Search the UMD Libraries website
Saturday, May 23, 2015


Architecture CLOSED
Media Services

in Hornbake

Special Collections

in Hornbake

Shady Grove See here for hours

Floor and Unit Marshals

All facilities have library employees designated as Floor Marshals. They are responsible for evacuating buildings. They are generally assigned this responsibility Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Evacuations are usually necessitated by power outages or fire alarms. Procedures for evacuating each library building are linked to the Building Evacuation section of these guidelines. Marshals should be thoroughly familiar with their own site's procedures. Marshals should also know all stairwell locations and designations and be able to communicate them to emergency personnel. The Libraries' Safety and Security Committee coordinates assignment, training and communication with marshals. The Safety and Security Committee's Web site in LIBI has an up-to-date roster of all floor or unit marshals.

Marshals serve two-year terms and can be reappointed. The Safety and Security Committee may periodically review the roster of marshals and advise if some marshals should or should not be reappointed. Training is held at least every two years as a refresher for continuing marshals and as orientation for new marshals.

Backup marshals are more helpful in smaller facilities than in Hornbake or McKeldin. In the branches, staff are more likely to know who is on duty at a given time and thus know when the backup marshals should act.

Each marshal has a designated area for which they are responsible for evacuating. The area may include study space, carrels, staff offices, reading/study areas, bookstacks, etc. In the case of McKeldin there are two marshals for each floor, so as a rule one marshal should clear the east side of a floor; the other, the west side.

Marshals may help library users who may need special assistance. Marshals may ask other library staff to assist in some way. Marshals should make reasonable efforts to be sure their designated areas are cleared but should not put themselves at undue risk. For example, a marshal may be on a different floor from the one they are responsible for evacuating and it may be unsafe or impossible to try to go to the assigned floor. In that case, the marshal should provide any assistance needed on the floor on which they happen to be and then vacate the building promptly.

Marshals should be firm in stating that everyone has to evacuate the building. If individuals refuse and cannot be dissuaded, the marshals should not put themselves at undue risk by staying with the person.

Upon leaving the building, all marshals for that building should meet at an agreed-on place to report which areas were cleared, which were not and any problems, such as individuals refusing to leave. Copies of the checklist will be kept at the welcome desks in Hornbake and McKeldin and at the circulation/reference desks in other sites.

The lead marshal (decided on the spot, depending upon which marshals are present for the evacuation) for each site should promptly transmit the completed checklist to emergency officials when they arrive on the scene. Hornbake marshals meet in Hornbake Plaza. McKeldin marshals meet in front of the library and one marshal transmits a completed checklist of evacuation to Facilities Services personnel at the McKeldin loading dock.

During evenings and weekends when the libraries are open, it is up to emergency officials to determine if a building is evacuated. It is understood that individuals staffing the libraries' service desks are in charge of the buildings during those hours. In McKeldin, where multiple service desks may be open, the lead staff at each desk confer and coordinate response to a situation.

Drills are conducted periodically for library staff, users and marshals to practice evacuating their buildings.

Floor marshals have flashlights for use in emergency situations. They should check the batteries at least every six months and request any needed replacements from Facilities Services.


Each unit should have a minimum of one flashlight to use when there is an electrical outage.  Each unit should plan to regularly change the batteries.