Foundations of Resilience: Libraries as Critical Infrastructure for Disaster Response and Readiness

Award Year: 
Project Director(s): 

Michael Bennett
Associate Research Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society, The Center for Science and the Imagination
Lecturer in Law and Faculty Fellow, Center for Law, Science and Innovation, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Michael Simeone
Assistant Research Professor, Biosocial Complexity Initiative


How do we prepare for plausible futures that we cannot envision? Inspired by Asimov’s Foundation, this project will treat public libraries—which communicate to the near and distant future through collection, curated experiences, education and preservation—as institutions whose central purpose is to explore this very question, as well as that of how the future-oriented mission of libraries contributes to disaster readiness and community resiliency. Through a meta-analysis of how public libraries have functioned in the wake of extreme events, semi-structured interviews, on-site research, and the use of scenario-based games and video animation, this project aims to produce a general framework for increasing libraries’ contributions to resilience and refining resilience-related decision-making.