and to familiarize and train staff with procedures, any emergency is open to unforeseen circumstances. It may be necessary in an emergency to rely upon your own best judgment as dictated by the circumstances.

Contacting Campus Safety and Outside Authorities

Contacting Public Safety

  1. Call 717.815.1314 for immediate response.
  2. Report incident to building supervisors.
  3. If appropriate dial 9-1-1.

Contacting Outside Authorities

  1. Dialing 9-1-1 will connect the caller to the County Control Switchboard Operator, who will ask the you to specify whether Police, Ambulance, or Fire Dispatch is needed.
  2. Once connected to the appropriate dispatcher, you should specify:
    1. Your name
    2. The location (York College of Pennsylvania, Schmidt Library)
    3. The location of the emergency within the building.
  3.  Remain on the phone until dispatcher tells you to hang up.


Active Shooter

Active Shooter

Most buildings on a college campus are public buildings, even dorms. The library (along with the student union and Grumbacher) is a visible public building and could be considered a higher target. The library has open spaces and lots of windows which makes ‘hiding’ more of a challenge. The atrium and main floor is the most susceptible to injuries with an active shooter present. Drills are important and necessary to test our responsiveness but the truth is a ‘drill’ tells our brains there is no eminent danger as opposed to the real ‘thing’ when we sense and feel danger and therefore panic. When an active shooter is present in the library we cannot provide protection for everyone without endangering many lives trying to save lives; the most important item to remember is to take responsibility for your safety.

:: When an Incident Begins

In the event of an active shooter incident:

  1. The College Emergency Alert System will engage with an emergency notification of a campus shooter.
  2. Emergency notifications will go out via text, phone, and email.
  3. The library monitors on all floors will also flash emergency information.
  6. Wait for further information.

:: Scenario One:  Shooter is near or in Library

IF campus security REPORTS to the front desk this means the shooter is NEAR or maybe in the library.

  1. LTS Help Desk will announce “active shooter in building, take cover”   
  2. No one should leave the building. 
  3. Time is paramount,
    1. if you can, move any patrons into offices
      1. close blinds
      2. silence cell phones
      3. close and lock door
      4. hide under desks or behind furniture.
    2. Anyone unable to reach an office should take appropriate cover.


:: Scenario Two:  Shooter on campus, not near Library

IF campus security does NOT come to the front desk area after the warning this means the shooter is not near or in the library but on campus.

  1. LTS Help Desk will announce “active shooter on campus, evacuate building” 
  2. Everyone needs to evacuate via the front doors or the two side emergency doors at the direction of security.
  3. Leave your personal belongings (NO time to pack up).  
  4. Leave the building with your hands up or visible to responding police officers.
  5. Follow any verbal evacuation instructions.

Please assist those you see that may need help. Emergency exits should be used (Are the two exit statements contradictory?)

:: All Clear Announcement

If inside the building, wait for the all clear announcement to move out of protected areas.  (Keep your cell phone silent and do not move or talk before then.)

If outside the building, wait for the all clear to move back into the library.

Threatening Behavior

Threatening Behavior

  1. Robbery
    1. Take any robbery threat seriously.
    2. Hand over anything asked for without argument. Do not make eye contact.
    3. Attempt to get a description and determine direction taken after person leaves area.
    4. Call Campus Safety at 717.815.1314
  2. Suspicious situations
    1. Call Campus Safety at 717.815.1314 and attempt to notify other staff if there is any anticipated harm to person or property.

Fire Emergency

Fire Emergency

A.  Announcement of Emergency Situation

  1. If the responsible staff member has any doubts as to the size or manageability of the fire, announcement and evacuation should take precedent over any firefighting. The building supervisors should be notified of the situation immediately.

  2. Staff should trigger the fire alarm for ANY fire in the building. Fires and smoke can quickly become out of control and staff should always alert the proper authorities. Locations of fire alarms within the Library are identified with a Red Circle symbol on the Library Floor Plans.

  3. After triggering the alarm, staff may elect to extinguish a small, contained fire (such as a wastebasket fire) using an ABC type fire extinguisher. Locations of fire extinguishers are marked with an X symbol on the Library Floor Plans. 

  4. If access to a fire alarm is not immediately possible, the staff member should notify the other staff using the best means available. An Intercom system is available at phones at the LTS Help Desk.   A battery-operated bullhorn is also available.

B.  Notification of Authorities

  1. Any internal fire alarm triggered in the Library, excluding the emergency exit alarms, automatically alerts firefighting personnel at the Grantley Fire Company, Station #13, near the College (Virginia at Ludlow). 
  2. These internal alarms sound throughout the Library building and also sound the external alarm on campus to notify campus personnel of a fire emergency. Campus Safety should also be notified at 717.815.1314
  3. Evacuation procedures should begin immediately.
  4. If for any reason the fire alarms are inoperable or cannot be reached, the authorities must be contacted by telephone, following the procedures outlined in “Contacting Outside Authorities,” (Need link)

C. Evacuation 

  1. All public facilities and work areas in each part of the building must be checked for presence of patrons or staff. Facilities to be checked are listed, by floor, in Appendix A to this manual. Staff members located on the lower and upper levels should help to evacuate these floors. Once the floors are clear, staff should report to the LTS Help Desk desk to report to the building supervisors.
  2. After exiting, evacuees shall proceed to the campus fountain where they will not interfere with the arrival of fire equipment and the work of the firefighters.
  3. The building supervisors should be the last people to leave the building.
  4. At the fountain, the building supervisors should check for the presence of staff members to determine that the building is in fact evacuated. In the event that any staff member is missing, the building supervisors should notify appropriate firefighting personnel.

D.  Securing the Building

  1. Only if time and safety permit should any attempt be made prior to evacuation to secure or retrieve anything, including: files, cash, personal property, library materials (books,media, etc.), articles on display or equipment.
  2. Doors should be left open for easy access for firefighting and Campus Safety personnel.
  3. It must be remembered that nothing in the Library is of sufficient value to merit the endangerment of a human life.

E.  Informing Authorities at the Scene

The person reporting the fire should be prepared to report to the firefighting officials the location, size, and nature of the fire reported, as well as the location of the fire extinguisher in the area involved.



Medical Emergencies

Medical Emergencies

  1. Medical emergencies fall into the two broad categories of life threatening (choking, heart attack, severe bleeding, etc.) and non-life-threatening (broken limbs, sprains, minor cuts, etc.)

    1. In a life-threatening situation any available trained individual should apply immediate appropriate medical attention (such as CPR, Heimlich maneuver, etc.) and direct another person to obtain help following the 9-911 procedures outlined in “Contacting Outside Authorities” (need link) .

    2. In all situations involving medical emergencies, Campus Safety should be notified by calling 717.815.1314.

      1. Efforts should be taken by the building supervisors to keep the affected person calm and comfortable until Public Safety can arrive to take care of the situation further.

    3. A first-aid kit is located at the LTS Help Desk.

    4. Two automatic defibrillators are on campus. One is located in the YCP Campus Safety office and one is located in the Athletics Department.   (Which ones are closest now?   WPAC?   Should we have one in library?)

Power Failure

Power Failure

  1. In the event of a power failure, emergency lighting will be triggered immediately throughout the building. These lights operate independently of the campus electrical system.
  2. Campus Safety should be notified immediately by calling 717.815.1314 .
  3. Appropriate action in the event of a power failure will be determined by the time of day that the event occurs.
    1. In a power failure, the Checkpoint theft detection system at the main exit will not function. Staff must conduct a manual inspection of briefcases, books, and bags for all exiting patrons regardless of the exit used.
    2. If the outage occurs during normal daylight hours, the building supervisor may elect to wait for direction from the appropriate administrative authority regarding evacuation and/or closing of the building.
      1. Since terminals will not operate without electricity, if the Library remains open, alternative-charging procedures (do we have these??) as specified in procedure manuals, must be implemented.
    3. Should the outage occur at night, regardless of the probability of duration, first priority is evacuation of patrons and staff from the affected area.
      1. Immediately following a power outage the building supervisors should assess the situation and determine if other areas of the building are affected.
        1. If the problem is isolated to one area, people in that area should be evacuated to another part of the building not affected by the power failure.
        2. If the entire building is without power and the outage occurs at night the entire building must be vacated.
  4. As with fire emergencies, evacuation during a power failure will require announcement of the situation, organization of the evacuation, notification of the authorities, and securing the area. Flashlights are located at the LTS Help Desk.
    1. Immediately after determining the extent of the power failure, the building supervisors should announce that such a failure has occurred and request that people in the area remain where they are until they can be escorted to safety.
    2. Monitor exits during evacuation for possible theft.
    3. Using the rechargeable flashlight maintained at the LTS Help Desk, the building supervisors should check all areas as outlined in Appendix A , escorting people to the nearest safe exit.
    4. Notify Campus Safety of the building evacuation  by calling 717.815.1314.
    5. Unlike a fire emergency in which time is of the essence, a power outage does not require the immediate evacuation of staff members. Following evacuation of the public, normal closing procedures must be completed including turning off equipment, securing cash, locking doors, etc.

Bomb Threat

Bomb Threat

  1. Any bomb threat is to be taken seriously.
  2. Threats are to be reported immediately to the building supervisors, following the normal chain of command.
    1. The building supervisors should immediately notify Campus Safety of the threat by calling 717.815.1314
    2. If unsuccessful in contacting Public Safety, the building supervisors should contact local police authorities, following the procedure outlines in “Contacting Outside Authorities,” (need link).
  3. Evacuation of patrons and staff from the building should follow immediately as outlined previously in the “Fire Emergency” Section of this manual, checking all areas and accounting for missing people at the college fountain.
    1. Since alarms might trigger a bomb, evacuation should be directed through the Library’s main entrance, avoiding the use of the emergency exits, which sound alarms.
    2. Staff should ask patrons to refrain from using cell phones in the building since the signal could trigger a bomb. If possible, ask patrons to turn off cell phones. 

Nuclear Emergency

Nuclear Emergency

  1. In the event of a nuclear emergency appropriate action will be dictated by local authorities.
    1. If authorities order evacuation of the local area, building supervisors should direct people in the Library to the main exit as in a Power Failure, completing the evacuation by following normal closing procedures.




Assisting Individuals with Physical Challenges

Assisting Individuals with Physical Challenges

  1. Given the accessibility of all floors and areas to patrons with physical challenges, the possibility exists that such persons could be in any part of the Library. This increases our concerns for the safety of those persons who may have entered the upper and lower floors from the elevator unnoticed by LTS personnel and who may require assistance in making an emergency exit.
    1. The upper floor emergency exits are the southeast and southwest corners. These would be utilized to evacuate patrons since the nature of the emergency may render the elevator inoperable.
    2. A lower level handicapped exit is located in the northwest corner of the building.
    3. The main level lobby doors lead to a handicapped exit.
    4. Given the physical limitations, the size of the person, and availability to help,
    5. The elevator should be checked to ascertain that no one is trapped inside and apprise emergency personnel of the situation when they arrive. In the event of fire, do not, under any circumstances, use the elevator.
    6. On routine food and noise patrols, LTS personnel should make a mental note if a person with physical challenges is present.
    7. Should circumstances allow for the removal of a person with physical challenges, place the person in a safe location outside until further help arrives to handle the situation.    Best judgment should be exercised in deciding the best possible route.
    8. In the event that time does not permit reaching a workable solution, the patron should be placed at the safest exit and LTS personnel should return to the main door to direct emergency assistance to the location of the person.

Given the wide variance possible in physical size, physical strength, and mobility between LTS staff and patrons with physical challenges, evacuation of the non-ambulatory will no doubt call for best possible judgment on the part of LTS staff.

Locations to be Checked in an Emergency Situation

Locations to Check

In emergency situations, check the following locations:

Main Level

  • LTS Help Desk and offices
  • Faculty offices
  • Group study rooms
  • One Button Studio
  • Shelving areas
  • Copier area
  • Restrooms
  • Public seating areas

Lower Level

  • Faculty offices
  • Technical Services office
  • Microfilm room
  • Special Collections and Archives
  • Group study rooms
  • Two LTS Classrooms (L7 and L39)
  • Boiler rooms
  • Shelving areas
  • Public seating areas
  • Restrooms
  • Staff lounge

Upper Level

  • Shelving areas
  • Group study rooms
  • Study carrels
  • Faculty/staff conference room (L202)
  • LTS Secretary and Library Director's offices
  • Public seating areas

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