University of Texas At Austin
Log Number: RE-96-18-0127-18 (a)Note: (a) denotes an amendment made outside of the original award year
The University of Texas at Austin will investigate how small and often rural libraries contribute to community viability. Investigators will focus on the factors important in library resiliency in the face of disasters and crises. Partnering with experts at Florida State University, the research will contribute to improved planning and management tools, as well as an understanding of resilience features appropriate to stressed environments. This research emphasizes the new challenges accompanying a digital information and resource environment in which displaced community members turn to libraries for assistance with information needs in addition to other, more immediate, material needs. A focal point for this inquiry is the aftermath of natural disasters, when libraries were repurposed as disaster relief centers during the record-breaking 2017 hurricane season in the Gulf and fire season in Western regions. The team will focus research and conduct case studies on up to 15 small, public libraries along the Texas and Florida coasts.