UW Libraries Blog

March 26, 2020

UW Libraries donates N95 respirators and personal protective equipment (PPE) to UW Medicine Emergency Response

UW Libraries

The needs of our health care workers are top of mind right now, evermore so with consideration of our own UW medical community. Many libraries and museums stock protective gear for collections processing and disaster response and there is a growing effort among institutions to donate these critical supplies during this unprecedented time of need.

The UW Libraries responded to the call, delivering 350 N95 respirators, 3,200 nitrile gloves and 18 safety glasses to UW Medicine via the Emergency Response Fund, which accepts in-kind donations of approved PPE.  Stephanie Lamson, Director of UW Libraries Preservation Services, and UW Libraries facilities manager Brad Van Horne worked with other UW Libraries staff to collect, package, and deliver these critical supplies.

“Knowing that we had respirators and gloves that could be used during the shortage, it was just a matter of time and coordination to effectively pull everything together,” said Lamson. “I’m glad that the Libraries could help contribute in some small way to help support UW Medicine and the caregivers who need these supplies right now.”

UW Libraries PPE supplies are loaded on to a truck for delivery March 25th.

Typically, PPE supplies are kept by collecting institutions like libraries and museums primarily for disaster response. For example, in the event of a water leak or earthquake, preservation teams may need to enter contaminated spaces to retrieve materials, requiring PPE.

Part of the UW Libraries existing PPE supplies were originally donated through a collections disaster workshop with Seattle Heritage Responders, sponsored by the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation (FAIC) and Seattle Heritage Emergency Response Network (SHERN) and funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The workshops were held at the Seattle Art Museum and UW Libraries in 2018.

To donate PPE equipment to UW healthcare workers, visit the UW Medicine Emergency Response Fund page.

Many other libraries and museums are also donating their PPE or contributing to the effort in other ways. Learn more.

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