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Foundations of Resilience: Why Libraries Matter in Crisis and Disaster

April 18, 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

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.

This project combines interviews, literature review, and analysis of twitter data (500,000+ tweets) generated around the major hurricanes that made landfall in the United States in 2017. Using these sources, we look for ways that libraries can intervene in the context of natural disasters and other emergencies, as well as analyze what library resources are especially vulnerable. We also generate a vocabulary of key concepts, resources, persons, and institutions for the purposes of scenario models, one of which we produce as a deck of cards.

Michael Simeone and Michael Bennet will present their findings in a short conversation, and follow with refreshments and an opportunity to play through the card-based simulation exercise.

About the speakers

Michael Bennett is an associate research professor in Arizona State University’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society, the Center for Science and the Imagination, and the Risk Innovation Lab, as well as a Lecturer in the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. He was formerly an associate professor on the faculty of the Northeastern University School of Law and the Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Science, Technology and Society at Vassar College. He has also held teaching and research positions at the University of Michigan, Michigan Technological University, Polytechnic University, and the University of Virginia, and has served as advisor to several university offices of technology transfer.

Michael Simeone is the Director of Data Science and Analytics at ASU Libraries. His research includes digital/computational humanities, post-cybernetic control systems, analysis of human-technology networks, and data-driven collaborations that bridge environmental sciences and humanities.


April 18, 2018
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
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