The AAO Archives Emergency Response Network Update

15 Oct 2015 8:26 PM | Iona McCraith (Administrator)

The Archives Emergency Response Network (AERNwas created in 2008 in response to a need expressed by the membership for greater support and assistance in the event of an emergency affecting their archives. This need was especially critical for smaller archives with perhaps only one staff member or volunteer to respond to an emergency. Since 2008, to join AERN one only had to have a valid AAO membership (institutional or individual) and to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the AAO.

Over the past six years,  AERN has grown to include 32 institutions from across the province organized by AAO chapter. However, this is still far short of AAO's goal to have all members participating and does not even reflect the level of positive interest expressed by members in a survey conducted in 2012. 

In speaking with members, it has become apparent that one deterrent to joining AERN for many institutions was the requirement to signthe MOU. Although never intended to be a binding contract to provide mutual emergency response assistance to network participants, this is how many institutions perceived the MOU. Thus, after due deliberation of the pros and cons, the AAO Board decided to eliminate this obstacle to participation.

Please be advised that effective 21st August 2015, the signing of aMOU between the AAO and the participating institution is no longer a requirement to join AERN. A valid AAO membership remains the only requirement to join. In keeping with the AAO record retention schedule, the current signed MOUs will be retained for two years from date of 21st August 2015 and then destroyed. There is plenty of other documentation pertaining to this program to document its origins and development for the AAO's archives.

If you are now interested in joining AERN, please contact me at  with the name, email address and phone number of the individual who will be your institution's emergency contact and I will add you to the list I distribute to the network members. Visit the AERN webpage for more information and for FAQ's about the program.

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